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Focused Multi-Document Summarization (MDS) is concerned with summarizing documents in a collection with a concentration toward a particular external request (i.e. query, question, topic, etc.), or focus. Although the current state-of-the-art provides somewhat decent performance for DUC/TAC-like evaluations (i.e. government and news concerns), other considerations need to be explored. This paper not only briefly explores the state-of-the-art in automatic systems techniques, but also a comparison with human summarization activity.


This article first appeared in the May 2010 issue of Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, the member magazine of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, and is reprinted with permission.

© 2010 by the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges. Reprinted with permission.