In this paper, we investigate whether temporal relations among event terms can help improve event-based extractive summarization and text cohesion of machine-generated summaries. Using the verb semantic relation, namely
provided by VerbOcean, we construct an event term temporal relation graph for source documents. We assume that the maximal weakly connected component on this graph represents the main topic of source documents. The event terms in the temporal critical chain identified from the maximal weakly connected component are then used to calculate the significance of the sentences in source documents. The most significant sentences are included in final summaries. Experiments conducted on the DUC 2001 corpus show that extractive summarization based on event term temporal relation graph and critical chain is able to organize final summaries in a more coherent way and accordingly achieves encouraging improvement over the well-known tf*idf-based and PageRank-based approaches.
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