Coherence plays a critical role in producing a high-quality summary from a document. In recent years, neural extractive summarization is becoming increasingly attractive. However, most of them ignore the coherence of summaries when extracting sentences. As an effort towards extracting coherent summaries, we propose a neural coherence model to capture the cross-sentence semantic and syntactic coherence patterns. The proposed neural coherence model obviates the need for feature engineering and can be trained in an end-to-end fashion using unlabeled data. Empirical results show that the proposed neural coherence model can efficiently capture the cross-sentence coherence patterns. Using the combined output of the neural coherence model and ROUGE package as the reward, we design a reinforcement learning method to train a proposed neural extractive summarizer which is named Reinforced Neural Extractive Summarization (RNES) model. The RNES model learns to optimize coherence and informative importance of the summary simultaneously. The experimental results show that the proposed RNES outperforms existing baselines and achieves state-of-the-art performance in term of ROUGE on CNN/Daily Mail dataset. The qualitative evaluation indicates that summaries produced by RNES are more coherent and readable.
Topic models have the potential to improve search and browsing by extracting useful semantic themes from web pages and other text documents. When learned topics are coherent and interpretable, they can be valuable for faceted browsing, results set diversity analysis, and document retrieval. However, when dealing with small collections or noisy text (e.g. web search result snippets or blog posts), learned topics can be less coherent, less interpretable, and less useful. To overcome this, we propose two methods to regularize the learning of topic models. Our regularizers work by creating a structured prior over words that reflect broad patterns in the external data. Using thirteen datasets we show that both regularizers improve topic coherence and interpretability while learning a faithful representation of the collection of interest. Overall, this work makes topic models more useful across a broader range of text data.
Coherence of text is an important attribute to be measured for both manually and automatically generated discourse; but well-defined quantitative metrics for it are still elusive. In this paper, we present a metric for scoring topical coherence of an input paragraph on a real-valued scale by analyzing its underlying topical structure. We first extract all possible topics that the sentences of a paragraph of text are related to. Coherence of this text is then measured by computing: (a) the degree of uncertainty of the topics with respect to the paragraph, and (b) the relatedness between these topics. All components of our modular framework rely only on unlabeled data and WordNet, thus making it completely unsupervised, which is an important feature for general-purpose usage of any metric. Experiments are conducted on two datasets - a publicly available dataset for essay grading (representing human discourse), and a synthetic dataset constructed by mixing content from multiple paragraphs covering diverse topics. Our evaluation shows that the measured coherence scores are positively correlated with the ground truth for both the datasets. Further validation to our coherence scores is provided by conducting human evaluation on the synthetic data, showing a significant agreement of 79.3%
Significant progress has been made in deep-learning based Automatic Essay Scoring (AES) systems in the past two decades. However, little research has been put to understand and interpret the black-box nature of these deep-learning based scoring models. Recent work shows that automated scoring systems are prone to even common-sense adversarial samples. Their lack of natural language understanding capability raises questions on the models being actively used by millions of candidates for life-changing decisions. With scoring being a highly multi-modal task, it becomes imperative for scoring models to be validated and tested on all these modalities. We utilize recent advances in interpretability to find the extent to which features such as coherence, content and relevance are important for automated scoring mechanisms and why they are susceptible to adversarial samples. We find that the systems tested consider essays not as a piece of prose having the characteristics of natural flow of speech and grammatical structure, but as `word-soups' where a few words are much more important than the other words. Removing the context surrounding those few important words causes the prose to lose the flow of speech and grammar, however has little impact on the predicted score. We also find that since the models are not semantically grounded with world-knowledge and common sense, adding false facts such as ``the world is flat'' actually increases the score instead of decreasing it.