Departmental Papers (CIS)

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper


Pitler, E., Louis, A., & Nenkova, A., Automatic Evaluation of Linguistic Quality in Multi-Document Summarization, 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, July 2010, doi: anthology/P10-1056


To date, few attempts have been made to develop and validate methods for automatic evaluation of linguistic quality in text summarization. We present the first systematic assessment of several diverse classes of metrics designed to capture various aspects of well-written text. We train and test linguistic quality models on consecutive years of NIST evaluation data in order to show the generality of results. For grammaticality, the best results come from a set of syntactic features. Focus, coherence and referential clarity are best evaluated by a class of features measuring local coherence on the basis of cosine similarity between sentences, coreference information, and summarization specific features. Our best results are 90% accuracy for pairwise comparisons of competing systems over a test set of several inputs and 70% for ranking summaries of a specific input.



Date Posted: 30 July 2012