Generating Text Summaries for the Facebook Data Breach with Prototyping on the 2017 Solar Eclipse
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Summarization is often a time-consuming task for humans. Automated methods can summarize a larger volume of source material in a shorter amount of time, but creating a good summary with these methods remains challenging. This submission contains all work related to a semester-long project in CS 4984/5984 to generate the best possible summary of a collection of 10,829 web pages about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach, with some early prototyping done on 500 web pages about the 2017 Solar Eclipse. A final report, a final presentation, and several archives of code, input data, and results are included. The work implements basic natural language processing techniques such as word frequency, lemmatization, and part-of-speech tagging, working up to a complete human-readable summary at the end of the course. Extractive, abstractive, and combination methods were used to generate the final summaries, all of which are included and the results compared. The summary subjectively evaluated as best was a purely extractive summary built from concatenating summaries of document categories. This method was coherent and thorough, but involved manual tuning to select categories and still had some redundancy. All attempted methods are described and the less successful summaries are also included. This report presents a framework for how to summarize complex document collections with multiple relevant topics. The summary itself identifies information which was most covered about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach and is a reasonable introduction to the topic.