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Text Summarization in Python With spaCy Library


Present Slide

According to a research paper by Anthony Cocciolo from Pratt Institute, Textual data on internet is decreasing gradually.

He told in the research paper as We may believe that online users are not interested much in textual data any more. Right from the year 1990 they have researched that text content on websites is decreasing year by year.

More and more websites are using ways to provide content in smaller bits. These smaller text bits could be used with Images, Videos, Infographics to convey messages in shorter context.

These facts give emphasis towards the need of a process known as Text Summarization. We will look into its definition, applications and then we will will build a Text Summarization algorithm in Python with the help of spaCy library.

As the above discussion might have already provided you with an image of textual summary. It is a technique to convert a long piece of content into a shorter one without removing the actual context.

With the help of this technique, A summary of any text material could be generated. It only removes text data which does not change overall meaning of the content.

One practical example of it is with mobile application Inshorts, This application provides 60 words News summary. It only contains Headlines and important facts rather than varied opinions.

It has greater scope of application in scientific research field. As there are research papers containing thousands of pages having important documentation. Text Summarization could help scientists in focusing only on the key phrases from all that data.

In earlier times it was a manual work to produce summary of textual content. With the advancement in artificial intelligence and Natural Language Processing techniques it is much easier to perform the task.

In this article we will be using one such advance Python library named spaCy. With the help of spaCy library it becomes very much easy to dig out important information from tons of text data.

There are no fixed guidelines for categorization on the techniques that we use for it. Although for performing tasks in an organized way they are generally be divided into these following types:

1. Short Tail Summarization: In this type of summary the input content is very short and precise. Even after having a short length it needs to be summarized in such a way that it could be bounded further without any change in its meaning.

2. Long Tail Summarization: As you might have already gasped by the name. The content here could be too long to be handled by a human being alone. It could contain text data from thousands of pages and books at once.

3. Single Entity: When the input usually contains elements from just one source.

4. Multiple Entities: When the input contains elements from different document sources. This is one of the most useful application of this technique.

5. General Purpose: In this type of Text Summarization no attribute for the type of input is provided. The algorithm does not have a sense of the domain in which the text deals. It is performed after several training of algorithm on various types of textual content.

6. Domain Specific: They are performed under a specific domain each time. For example a Text Summarization algorithm which summarises the Food recipe in just few words. So it does have a domain of Food recipe and knows the context behind the data.

7. Informative Summarization: This summary keeps all the information related to the actual content. No change in meaning is seen in the output results.

8. Headlines Generation: News channels and applications use this type of summary. Headlines are generated according to the text content of an article.

9. Keyword Extraction: Only the most important keywords and phrases are extracted from the whole data. For example extracting the phrases where some verbal conversation is going on and leaving all the narrations behind.

These were just few of the types and for further explanation you can check the article here:

We can create algorithms from any of the above explained types with the help of spaCy library. There are basically two techniques to build the final summarisation algorithm and below is the simple explanation for both of these techniques:

  • Extractive Technique: In this technique the important phrases from the actual content are taken together to build a simple and short summary.
  • Abstractive Technique: Builds a summary with new phrases and words but keeps the original meaning alive.

Human beings generally use Abstractive method to summarise something. We use words that we are more familiar with but there is one problem with summary created by human beings. They never come up with a neutral one and the essence of their opinion could be easily seen in the final output.

Machines are better at doing this task because they do not have their own opinion. They just work on pattern and training we have provided and take decision with Artificial Intelligence that they have gained.

1. News: There are multiple applications of this technique in the field of News. It includes creating an introduction, Generating headlines, Embedding captions on pictures.

2. Scientific Research: Algorithms are used to dig out important information from Scientific research papers. AI is outranking human beings in doing so.

3. Social Media Posting: Content on Social media is preferred to be concise. Companies use this technique to convert long blog articles into shorter ones suited for the audience.

4. Creating Study Notes: Many applications use this process to create student notes from vast syllabus and content.

5. Conversation Summary: Long conversations and meeting recording could be first converted into text and then important information could be fetched out of them.

6. Movie Plots and Reviews: The whole movie plot could be converted into bullet points through this process.

7. Deliverable Feeds: They are the short piece of information derived from the complete informative articles. These are generally delivered to people through emails or feed delivery services.

8. Content Writing: Not from the scratch though but on providing a topic and points an outlined summary could be generated.
Although there are hundreds of other applications but we just limited them to few main topics.

We will be building some algorithms for performing the basics of automated summarization. spaCy library is our choice for doing so but you could go with any other Machine Learning library of your choice.

We have already written an article on complete implementation of spaCy library you can read it in our blog.

1. Importing the Library

import spacy
from spacy.lang.en.stop_words import STOP_WORDS
from string import punctuation

Here spacy.lang.en contain English stopwords . Similarly you can access stopwords for any language using its extension such as ‘ en’ is for English Language.

2. Getting data

doc = “””Your Text Content Here”””
docx = nlp(doc)

spacy.load(‘en’) is used to load the object for English language. extra_words is created to hold all the stop words and punctuation.

We have used the text about NLP from Algorithmia but you could choose any text material that you have.

3. Creating Vocabulary with spaCy

All the extra words are removed and the count of each other word is entered into the dictionary.

all_words=[word.text for word in docx]
for w in all_words:
if w1 not in extra_words and w1.isalpha():
if w1 in Freq_word.keys():

Output Screen:

4. Assigning a Title — Headline Generation

With the help of spaCy we can actually find titles of the content that we have entered. This way it could be implemented for Headline generation.

print(“Topic of document given :-”)
for word,freq in Freq_word.items():
if freq in max_freq:
print(word ,end=” “)

We got “NLP Human Language Text” as our title which is quite near to our text. It is not the best title but as this is just the basic test of features provided by python library spaCy.


Short form for Term Frequency — Inverse Document Frequency, It is use to represent that how important a given word is to a document on a complete collection relatively.

We can represent it with the code below:

for word in Freq_word.keys(): 
Freq_word[word] = (Freq_word[word]/max_freq[-1])

After getting the strength of each individual word we can have the strength of each sentence. This way we will get to know the importance of each sentence so that the sentences having no importance could be removed from the summary.

6. Sentence Strength

The sentence with most important words will have much more importance. We can find out this with the code below:

for sent in docx.sents:
for word in sent :
if word.text.lower() in Freq_word.keys():
if sent in sent_strength.keys():

7. Getting Important Sentences

We will now be sorting the sentences according to their strength and choosing only according the requirement. Sometimes the strength requirement is high for example in controversial topics it is better to choose all the important factors.

The code to perform this would be:


For Final Summary:

for sent,strength in sent_strength.items():
if strength in top_sent:


for i in summary:

Here the final summary is being created using only the valuable information. All the content which had less to none importance will be removed from the content.

We will be using the following code to perform this:

Here is our summary that we have created in Python with the help of spaCy.

What are your words on this Summary?

It could be refined and made perfect with other spaCy filters that we will look sometime in our next tutorials.

For complete code outputs you can check our blog: Present Slide

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