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- Keywords: Abstractive summarization, text summarization, memory augmented neural network, extractive summarization, self critical reinforcement learning, policy gradient
- Abstract: Traditional sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) models and other variations of the attention-mechanism such as hierarchical attention have been applied to the text summarization problem. Though there is a hierarchy in the way humans use language by forming paragraphs from sentences and sentences from words, hierarchical models have usually not worked that much better than their traditional seq2seq counterparts. This effect is mainly because either the hierarchical attention mechanisms are too sparse using hard attention or noisy using soft attention. In this paper, we propose a method based on extracting the highlights of a document; a key concept that is conveyed in a few sentences. In a typical text summarization dataset consisting of documents that are 800 tokens in length (average), capturing long-term dependencies is very important, e.g., the last sentence can be grouped with the first sentence of a document to form a summary. LSTMs (Long Short-Term Memory) proved useful for machine translation. However, they often fail to capture long-term dependencies while modeling long sequences. To address these issues, we have adapted Neural Semantic Encoders (NSE) to text summarization, a class of memory-augmented neural networks by improving its functionalities and proposed a novel hierarchical NSE that outperforms similar previous models significantly. The quality of summarization was improved by augmenting linguistic factors, namely lemma, and Part-of-Speech (PoS) tags, to each word in the dataset for improved vocabulary coverage and generalization. The hierarchical NSE model on factored dataset outperformed the state-of-the-art by nearly 4 ROUGE points. We further designed and used the first GPU-based self-critical Reinforcement Learning model.