Algorithm Summarizes Text in any Language
December 2, 2019
The Times of Israel — Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have developed software that can automatically summarize text, in a variety of languages, to help readers go through articles, magazines, databases, and academic research faster and more efficiently.
MUSE – Multilingual Sentence Extractor, was tested on nine languages: English, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Russian, Chinese, German, French, and Spanish. The software selects a subset of the most relevant sentences from a source text, ranks them by a relevance score that is independent of language, and selects the top-ranking sentences into a summary.
The new software, invented by Prof. Mark Last, Dr. Marina Litvak and Dr. Menahem Friedman of the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, provides language-independent summaries of text, based on an optimization algorithm that uses the process of natural selection, a so-called “genetic algorithm.”
The ability to quickly summarize large quantities of text in a language-independent manner “is crucial” for search engines as well as other end-users, such as researchers, libraries and the media. Zafrir Levy, senior vice president for business development at BGN Technologies, said the tool would be “a valuable addition to our ability to benefit from the vast amounts of text available online.”
BGN Technologies, the University’s technology-transfer company, has filed a patent to protect the technology and is looking for potential partners for further development and commercialization.