To Build Text Summaries of High Quality, Nuclearity is not Sufficient

Daniel Marcu

Researchers in discourse have long hypothesized that the nuclei of a rhetorical structure tree provide a good summary of the text for which that tree was built. In this paper, I discuss a psycholinguistic experiment that validates this hypothesis, but that also shows that the distinction between nuclei and satellites is not sufficient if we want to build summaries of very high quality. I empirically compare various techniques for mapping discourse trees into partial orders that reflect the importance of the elementary textual units in texts and I discuss both their strengths and weaknesses.

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