Zheheng Luo


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Overview of the BioLaySumm 2023 Shared Task on Lay Summarization of Biomedical Research Articles
Tomas Goldsack | Zheheng Luo | Qianqian Xie | Carolina Scarton | Matthew Shardlow | Sophia Ananiadou | Chenghua Lin
The 22nd Workshop on Biomedical Natural Language Processing and BioNLP Shared Tasks

This paper presents the results of the shared task on Lay Summarisation of Biomedical Research Articles (BioLaySumm), hosted at the BioNLP Workshop at ACL 2023. The goal of this shared task is to develop abstractive summarisation models capable of generating “lay summaries” (i.e., summaries that are comprehensible to non-technical audiences) in both a controllable and non-controllable setting. There are two subtasks: 1) Lay Summarisation, where the goal is for participants to build models for lay summary generation only, given the full article text and the corresponding abstract as input; and2) Readability-controlled Summarisation, where the goal is for participants to train models to generate both the technical abstract and the lay summary, given an article’s main text as input. In addition to overall results, we report on the setup and insights from the BioLaySumm shared task, which attracted a total of 20 participating teams across both subtasks.


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Readability Controllable Biomedical Document Summarization
Zheheng Luo | Qianqian Xie | Sophia Ananiadou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Different from general documents, it is recognised that the ease with which people can understand a biomedical text is eminently varied, owing to the highly technical nature of biomedical documents and the variance of readers’ domain knowledge. However, existing biomedical document summarization systems have paid little attention to readability control, leaving users with summaries that are incompatible with their levels of expertise. In recognition of this urgent demand, we introduce a new task of readability controllable summarization for biomedical documents, which aims to recognise users’ readability demands and generate summaries that better suit their needs: technical summaries for experts and plain language summaries (PLS) for laymen. To establish this task, we construct a corpus consisting of biomedical papers with technical summaries and PLSs written by the authors, and benchmark multiple advanced controllable abstractive and extractive summarization models based on pre-trained language models (PLMs) with prevalent controlling and generation techniques. Moreover, we propose a novel masked language model (MLM) based metric and its variant to effectively evaluate the readability discrepancy between lay and technical summaries. Experimental results from automated and human evaluations show that though current control techniques allow for a certain degree of readability adjustment during generation, the performance of existing controllable summarization methods is far from desirable in this task.