Automatic Generation of Headlines for Online Math Questions


  • Ke Yuan Peking University
  • Dafang He The Pennsylvania State University
  • Zhuoren Jiang Sun Yat-sen University
  • Liangcai Gao Peking University
  • Zhi Tang Peking University
  • C. Lee Giles The Pennsylvania State University



Mathematical equations are an important part of dissemination and communication of scientific information. Students, however, often feel challenged in reading and understanding math content and equations. With the development of the Web, students are posting their math questions online. Nevertheless, constructing a concise math headline that gives a good description of the posted detailed math question is nontrivial. In this study, we explore a novel summarization task denoted as geNerating A concise Math hEadline from a detailed math question (NAME). Compared to conventional summarization tasks, this task has two extra and essential constraints: 1) Detailed math questions consist of text and math equations which require a unified framework to jointly model textual and mathematical information; 2) Unlike text, math equations contain semantic and structural features, and both of them should be captured together. To address these issues, we propose MathSum, a novel summarization model which utilizes a pointer mechanism combined with a multi-head attention mechanism for mathematical representation augmentation. The pointer mechanism can either copy textual tokens or math tokens from source questions in order to generate math headlines. The multi-head attention mechanism is designed to enrich the representation of math equations by modeling and integrating both its semantic and structural features. For evaluation, we collect and make available two sets of real-world detailed math questions along with human-written math headlines, namely EXEQ-300k and OFEQ-10k. Experimental results demonstrate that our model (MathSum) significantly outperforms state-of-the-art models for both the EXEQ-300k and OFEQ-10k datasets.




How to Cite

Yuan, K., He, D., Jiang, Z., Gao, L., Tang, Z., & Giles, C. L. (2020). Automatic Generation of Headlines for Online Math Questions. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 34(05), 9490-9497.



AAAI Technical Track: Natural Language Processing