Sometimes, when faced with a large text document, you just want to get to the point. You’re a busy person, you have a hundred other documents just like this one to go through today, and you just need a concise overview of the general ideas and themes.
You need a summary – and Salience provides.
Continuing our series on Salience’s functionalities, we’re taking a look at the world of summaries and how Salience automatically provides summaries of every document you feed it.
Above, I have copy-pasted the text from the New York Times article into the Salience demo application and run the Get Summary process.
Salience gave me the following summary:
“An international court has awarded the shareholders of the now-defunct Yukos oil company more than $50 billion, ruling that the Russian government wrongly seized the company from one of the country’s most powerful oligarchs...Mr. Khodorkovsky gained control of Yukos through Russia’s privatization auctions in the 1990’s, and the attack on the energy company was seen by some as the Kremlin’s effort to correct irregularities in that process...The Yukos case plays into broader concerns that Russia, under the leadership of President Vladmir V. Putin, has looked to stifle opposition and put valuable assets under Kremlin insiders’ control...”
Using a technique called “lexical chaining”, Salience shows the three sentences from the text that best represent the document as a whole.
Without having to read the article at all, I know exactly what it is about and can decide if it is worth a further look or if I can move on.
What’s more, to provide the best summaries possible, Salience supports a wide range of customization options:
- Set the summary length
- Choose to keep quotes intact in the summary or allow fragmentation
- Set a minimum length for individual sentences
- Allow or deny sentences that begin with conjunctions
- Penalize sentences with pronouns so they are given less priority
- Set an ideal sentence length, and penalize non-ideal sentences
See here for a full list of summary customization options.
Salience also provides entity-level summaries of the named entities in your text.
In this case, the summary of the “Yukos” named entity explains that Yukos is a defunct oil company whose shareholders have been awarded over $50 billion in a dispute over the Russian government’s takeover of the company. I don’t even have to read the article.
You can even customize the length of the entity summaries.
Ultimately, summaries are there to save you time.
But don’t just take my word on how effective Salience summaries are: follow this link to the full news article, and compare it yourself.