Towards Summarizing Multiple Documents with Hierarchical Relationships


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Most existing multi-document summarization (MDS) datasets lack human-generated and genuine (i.e., not synthetic) summaries or source documents with explicit inter-document relationships that a summary must capture. To enhance the capabilities of MDS systems we present PeerSum, a novel dataset for generating meta-reviews of scientific papers, where the meta-reviews are highly abstractive and genuine summaries of reviews and corresponding discussions. These source documents have rich inter-document relationships of an explicit hierarchical structure with cross-references and often feature conflicts. As there is a scarcity of research that incorporates hierarchical relationships into MDS systems through attention manipulation on pre-trained language models, we additionally present Rammer (Relationship-aware Multi-task Meta-review Generator), a meta-review generation model that uses sparse attention based on the hierarchical relationships and a multi-task objective that predicts several metadata features in addition to the standard text generation objective. Our experimental results show that PeerSum is a challenging dataset, and Rammer outperforms other strong baseline MDS models under various evaluation metrics.
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