Towards Improving Faithfulness in Abstractive Summarization

Xiuying Chen, Mingzhe Li, Xin Gao*, Xiangliang Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Despite the success achieved in neural abstractive summarization based on pretrained language models, one unresolved issue is that the generated summaries are not always faithful to the input document. There are two possible causes of the unfaithfulness problem: (1) the summarization model fails to understand or capture the gist of the input text, and (2) the model over-relies on the language model to generate fluent but inadequate words. In this work, we propose a Faithfulness Enhanced Summarization model (FES), which is designed for addressing these two problems and improving faithfulness in abstractive summarization. For the first problem, we propose to use question-answering (QA) to examine whether the encoder fully grasps the input document and can answer the questions on the key information in the input. The QA attention on the proper input words can also be used to stipulate how the decoder should attend to the source. For the second problem, we introduce a max-margin loss defined on the difference between the language and the summarization model, aiming to prevent the overconfidence of the language model. Extensive experiments on two benchmark summarization datasets, CNN/DM and XSum, demonstrate that our model significantly outperforms strong baselines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 - 36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
EditorsS. Koyejo, S. Mohamed, A. Agarwal, D. Belgrave, K. Cho, A. Oh
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Electronic)9781713871088
StatePublished - 2022
Event36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Nov 28 2022Dec 9 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
ISSN (Print)1049-5258


Conference36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Neural information processing systems foundation. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards Improving Faithfulness in Abstractive Summarization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this