Yuxuan Xi


Summarizing Dialogues with Negative Cues
Junpeng Liu | Yanyan Zou | Yuxuan Xi | Shengjie Li | Mian Ma | Zhuoye Ding
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Abstractive dialogue summarization aims to convert a long dialogue content into its short form where the salient information is preserved while the redundant pieces are ignored. Different from the well-structured text, such as news and scientific articles, dialogues often consist of utterances coming from two or more interlocutors, where the conversations are often informal, verbose, and repetitive, sprinkled with false-starts, backchanneling, reconfirmations, hesitations, speaker interruptions and the salient information is often scattered across the whole chat. The above properties of conversations make it difficult to directly concentrate on scattered outstanding utterances and thus present new challenges of summarizing dialogues. In this work, rather than directly forcing a summarization system to merely pay more attention to the salient pieces, we propose to explicitly have the model perceive the redundant parts of an input dialogue history during the training phase. To be specific, we design two strategies to construct examples without salient pieces as negative cues. Then, the sequence-to-sequence likelihood loss is cooperated with the unlikelihood objective to drive the model to focus less on the unimportant information and also pay more attention to the salient pieces. Extensive experiments on the benchmark dataset demonstrate that our simple method significantly outperforms the baselines with regard to both semantic matching and factual consistent based metrics. The human evaluation also proves the performance gains.