Copy or Rewrite: Hybrid Summarization with Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning
Jointly using the extractive and abstractive summarization methods can combine their complementary advantages, generating both informative and concise summary. Existing methods that adopt an extract-then-abstract strategy have achieved impressive results, yet they suffer from the information loss in the abstraction step because they compress all the selected sentences without distinguish. Especially when the whole sentence is summary-worthy, salient content would be lost by compression. To address this problem, we propose HySum, a hybrid framework for summarization that can flexibly switch between copying sentence and rewriting sentence according to the degree of redundancy. In this way, our approach can effectively combine the advantages of two branches of summarization, juggling informativity and conciseness. Moreover, we based on Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning, propose an end-to-end reinforcing method to bridge together the extraction module and rewriting module, which can enhance the cooperation between them. Automatic evaluation shows that our approach significantly outperforms the state-of-the-arts on the CNN/DailyMail corpus. Human evaluation also demonstrates that our generated summaries are more informative and concise than popular models.