Abstractive summarization is useful in providing a summary or digest of news or other web texts and enhancing users reading experience, especially when they are reading on small displays such as mobile phones. However, existing encoder-decoder summarization models have difficulty learning the latent alignment between source documents and summaries because of their vast disparity in length. In this paper, we propose a extractor-abstractor framework in which the keyword-based extractor selects a few sets of salient sentences from the input document and then the abstractor paraphrases these sets of sentences in parallel, which are more aligned to the summary, to generate the final summary. The new extractor and abstractor are pre-trained from a set of “pseudo summaries” extracted by specially designed heuristics, and then further trained together in a reinforcement learning framework. The results show that the proposed model generates high-quality summaries with faster training speed and less training memory footprint, and outperforms the state-of-the-art models on CNN/Daily Mail, Webis-TLDR-17, Webis-Snippet-20, WikiHow and DUC-2002 datasets.

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