TACL Paper (published in the MIT Press): Template-based Abstractive Microblog Opinion Summarisation

We introduce the task of microblog opinion summarization (MOS) and share a dataset of 3100 gold-standard opinion summaries to facilitate research in this domain. The dataset contains summaries of tweets spanning a 2-year period and covers more topics than any other public Twitter summarization dataset. Summaries are abstractive in nature and have been created by journalists skilled in summarizing news articles following a template separating factual information (main story) from author opinions. Our method differs from previous work on generating gold-standard summaries from social media, which usually involves selecting representative posts and thus favors extractive summarization models. To showcase the dataset’s utility and challenges, we benchmark a range of abstractive and extractive state-of-the-art summarization models and achieve good performance, with the former outperforming the latter. We also show that fine-tuning is necessary to improve performance and investigate the benefits of using different sample sizes (Full Text).