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Guiding Extractive Summarization with Question-Answering Rewards

This repository contains ready to run code for extractive summarization following our paper from NAACL 2019. We ask that you please cite our paper if you make use of our findings or code.

  title={Guiding Extractive Summarization with Question-Answering Rewards},
  author={Arumae, Kristjan and Liu, Fei},
  booktitle={Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)},

The code and instructions allow for the following:

  1. Pre-processing the CNN/Daily Mail dataset for our models. This includes steps for question generation using NER, SUBJ/OBJ, and ROOT words. Please refer to our paper for details.
  2. Training a full model from scratch.
  3. Sample output from models as reported in our publication.

To the best of our abilities we have cleaned the code to remove superfluous functionality. Any questions/concerns can be directed towards Kristjan Arumae. (email: kristjan <dot> arumae <at> gmail <dot> com)

Code Execution


Data Pre-Processing

The steps bellow allow for near duplication of our dataset.

For anyone wishing to use the data from the paper, we made available 3 of our fully processed datasets. Available here.

NOTE 1: Some data processing steps are very memory (RAM) heavy (~50GB). It is recommended that for machines with limited hardware capabilities only a small subsection of data be processed.

  1. Map and pre-process data for Stanford CoreNLP input. This separates highlights and articles.

                --parsed_output_loc <PATH_TO_OUTPUT> \
                --source cnn \
                --raw_data <path to input data>

    There now exists a filesystem with the root as your pre-specified <path to output>. There are also two files created which will serve as file lists for the next steps.

  2. We will now use Stanford CoreNLP on the highlights and articles separately. From the highlights we need to acquire NER, ROOT, and SUBJ/OBJ (see § 3.3) to generate questions further down the pipeline. From the articles we need constituency parse trees for input chunks (see § 3.1).

    NOTE: Stanford CoreNLP runs significantly faster, and with less memory, when the input is a file list. This process is nonetheless slow.

    java -Xmx10g \
                -cp "<path to Stanford CoreNLP>/*" edu.stanford.nlp.pipeline.StanfordCoreNLP \
                -annotators tokenize,ssplit,pos,lemma,ner,parse \ 
                -parse.model "edu/stanford/nlp/models/srparser/englishSR.ser.gz" \
                -parse.nthreads 10 \
                -ner.nthreads 10 \
                -tokenize.whitespace true \
                -filelist list_hl.txt \
                -outputFormat "json" \
                -outputDirectory <PATH_TO_OUTPUT>/highlights_scnlp/
    java -Xmx10g \
                -cp "<path to Stanford CoreNLP>/*" edu.stanford.nlp.pipeline.StanfordCoreNLP \
                -annotators tokenize,ssplit,pos,lemma,parse \ 
                -parse.model "edu/stanford/nlp/models/srparser/englishSR.ser.gz" \
                -parse.nthreads 10 \
                -tokenize.whitespace true \
                -filelist list_art.txt \
                -outputFormat "json" \
                -outputDirectory <PATH_TO_OUTPUT>/articles_scnlp/ \
  3. The next processing step is the last general processing step. This will:

    • Determine all entities present (SUBJ/OBJ, NER, and ROOT)
    • Determine text chunks.
    • Map input tokens to vocabulary.
    • Create auxilliary output for testing.

    Depending on your goal with our models, after finishing this data processing step you will not need to repeat it and ones above.

    python \
                --full_test True \
                --parsed_output_loc <PATH_TO_OUTPUT> \
                --vocab_size 150000 \
                --chunk_threshold 5 \
                --source cnn
  4. The next step is most important for choosing whether to use the chunks previously create, as well as the QA type. (Bellow we use chunks, and SUBJ/OBJ)

    python \
                --full_test True \
                --vocab_size 150000 \
                --source cnn \
                --word_level_c False \
                --n 10 \
                --ent_cutoff 5 \
                --use_root False \
                --use_obj_subj True \
                --use_ner False
  5. The last data processing step is under batching. This allows for separation of data processing and training completely. The options we control at the batching level.

    python \
                --vocab_size 150000 \
                --word_level_c False \
                --full_test True \
                --batch 128 \
                --online_batch_size 20 \
                --source cnn \
                --inp_len 400 \
                --n 10 \
                --sort sort \
                --batch_dir ../data/batches/


We provide the training scripts for processed data we provided here. Specifically for NER.

  1. We also provide the pre-initialized extraction model. If you wish to train this yourself set --pretain to True, do not load in any model, and the parameters --nclasses, and all the coefficients do not matter.

    The full model training is as follows.

    THEANO_FLAGS=allow_gc=True,device=<CUDA_DEVICE>,floatX=float32 \
    python \
                --load_model_pretrain True \
                --pretrain False \
                --load_model pretrained_generator.tar.gz \
                --full_test True \
                --embedding <PATH_TO_GLOVE>/glove.6B.100d.txt \
                --embedding_dim 100 \
                --dropout 0.2 \
                --source cnn \
                --max_epochs 25 \
                --coeff_cost_scale 1.0 \
                --coeff_adequacy 8.0 \
                --coeff_z 10.0 \
                --nclasses 6167  \
                --num_files_train 36 \
                --num_files_dev 1 \
                --num_files_test 1 \
                --batch_dir <PATH_TO_DATA>/batches_cnn_400_ch_ner_cutoff_5/ \
                --inp_len 400 \
                --generator_encoding lstm \
                --word_level_c False \
                --batch 128 \
                --use_generator_h True \
                --online_batch_size 20 \
                --rl_no_qa False \
                --z_perc 0.15 \
                --n 10

Example Output

We have also created a markup file of overlayed summaries here. Download the file and view on your browser. The data can be interpreted using the following:

  • Each token is followed by a number indicating the chunk size that token falls into.

    E.g. The(4) joint(4) Iraqi(4) forces(4) fighting(4) to(4) retake(4) Tikrit(4) include(1) Iraqi(2) troops(2) ,(1) members(1) of(1) the(5) Shia(5) al-Hashed(5) al-Shaabi(5) militia(5) ,(1) members(1) of(1) the(3) Sunni(3) Sons(3) of(3) Salahuddin(3) brigades(3) ,(1) and(1) other(4) Sunni(4) tribal(4) fighters(4) .(1)

    The sample above is generated from the constituency parse tree made possible by Stanford CoreNLP.


  • Underlined chunks have overlap with the gold-standard human highlights.

  • Bolded sections are sampled by our system as extraced summary segments.


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