Extracting indices from Japanese legal documents

Artificial Intelligence and Law 23 (4):315-344 (2015)
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Abstract

This article addresses the problem of automatically extracting legal indices which express the important contents of legal documents. Legal indices are not limited to single-word keywords and compound-word keywords, they are also clause keywords. We approach index extraction using structural information of Japanese sentences, i.e. chunks and clauses. Based on the assumption that legal indices are composed of important tokens from the documents, extracting legal indices is treated as a problem of collecting chunks and clauses that contain as many important tokens as possible. Each token is assigned a weight which is a statistical score, e.g. TF–IDF and Okapi BM25, to indicate its importance. The importance of a chunk or clause is determined based on the average weight of tokens included in that chunk or clause. Then, highly weighted chunks and clauses are recognized as the indices for legal documents. The experimental results on Japanese National Pension Act data show that our proposed method achieves better performance than TextRank, the most popular unsupervised method in extracting single-word and compound-word keywords. In addition, this approach is also applicable to extract clause keywords with high performance.

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