Automatic generation of headlines for online math questions

Ke Yuan, Dafang He, Zhuoren Jiang, Liangcai Gao, Zhi Tang, C. Lee Giles

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

16 Scopus citations


Mathematical equations are an important part of dissemination and communication of scientific information. Students, however, often feel challenged in reading and understanding math content and equations. With the development of the Web, students are posting their math questions online. Nevertheless, constructing a concise math headline that gives a good description of the posted detailed math question is nontrivial. In this study, we explore a novel summarization task denoted as geNerating A concise Math hEadline from a detailed math question (NAME). Compared to conventional summarization tasks, this task has two extra and essential constraints: 1) Detailed math questions consist of text and math equations which require a unified framework to jointly model textual and mathematical information; 2) Unlike text, math equations contain semantic and structural features, and both of them should be captured together. To address these issues, we propose MathSum, a novel summarization model which utilizes a pointer mechanism combined with a multi-head attention mechanism for mathematical representation augmentation. The pointer mechanism can either copy textual tokens or math tokens from source questions in order to generate math headlines. The multi-head attention mechanism is designed to enrich the representation of math equations by modeling and integrating both its semantic and structural features. For evaluation, we collect and make available two sets of real-world detailed math questions along with human-written math headlines, namely EXEQ-300k and OFEQ-10k. Experimental results demonstrate that our model (MathSum) significantly outperforms state-of-the-art models for both the EXEQ-300k and OFEQ-10k datasets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAAAI 2020 - 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
PublisherAAAI press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781577358350
StatePublished - 2020
Event34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2020 - New York, United States
Duration: Feb 7 2020Feb 12 2020

Publication series

NameAAAI 2020 - 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence


Conference34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence


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