EMNLP 2022
Conference paper

X-FACTOR: A Cross-metric Evaluation of Factual Correctness in Abstractive Summarization


Abstractive summarization models often produce factually inconsistent summaries that are not supported by the original article. Recently, a number of fact-consistent evaluation techniques have been proposed to address this issue; however, a detailed analysis of how these metrics agree with one another has yet to be conducted. In this paper, we present X-FACTOR, a cross-evaluation of three high-performing fact-aware abstractive summarization methods. First, we show that summarization models are often fine-tuned on datasets that contain factually inconsistent summaries and propose a fact-aware filtering mechanism that improves the quality of training data and, consequently, the factuality of these models. Second, we propose a corrector module that can be used to improve the factual consistency of generated summaries. Third, we present a re-ranking technique that samples summary instances from the output distribution of a summarization model and re-ranks the sampled instances based on their factuality. Finally, we provide a detailed cross-metric agreement analysis that shows how tuning a model to output summaries based on a particular factuality metric influences factuality as determined by the other metrics. Our goal in this work is to facilitate research that improves the factuality and faithfulness of abstractive summarization models.