Abstractive summarization is the task of compressing a long document into a coherent short document while retaining salient information. Modern abstractive summarization methods are based on deep neural networks which often require large training datasets. Since collecting summarization datasets is an expensive and time-consuming task, practical industrial settings are usually low-resource. In this paper, we study a challenging low-resource setting of summarizing long legal briefs with an average source document length of 4268 words and only 120 available (document, summary) pairs. To account for data scarcity, we used a modern pre-trained abstractive summarizer BART, which only achieves 17.9 ROUGE-L as it struggles with long documents. We thus attempt to compress these long documents by identifying salient sentences in the source which best ground the summary, using a novel algorithm based on GPT-2 language model perplexity scores, that operates within the low resource regime. On feeding the compressed documents to BART, we observe a 6.0 ROUGE-L improvement. Our method also beats several competitive salience detection baselines. Furthermore, the identified salient sentences tend to agree with independent human labeling by domain experts.
We investigate post-OCR correction in a setting where we have access to different OCR views of the same document. The goal of this study is to understand if a pretrained language model (LM) can be used in an unsupervised way to reconcile the different OCR views such that their combination contains fewer errors than each individual view. This approach is motivated by scenarios in which unconstrained text generation for error correction is too risky. We evaluated different pretrained LMs on two datasets and found significant gains in realistic scenarios with up to 15% WER improvement over the best OCR view. We also show the importance of domain adaptation for post-OCR correction on out-of-domain documents.