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BillSum: A Corpus for Automatic Summarization of US Legislation

by   Anastassia Kornilova, et al.
FiscalNote, Inc.

Automatic summarization methods have been studied on a variety of domains, including news and scientific articles. Yet, legislation has not previously been considered for this task, despite US Congress and state governments releasing tens of thousands of bills every year. In this paper, we introduce BillSum, the first dataset for summarization of US Congressional and California state bills ( We explain the properties of the dataset that make it more challenging to process than other domains. Then, we benchmark extractive methods that consider neural sentence representations and traditional contextual features. Finally, we demonstrate that models built on Congressional bills can be used to summarize California bills, thus, showing that methods developed on this dataset can transfer to states without human-written summaries.


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