An Exploratory Study on Long Dialogue Summarization: What Works and What's Next

Yusen Zhang, Ansong Ni, Tao Yu, Rui Zhang, Chenguang Zhu, Budhaditya Deb, Asli Celikyilmaz, Ahmed Hassan Awadallah, Dragomir Radev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dialogue summarization helps readers capture salient information from long conversations in meetings, interviews, and TV series. However, real-world dialogues pose a great challenge to current summarization models, as the dialogue length typically exceeds the input limits imposed by recent transformer-based pretrained models, and the interactive nature of dialogues makes relevant information more context-dependent and sparsely distributed than news articles. In this work, we perform a comprehensive study on long dialogue summarization by investigating three strategies to deal with the lengthy input problem and locate relevant information: (1) extended transformer models such as Longformer, (2) retrieve-then-summarize pipeline models with several dialogue utterance retrieval methods, and (3) hierarchical dialogue encoding models such as HMNet. Our experimental results on three long dialogue datasets (QMSum, MediaSum, SummScreen) show that the retrievethen- summarize pipeline models yield the best performance. We also demonstrate that the summary quality can be further improved with a stronger retrieval model and pretraining on proper external summarization datasets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Findings of ACL
Subtitle of host publicationEMNLP 2021
EditorsMarie-Francine Moens, Xuanjing Huang, Lucia Specia, Scott Wen-Tau Yih
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages4426-4433
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781955917100
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Findings of ACL: EMNLP 2021 - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Duration: Nov 7 2021Nov 11 2021

Publication series

NameFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Findings of ACL: EMNLP 2021

Conference

Conference2021 Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Findings of ACL: EMNLP 2021
Country/TerritoryDominican Republic
CityPunta Cana
Period11/7/2111/11/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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