QTSumm: A New Benchmark for Query-Focused Table Summarization

Yilun Zhao, Zhenting Qi, Linyong Nan, Boyu Mi, Yixin Liu, Weijin Zou, Simeng Han, Xiangru Tang, Yumo Xu, Arman Cohan, Dragomir Radev

People primarily consult tables to conduct data analysis or answer specific questions. Text generation systems that can provide accurate table summaries tailored to users' information needs can facilitate more efficient access to relevant data insights. However, existing table-to-text generation studies primarily focus on converting tabular data into coherent statements, rather than addressing information-seeking purposes. In this paper, we define a new query-focused table summarization task, where text generation models have to perform human-like reasoning and analysis over the given table to generate a tailored summary, and we introduce a new benchmark named QTSumm for this task. QTSumm consists of 5,625 human-annotated query-summary pairs over 2,437 tables on diverse topics. Moreover, we investigate state-of-the-art models (i.e., text generation, table-to-text generation, and large language models) on the QTSumm dataset. Experimental results and manual analysis reveal that our benchmark presents significant challenges in table-to-text generation for future research.

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