Using synchronic and diachronic relations for summarizing multiple documents describing evolving events
In this paper we present a fresh look at the problem of summarizing evolving events from multiple sources. After a discussion concerning the nature of evolving events we introduce a distinction between linearly and non-linearly evolving events. We present then a general methodology for the automatic creation of summaries from evolving events. At its heart lie the notions of Synchronic and Diachronic cross-document Relations (SDRs), whose aim is the identification of similarities and differences between sources, from a synchronical and diachronical perspective. SDRs do not connect documents or textual elements found therein, but structures one might call messages. Applying this methodology will yield a set of messages and relations, SDRs, connecting them, that is a graph which we call grid. We will show how such a grid can be considered as the starting point of a Natural Language Generation System. The methodology is evaluated in two case-studies, one for linearly evolving events (descriptions of football matches) and another one for non-linearly evolving events (terrorist incidents involving hostages). In both cases we evaluate the results produced by our computational systems.