Fast k-best Sentence Compression


A popular approach to sentence compression is to formulate the task as a constrained optimization problem and solve it with integer linear programming (ILP) tools. Unfortunately, dependence on ILP may make the compressor prohibitively slow, and thus approximation techniques have been proposed which are often complex and offer a moderate gain in speed. As an alternative solution, we introduce a novel compression algorithm which generates k-best compressions relying on local deletion decisions. Our algorithm is two orders of magnitude faster than a recent ILP-based method while producing better compressions. Moreover, an extensive evaluation demonstrates that the quality of compressions does not degrade much as we move from single best to top-five results.