Controlling Output Length in Neural Encoder-Decoders

Yuta Kikuchi, Graham Neubig, Ryohei Sasano, Hiroya Takamura, Manabu Okumura

Neural encoder-decoder models have shown great success in many sequence generation tasks. However, previous work has not investigated situations in which we would like to control the length of encoder-decoder outputs. This capability is crucial for applications such as text summarization, in which we have to generate concise summaries with a desired length. In this paper, we propose methods for controlling the output sequence length for neural encoder-decoder models: two decoding-based methods and two learning-based methods. Results show that our learning-based methods have the capability to control length without degrading summary quality in a summarization task.

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