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Highres: Highlight-based reference-less evaluation of summarization

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Narayan, S 


There has been substantial progress in summarization research enabled by the availability of novel, often large-scale, datasets and recent advances on neural network-based approaches. However, manual evaluation of the system generated summaries is inconsistent due to the difficulty the task poses to human non-expert readers. To address this is- sue, we propose a novel approach for manual evaluation, HIGHlight-based Reference-less Evaluation of Summarization (HIGHRES), in which summaries are assessed by multiple an- notators against the source document via manually highlighted salient content in the latter. Thus summary assessment on the source document by human judges is facilitated, while the highlights can be used for evaluating multiple systems. To validate our approach we employ crowd-workers to augment with high- lights a recently proposed dataset and compare two state-of-the-art systems. We demonstrate that HIGHRES improves inter-annotator agreement in comparison to using the source document directly, while they help emphasize differences among systems that would be ignored under other evaluation approaches.



Journal Title

ACL 2019 - 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference Name

Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Association for Computational Linguistics
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R021643/2)