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Identification of Rhetorical Roles for Segmentation and Summarization of a Legal Judgment

Identification of Rhetorical Roles for Segmentation and Summarization of a Legal Judgment Legal judgments are complex in nature and hence a brief summary of the judgment, known as a headnote, is generated by experts to enable quick perusal. Headnote generation is a time consuming process and there have been attempts made at automating the process. The difficulty in interpreting such automatically generated summaries is that they are not coherent and do not convey the relative relevance of the various components of the judgment. A legal judgment can be segmented into coherent chunks based on the rhetorical roles played by the sentences. In this paper, a comprehensive system is proposed for labeling sentences with their rhetorical roles and extracting structured head notes automatically from legal judgments. An annotated data set was created with the help of legal experts and used as training data. A machine learning technique, Conditional Random Field, is applied to perform document segmentation by identifying the rhetorical roles. The present work also describes the application of probabilistic models for the extraction of key sentences and composing the relevant chunks in the form of a headnote. The understanding of basic structures and distinct segments is shown to improve the final presentation of the summary. Moreover, by adding simple additional features the system can be extended to other legal sub-domains. The proposed system has been empirically evaluated and found to be highly effective on both the segmentation and summarization tasks. The final summary generated with underlying rhetorical roles improves the readability and efficiency of the system. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Artificial Intelligence and Law Springer Journals

Identification of Rhetorical Roles for Segmentation and Summarization of a Legal Judgment

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Computer Science; Artificial Intelligence (incl. Robotics); International IT and Media Law, Intellectual Property Law; Philosophy of Law; Legal Aspects of Computing; Information Storage and Retrieval
ISSN
0924-8463
eISSN
1572-8382
DOI
10.1007/s10506-010-9087-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Legal judgments are complex in nature and hence a brief summary of the judgment, known as a headnote, is generated by experts to enable quick perusal. Headnote generation is a time consuming process and there have been attempts made at automating the process. The difficulty in interpreting such automatically generated summaries is that they are not coherent and do not convey the relative relevance of the various components of the judgment. A legal judgment can be segmented into coherent chunks based on the rhetorical roles played by the sentences. In this paper, a comprehensive system is proposed for labeling sentences with their rhetorical roles and extracting structured head notes automatically from legal judgments. An annotated data set was created with the help of legal experts and used as training data. A machine learning technique, Conditional Random Field, is applied to perform document segmentation by identifying the rhetorical roles. The present work also describes the application of probabilistic models for the extraction of key sentences and composing the relevant chunks in the form of a headnote. The understanding of basic structures and distinct segments is shown to improve the final presentation of the summary. Moreover, by adding simple additional features the system can be extended to other legal sub-domains. The proposed system has been empirically evaluated and found to be highly effective on both the segmentation and summarization tasks. The final summary generated with underlying rhetorical roles improves the readability and efficiency of the system.

Journal

Artificial Intelligence and LawSpringer Journals

Published: May 6, 2010

References