QCS: A system for querying, clustering and summarizing documents

TitleQCS: A system for querying, clustering and summarizing documents
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDunlavy DM, O’Leary DP, Conroy JM, Schlesinger JD
JournalInformation Processing & Management
Pagination1588 - 1605
Date Published2007/11//
ISBN Number0306-4573
Keywordsclustering, Information retrieval, latent semantic indexing, Sentence trimming, Summarization, TEXT PROCESSING

Information retrieval systems consist of many complicated components. Research and development of such systems is often hampered by the difficulty in evaluating how each particular component would behave across multiple systems. We present a novel integrated information retrieval system—the Query, Cluster, Summarize (QCS) system—which is portable, modular, and permits experimentation with different instantiations of each of the constituent text analysis components. Most importantly, the combination of the three types of methods in the QCS design improves retrievals by providing users more focused information organized by topic.We demonstrate the improved performance by a series of experiments using standard test sets from the Document Understanding Conferences (DUC) as measured by the best known automatic metric for summarization system evaluation, ROUGE. Although the DUC data and evaluations were originally designed to test multidocument summarization, we developed a framework to extend it to the task of evaluation for each of the three components: query, clustering, and summarization. Under this framework, we then demonstrate that the QCS system (end-to-end) achieves performance as good as or better than the best summarization engines.
Given a query, QCS retrieves relevant documents, separates the retrieved documents into topic clusters, and creates a single summary for each cluster. In the current implementation, Latent Semantic Indexing is used for retrieval, generalized spherical k-means is used for the document clustering, and a method coupling sentence “trimming” and a hidden Markov model, followed by a pivoted QR decomposition, is used to create a single extract summary for each cluster. The user interface is designed to provide access to detailed information in a compact and useful format.
Our system demonstrates the feasibility of assembling an effective IR system from existing software libraries, the usefulness of the modularity of the design, and the value of this particular combination of modules.