Simeng Han


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QTSumm: Query-Focused Summarization over Tabular Data
Yilun Zhao | Zhenting Qi | Linyong Nan | Boyu Mi | Yixin Liu | Weijin Zou | Simeng Han | Ruizhe Chen | Xiangru Tang | Yumo Xu | Dragomir Radev | Arman Cohan
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

People primarily consult tables to conduct data analysis or answer specific questions. Text generation systems that can provide accurate table summaries tailored to users’ information needs can facilitate more efficient access to relevant data insights. Motivated by this, we define a new query-focused table summarization task, where text generation models have to perform human-like reasoning and analysis over the given table to generate a tailored summary. We introduce a new benchmark named QTSumm for this task, which contains 7,111 human-annotated query-summary pairs over 2,934 tables covering diverse topics. We investigate a set of strong baselines on QTSumm, including text generation, table-to-text generation, and large language models. Experimental results and manual analysis reveal that the new task presents significant challenges in table-to-text generation for future research. Moreover, we propose a new approach named ReFactor, to retrieve and reason over query-relevant information from tabular data to generate several natural language facts. Experimental results demonstrate that ReFactor can bring effective improvements to baselines by concatenating the generated facts to the model input. Our data and code are publicly available at

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Revisiting the Gold Standard: Grounding Summarization Evaluation with Robust Human Evaluation
Yixin Liu | Alex Fabbri | Pengfei Liu | Yilun Zhao | Linyong Nan | Ruilin Han | Simeng Han | Shafiq Joty | Chien-Sheng Wu | Caiming Xiong | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Human evaluation is the foundation upon which the evaluation of both summarization systems and automatic metrics rests. However, existing human evaluation studies for summarization either exhibit a low inter-annotator agreement or have insufficient scale, and an in-depth analysis of human evaluation is lacking. Therefore, we address the shortcomings of existing summarization evaluation along the following axes: (1) We propose a modified summarization salience protocol, Atomic Content Units (ACUs), which is based on fine-grained semantic units and allows for a high inter-annotator agreement. (2) We curate the Robust Summarization Evaluation (RoSE) benchmark, a large human evaluation dataset consisting of 22,000 summary-level annotations over 28 top-performing systems on three datasets. (3) We conduct a comparative study of four human evaluation protocols, underscoring potential confounding factors in evaluation setups. (4) We evaluate 50 automatic metrics and their variants using the collected human annotations across evaluation protocols and demonstrate how our benchmark leads to more statistically stable and significant results. The metrics we benchmarked include recent methods based on large language models (LLMs), GPTScore and G-Eval. Furthermore, our findings have important implications for evaluating LLMs, as we show that LLMs adjusted by human feedback (e.g., GPT-3.5) may overfit unconstrained human evaluation, which is affected by the annotators’ prior, input-agnostic preferences, calling for more robust, targeted evaluation methods.


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CREATIVESUMM: Shared Task on Automatic Summarization for Creative Writing
Divyansh Agarwal | Alexander R. Fabbri | Simeng Han | Wojciech Kryscinski | Faisal Ladhak | Bryan Li | Kathleen McKeown | Dragomir Radev | Tianyi Zhang | Sam Wiseman
Proceedings of The Workshop on Automatic Summarization for Creative Writing

This paper introduces the shared task of summrizing documents in several creative domains, namely literary texts, movie scripts, and television scripts. Summarizing these creative documents requires making complex literary interpretations, as well as understanding non-trivial temporal dependencies in texts containing varied styles of plot development and narrative structure. This poses unique challenges and is yet underexplored for text summarization systems. In this shared task, we introduce four sub-tasks and their corresponding datasets, focusing on summarizing books, movie scripts, primetime television scripts, and daytime soap opera scripts. We detail the process of curating these datasets for the task, as well as the metrics used for the evaluation of the submissions. As part of the CREATIVESUMM workshop at COLING 2022, the shared task attracted 18 submissions in total. We discuss the submissions and the baselines for each sub-task in this paper, along with directions for facilitating future work.


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Improving Zero and Few-Shot Abstractive Summarization with Intermediate Fine-tuning and Data Augmentation
Alexander Fabbri | Simeng Han | Haoyuan Li | Haoran Li | Marjan Ghazvininejad | Shafiq Joty | Dragomir Radev | Yashar Mehdad
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Models pretrained with self-supervised objectives on large text corpora achieve state-of-the-art performance on English text summarization tasks. However, these models are typically fine-tuned on hundreds of thousands of data points, an infeasible requirement when applying summarization to new, niche domains. In this work, we introduce a novel and generalizable method, called WikiTransfer, for fine-tuning pretrained models for summarization in an unsupervised, dataset-specific manner. WikiTransfer fine-tunes pretrained models on pseudo-summaries, produced from generic Wikipedia data, which contain characteristics of the target dataset, such as the length and level of abstraction of the desired summaries. WikiTransfer models achieve state-of-the-art, zero-shot abstractive summarization performance on the CNN-DailyMail dataset and demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on three additional diverse datasets. These models are more robust to noisy data and also achieve better or comparable few-shot performance using 10 and 100 training examples when compared to few-shot transfer from other summarization datasets. To further boost performance, we employ data augmentation via round-trip translation as well as introduce a regularization term for improved few-shot transfer. To understand the role of dataset aspects in transfer performance and the quality of the resulting output summaries, we further study the effect of the components of our unsupervised fine-tuning data and analyze few-shot performance using both automatic and human evaluation.


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Hierarchical Pointer Net Parsing
Linlin Liu | Xiang Lin | Shafiq Joty | Simeng Han | Lidong Bing
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Transition-based top-down parsing with pointer networks has achieved state-of-the-art results in multiple parsing tasks, while having a linear time complexity. However, the decoder of these parsers has a sequential structure, which does not yield the most appropriate inductive bias for deriving tree structures. In this paper, we propose hierarchical pointer network parsers, and apply them to dependency and sentence-level discourse parsing tasks. Our results on standard benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, outperforming existing methods and setting a new state-of-the-art.