Sentence Generation for Entity Description with Content-Plan Attention
We study neural data-to-text generation. Specifically, we consider a target entity that is associated with a set of attributes. We aim to generate a sentence to describe the target entity. Previous studies use encoder-decoder frameworks where the encoder treats the input as a linear sequence and uses LSTM to encode the sequence. However, linearizing a set of attributes may not yield the proper order of the attributes, and hence leads the encoder to produce an improper context to generate a description. To handle disordered input, recent studies propose two-stage neural models that use pointer networks to generate a content-plan (i.e., content-planner) and use the content-plan as input for an encoder-decoder model (i.e., text generator). However, in two-stage models, the content-planner may yield an incomplete content-plan, due to missing one or more salient attributes in the generated content-plan. This will in turn cause the text generator to generate an incomplete description. To address these problems, we propose a novel attention model that exploits content-plan to highlight salient attributes in a proper order. The challenge of integrating a content-plan in the attention model of an encoder-decoder framework is to align the content-plan and the generated description. We handle this problem by devising a coverage mechanism to track the extent to which the content-plan is exposed in the previous decoding time-step, and hence it helps our proposed attention model select the attributes to be mentioned in the description in a proper order. Experimental results show that our model outperforms state-of-the-art baselines by up to 3% and 5% in terms of BLEU score on two real-world datasets, respectively.