Unsupervised Opinion Summarization with Content Planning


  • Reinald Kim Amplayo University of Edinburgh
  • Stefanos Angelidis University of Edinburgh
  • Mirella Lapata University of Edinburgh






The recent success of deep learning techniques for abstractive summarization is predicated on the availability of large-scale datasets. When summarizing reviews (e.g., for products or movies), such training data is neither available nor can be easily sourced, motivating the development of methods which rely on synthetic datasets for supervised training. We show that explicitly incorporating content planning in a summarization model not only yields output of higher quality, but also allows the creation of synthetic datasets which are more natural, resembling real world document-summary pairs. Our content plans take the form of aspect and sentiment distributions which we induce from data without access to expensive annotations. Synthetic datasets are created by sampling pseudo-reviews from a Dirichlet distribution parametrized by our content planner, while our model generates summaries based on input reviews and induced content plans. Experimental results on three domains show that our approach outperforms competitive models in generating informative, coherent, and fluent summaries that capture opinion consensus.




How to Cite

Amplayo, R. K., Angelidis, S., & Lapata, M. (2021). Unsupervised Opinion Summarization with Content Planning. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 35(14), 12489-12497. https://doi.org/10.1609/aaai.v35i14.17481



AAAI Technical Track on Speech and Natural Language Processing I