Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) represents the latest incarnation of pretrained language models which have recently advanced a wide range of natural language processing tasks. In this paper, we showcase how BERT can be usefully applied in text summarization and propose a general framework for both extractive and abstractive models. We introduce a novel document-level encoder based on BERT which is able to express the semantics of a document and obtain representations for its sentences. Our extractive model is built on top of this encoder by stacking several inter-sentence Transformer layers. For abstractive summarization, we propose a new fine-tuning schedule which adopts different optimizers for the encoder and the decoder as a means of alleviating the mismatch between the two (the former is pretrained while the latter is not). We also demonstrate that a two-staged fine-tuning approach can further boost the quality of the generated summaries. Experiments on three datasets show that our model achieves state-of-the-art results across the board in both extractive and abstractive settings. Our code is available at https://github.com/nlpyang/PreSumm
Recent work pre-training Transformers with self-supervised objectives on large text corpora has shown great success when fine-tuned on downstream NLP tasks including text summarization. However, pre-training objectives tailored for abstractive text summarization have not been explored. Furthermore there is a lack of systematic evaluation across diverse domains. In this work, we propose pre-training large Transformer-based encoder-decoder models on massive text corpora with a new self-supervised objective. In PEGASUS, important sentences are removed/masked from an input document and are generated together as one output sequence from the remaining sentences, similar to an extractive summary. We evaluated our best PEGASUS model on 12 downstream summarization tasks spanning news, science, stories, instructions, emails, patents, and legislative bills. Experiments demonstrate it achieves state-of-the-art performance on all 12 downstream datasets measured by ROUGE scores. Our model also shows surprising performance on low-resource summarization, surpassing previous state-of-the-art results on 6 datasets with only 1000 examples. Finally we validated our results using human evaluation and show that our model summaries achieve human performance on multiple datasets.
Pre-training text representations has recently been shown to significantly improve the state-of-the-art in many natural language processing tasks. The central goal of pre-training is to learn text representations that are useful for subsequent tasks. However, existing approaches are optimized by minimizing a proxy objective, such as the negative log likelihood of language modeling. In this work, we introduce a learning algorithm which directly optimizes model's ability to learn text representations for effective learning of downstream tasks. We show that there is an intrinsic connection between multi-task pre-training and model-agnostic meta-learning with a sequence of meta-train steps. The standard multi-task learning objective adopted in BERT is a special case of our learning algorithm where the depth of meta-train is zero. We study the problem in two settings: unsupervised pre-training and supervised pre-training with different pre-training objects to verify the generality of our approach.Experimental results show that our algorithm brings improvements and learns better initializations for a variety of downstream tasks.
We propose UniViLM: a Unified Video and Language pre-training Model for multimodal understanding and generation. Motivated by the recent success of BERT based pre-training technique for NLP and image-language tasks, VideoBERT and CBT are proposed to exploit BERT model for video and language pre-training using narrated instructional videos. Different from their works which only pre-train understanding task, we propose a unified video-language pre-training model for both understanding and generation tasks. Our model comprises of 4 components including two single-modal encoders, a cross encoder and a decoder with the Transformer backbone. We first pre-train our model to learn the universal representation for both video and language on a large instructional video dataset. Then we fine-tune the model on two multimodal tasks including understanding task (text-based video retrieval) and generation task (multimodal video captioning). Our extensive experiments show that our method can improve the performance of both understanding and generation tasks and achieves the state-of-the art results.
The advent of deep neural networks pre-trained via language modeling tasks has spurred a number of successful applications in natural language processing. This work explores one such popular model, BERT, in the context of document ranking. We propose two variants, called monoBERT and duoBERT, that formulate the ranking problem as pointwise and pairwise classification, respectively. These two models are arranged in a multi-stage ranking architecture to form an end-to-end search system. One major advantage of this design is the ability to trade off quality against latency by controlling the admission of candidates into each pipeline stage, and by doing so, we are able to find operating points that offer a good balance between these two competing metrics. On two large-scale datasets, MS MARCO and TREC CAR, experiments show that our model produces results that are either at or comparable to the state of the art. Ablation studies show the contributions of each component and characterize the latency/quality tradeoff space.
