Narrative Text Summarization

Wendy G. Lehnert

In order to summarize a story it is necessary to access a high level analysis that highlights the story’s central concepts. A technique of memory representation based on affect units appears to provide the necessary foundation for such an analysis. Affect units are conceptual structures that overlap with each other when a narrative is cohesive. When overlapping intersections are interpreted as arcs in a graph of affect units, the resulting graph encodes the plot of the story. Structural features of the graph then reveal which concepts are central to the story. Affect unit analysis is currently being investigated as a processing strategy for narrative summarization.

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