Politeness and Summarization: An Exploratory Study

Norton Trevisan Roman, Paul Piwek, and Ariadne Maria Brito Rizzoni Carvalho

In this paper, we describe an empirical pilot study on the role of politeness in dialogue summarization. We used a collection of four dialogues automatically generated by the NECA system. In these dialogues, the politeness of the interlocutors was systematically manipulated. We asked subjects to summarize the dialogues. Subjects were divided into groups who had to summarize the dialogues from a particular dialogue participant’s point of view or the point of view of an impartial observer. Amongst other things, we found that the style of the interaction is included more often in summaries of dialogues which deviate from what would be considered normal or unmarked. We also found that the point of view of the summarizer influences which information is included in the summary and how it is presented.


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