Automatic text summarization using lexical chains : algorithms and experiments

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Kolla, Maheedhar
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2004
Summarization is a complex task that requires understanding of the document content to determine the importance of the text. Lexical cohesion is a method to identify connected portions of the text based on the relations between the words in the text. Lexical cohesive relations can be represented using lexical chaings. Lexical chains are sequences of semantically related words spread over the entire text. Lexical chains are used in variety of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Information Retrieval (IR) applications. In current thesis, we propose a lexical chaining method that includes the glossary relations in the chaining process. These relations enable us to identify topically related concepts, for instance dormitory and student, and thereby enhances the identification of cohesive ties in the text. We then present methods that use the lexical chains to generate summaries by extracting sentences from the document(s). Headlines are generated by filtering the portions of the sentences extracted, which do not contribute towards the meaning of the sentence. Headlines generated can be used in real world application to skim through the document collections in a digital library. Multi-document summarization is gaining demand with the explosive growth of online news sources. It requires identification of the several themes present in the collection to attain good compression and avoid redundancy. In this thesis, we propose methods to group the portions of the texts of a document collection into meaningful clusters. clustering enable us to extract the various themes of the document collection. Sentences from clusters can then be extracted to generate a summary for the multi-document collection. Clusters can also be used to generate summaries with respect to a given query. We designed a system to compute lexical chains for the given text and use them to extract the salient portions of the document. Some specific tasks considered are: headline generation, multi-document summarization, and query-based summarization. Our experimental evaluation shows that efficient summaries can be extracted for the above tasks.
viii, 80 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Dissertations, Academic , Automatic abstracting , Cluster analysis -- Computer programs , Computational linguistics