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Computational Linguistics

Hwee Tou Ng, Editor
March 2010, Vol. 36, No. 1, Pages 71-109
(doi: 10.1162/coli.2010.36.1.36102)
© 2010 Association for Computational Linguistics
Summarizing Short Stories
Article PDF (971.36 KB)

We present an approach to the automatic creation of extractive summaries of literary short stories. The summaries are produced with a specific objective in mind: to help a reader decide whether she would be interested in reading the complete story. To this end, the summaries give the user relevant information about the setting of the story without revealing its plot. The system relies on assorted surface indicators about clauses in the short story, the most important of which are those related to the aspectual type of a clause and to the main entities in a story. Fifteen judges evaluated the summaries on a number of extrinsic and intrinsic measures. The outcome of this evaluation suggests that the summaries are helpful in achieving the original objective.