Template-based Abstractive Microblog Opinion Summarisation

Iman Munire Bilal, Bo Wang, Adam Tsakalidis, Dong Nguyen, Rob Procter, Maria Liakata


We introduce the task of microblog opinion summarisation (MOS) and share a dataset of 3100 gold-standard opinion summaries to facilitate research in this domain. The dataset contains summaries of tweets spanning a 2-year period and covers more topics than any other public Twitter summarisation dataset. Summaries are abstractive in nature and have been created by journalists skilled in summarising news articles following a template separating factual information (main story) from author opinions. Our method differs from previous work on generating gold-standard summaries from social media, which usually involves selecting representative posts and thus favours extractive summarisation models. To showcase the dataset's utility and challenges, we benchmark a range of abstractive and extractive state-of-the-art summarisation models and achieve good performance, with the former outperforming the latter. We also show fine-tuning is necessary to improve performance and investigate the benefits of using different sample sizes.


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