Mixed-Lingual Pre-training for Cross-lingual Summarization

Ruochen Xu1, Chenguang Zhu2, Yu Shi1, Michael Zeng3, Xuedong Huang4
1Microsoft, 2Microsoft Cognitive Services Research Group, 3Microsoft Corp, 4Microsoft Cloud and AI


Cross-lingual Summarization (CLS) aims at producing a summary in the target language for an article in the source language. Traditional solutions employ a two-step approach, i.e. translate -> summarize or summarize -> translate. Recently, end-to-end models have achieved better results, but these approaches are mostly limited by their dependence on large-scale labeled data. We propose a solution based on mixed-lingual pre-training that leverages both cross-lingual tasks such as translation and monolingual tasks like masked language models. Thus, our model can leverage the massive monolingual data to enhance its modeling of language. Moreover, the architecture has no task-specific components, which saves memory and increases optimization efficiency. We show in experiments that this pre-training scheme can effectively boost the performance of cross-lingual summarization. In NCLS dataset, our model achieves an improvement of 2.82 (English to Chinese) and 1.15 (Chinese to English) ROUGE-1 scores over state-of-the-art results.