Teaching the Pre-trained Model to Generate Simple Texts for Text Simplification

Renliang Sun, Wei Xu, Xiaojun Wan

Randomly masking text spans in ordinary texts in the pre-training stage hardly allows models to acquire the ability to generate simple texts. It can hurt the performance of pre-trained models on text simplification tasks. In this paper, we propose a new continued pre-training strategy to teach the pre-trained model to generate simple texts. We continue pre-training BART, a representative model, to obtain SimpleBART. It consistently and significantly improves the results on lexical simplification, sentence simplification, and document-level simplification tasks over BART. At the end, we compare SimpleBART with several representative large language models (LLMs).

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