Opinion summarization focuses on generating summaries that reflect popular subjective information expressed in multiple online reviews.While generated summaries offer general and concise information about a particular hotel or product, the information may be insufficient to help the user compare multiple different choices.Thus, the user may still struggle with the question “Which one should I pick?” In this paper, we propose the comparative opinion summarization task, which aims at generating two contrastive summaries and one common summary from two different candidate sets of reviews.We develop a comparative summarization framework CoCoSum, which consists of two base summarization models that jointly generate contrastive and common summaries.Experimental results on a newly created benchmark CoCoTrip show that CoCoSum can produce higher-quality contrastive and common summaries than state-of-the-art opinion summarization models.The dataset and code are available at https://github.com/megagonlabs/cocosum
Recent work on opinion summarization produces general summaries based on a set of input reviews and the popularity of opinions expressed in them. In this paper, we propose an approach that allows the generation of customized summaries based on aspect queries (e.g., describing the location and room of a hotel). Using a review corpus, we create a synthetic training dataset of (review, summary) pairs enriched with aspect controllers which are induced by a multi-instance learning model that predicts the aspects of a document at different levels of granularity. We fine-tune a pretrained model using our synthetic dataset and generate aspect-specific summaries by modifying the aspect controllers. Experiments on two benchmarks show that our model outperforms the previous state of the art and generates personalized summaries by controlling the number of aspects discussed in them.
Abstract We present the Quantized Transformer (QT), an unsupervised system for extractive opinion summarization. QT is inspired by Vector- Quantized Variational Autoencoders, which we repurpose for popularity-driven summarization. It uses a clustering interpretation of the quantized space and a novel extraction algorithm to discover popular opinions among hundreds of reviews, a significant step towards opinion summarization of practical scope. In addition, QT enables controllable summarization without further training, by utilizing properties of the quantized space to extract aspect-specific summaries. We also make publicly available Space, a large-scale evaluation benchmark for opinion summarizers, comprising general and aspect-specific summaries for 50 hotels. Experiments demonstrate the promise of our approach, which is validated by human studies where judges showed clear preference for our method over competitive baselines.
Recent advances in text autoencoders have significantly improved the quality of the latent space, which enables models to generate grammatical and consistent text from aggregated latent vectors. As a successful application of this property, unsupervised opinion summarization models generate a summary by decoding the aggregated latent vectors of inputs. More specifically, they perform the aggregation via simple average. However, little is known about how the vector aggregation step affects the generation quality. In this study, we revisit the commonly used simple average approach by examining the latent space and generated summaries. We found that text autoencoders tend to generate overly generic summaries from simply averaged latent vectors due to an unexpected L2-norm shrinkage in the aggregated latent vectors, which we refer to as summary vector degeneration. To overcome this issue, we develop a framework Coop, which searches input combinations for the latent vector aggregation using input-output word overlap. Experimental results show that Coop successfully alleviates the summary vector degeneration issue and establishes new state-of-the-art performance on two opinion summarization benchmarks. Code is available at https://github.com/megagonlabs/coop.
We present OpinionDigest, an abstractive opinion summarization framework, which does not rely on gold-standard summaries for training. The framework uses an Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis model to extract opinion phrases from reviews, and trains a Transformer model to reconstruct the original reviews from these extractions. At summarization time, we merge extractions from multiple reviews and select the most popular ones. The selected opinions are used as input to the trained Transformer model, which verbalizes them into an opinion summary. OpinionDigest can also generate customized summaries, tailored to specific user needs, by filtering the selected opinions according to their aspect and/or sentiment. Automatic evaluation on Yelp data shows that our framework outperforms competitive baselines. Human studies on two corpora verify that OpinionDigest produces informative summaries and shows promising customization capabilities.
We present a system for answering questions based on the full text of books (BookQA), which first selects book passages given a question at hand, and then uses a memory network to reason and predict an answer. To improve generalization, we pretrain our memory network using artificial questions generated from book sentences. We experiment with the recently published NarrativeQA corpus, on the subset of Who questions, which expect book characters as answers. We experimentally show that BERT-based retrieval and pretraining improve over baseline results significantly. At the same time, we confirm that NarrativeQA is a highly challenging data set, and that there is need for novel research in order to achieve high-precision BookQA results. We analyze some of the bottlenecks of the current approach, and we argue that more research is needed on text representation, retrieval of relevant passages, and reasoning, including commonsense knowledge.
We consider the task of fine-grained sentiment analysis from the perspective of multiple instance learning (MIL). Our neural model is trained on document sentiment labels, and learns to predict the sentiment of text segments, i.e. sentences or elementary discourse units (EDUs), without segment-level supervision. We introduce an attention-based polarity scoring method for identifying positive and negative text snippets and a new dataset which we call SpoT (as shorthand for Segment-level POlariTy annotations) for evaluating MIL-style sentiment models like ours. Experimental results demonstrate superior performance against multiple baselines, whereas a judgement elicitation study shows that EDU-level opinion extraction produces more informative summaries than sentence-based alternatives.
We present a neural framework for opinion summarization from online product reviews which is knowledge-lean and only requires light supervision (e.g., in the form of product domain labels and user-provided ratings). Our method combines two weakly supervised components to identify salient opinions and form extractive summaries from multiple reviews: an aspect extractor trained under a multi-task objective, and a sentiment predictor based on multiple instance learning. We introduce an opinion summarization dataset that includes a training set of product reviews from six diverse domains and human-annotated development and test sets with gold standard aspect annotations, salience labels, and opinion summaries. Automatic evaluation shows significant improvements over baselines, and a large-scale study indicates that our opinion summaries are preferred by human judges according to multiple criteria.