Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


Alexander Dekhtyar


The web 2.0 era has ushered an unprecedented amount of interactivity on the Internet resulting in a flood of user-generated content. This content is often unstructured and comes in the form of blog posts and comment discussions. Users can no longer keep up with the amount of content available, which causes developers to start relying on natural language techniques to help mitigate the problem. Although many natural language processing techniques have been employed for years, automatic text summarization, in particular, has recently gained traction. This research proposes a graph-based, extractive text summarization system called SPORK (Summarization Pipeline for Online Repositories of Knowledge).

The goal of SPORK is to be able to identify important key topics presented in multi-document texts, such as online comment threads. While most other automatic summarization systems simply focus on finding the top sentences represented in the text, SPORK separates the text into clusters, and identifies different topics and opinions presented in the text. SPORK has shown results of managing to identify 72\% of key topics present in any discussion and up to 80\% of key topics in a well-structured discussion.