This paper presents a unified Vision-Language Pre-training (VLP) model. The model is unified in that (1) it can be fine-tuned for either vision-language generation (e.g., image captioning) or understanding (e.g., visual question answering) tasks, and (2) it uses a shared multi-layer transformer network for both encoding and decoding, which differs from many existing methods where the encoder and decoder are implemented using separate models. The unified VLP model is pre-trained on a large amount of image-text pairs using the unsupervised learning objectives of two tasks: bidirectional and sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) masked vision-language prediction. The two tasks differ solely in what context the prediction conditions on. This is controlled by utilizing specific self-attention masks for the shared transformer network. To the best of our knowledge, VLP is the first reported model that achieves state-of-the-art results on both vision-language generation and understanding tasks, as disparate as image captioning and visual question answering, across three challenging benchmark datasets: COCO Captions, Flickr30k Captions, and VQA 2.0. The code and the pre-trained models are available at https://github.com/LuoweiZhou/VLP.
Pre-trained language model representations have been successful in a wide range of language understanding tasks. In this paper, we examine different strategies to integrate pre-trained representations into sequence to sequence models and apply it to neural machine translation and abstractive summarization. We find that pre-trained representations are most effective when added to the encoder network which slows inference by only 14%. Our experiments in machine translation show gains of up to 5.3 BLEU in a simulated resource-poor setup. While returns diminish with more labeled data, we still observe improvements when millions of sentence-pairs are available. Finally, on abstractive summarization we achieve a new state of the art on the full text version of CNN/DailyMail.
BERT, a pre-trained Transformer model, has achieved ground-breaking performance on multiple NLP tasks. In this paper, we describe BERTSUM, a simple variant of BERT, for extractive summarization. Our system is the state of the art on the CNN/Dailymail dataset, outperforming the previous best-performed system by 1.65 on ROUGE-L. The codes to reproduce our results are available at https://github.com/nlpyang/BertSum
We introduce a new language representation model called BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. Unlike recent language representation models, BERT is designed to pre-train deep bidirectional representations by jointly conditioning on both left and right context in all layers. As a result, the pre-trained BERT representations can be fine-tuned with just one additional output layer to create state-of-the-art models for a wide range of tasks, such as question answering and language inference, without substantial task-specific architecture modifications. BERT is conceptually simple and empirically powerful. It obtains new state-of-the-art results on eleven natural language processing tasks, including pushing the GLUE benchmark to 80.4% (7.6% absolute improvement), MultiNLI accuracy to 86.7 (5.6% absolute improvement) and the SQuAD v1.1 question answering Test F1 to 93.2 (1.5% absolute improvement), outperforming human performance by 2.0%.
Coherence plays a critical role in producing a high-quality summary from a document. In recent years, neural extractive summarization is becoming increasingly attractive. However, most of them ignore the coherence of summaries when extracting sentences. As an effort towards extracting coherent summaries, we propose a neural coherence model to capture the cross-sentence semantic and syntactic coherence patterns. The proposed neural coherence model obviates the need for feature engineering and can be trained in an end-to-end fashion using unlabeled data. Empirical results show that the proposed neural coherence model can efficiently capture the cross-sentence coherence patterns. Using the combined output of the neural coherence model and ROUGE package as the reward, we design a reinforcement learning method to train a proposed neural extractive summarizer which is named Reinforced Neural Extractive Summarization (RNES) model. The RNES model learns to optimize coherence and informative importance of the summary simultaneously. Experimental results show that the proposed RNES outperforms existing baselines and achieves state-of-the-art performance in term of ROUGE on CNN/Daily Mail dataset. The qualitative evaluation indicates that summaries produced by RNES are more coherent and readable.
We present deep communicating agents in an encoder-decoder architecture to address the challenges of representing a long document for abstractive summarization. With deep communicating agents, the task of encoding a long text is divided across multiple collaborating agents, each in charge of a subsection of the input text. These encoders are connected to a single decoder, trained end-to-end using reinforcement learning to generate a focused and coherent summary. Empirical results demonstrate that multiple communicating encoders lead to a higher quality summary compared to several strong baselines, including those based on a single encoder or multiple non-communicating encoders.