Yixin LiuAlexander R. FabbriJiawen Chen
While large language models (LLMs) already achieve strong performance on standard generic summarization benchmarks, their performance on more complex summarization task settings is less studied. Therefore, we benchmark LLMs on instruction controllable text summarization, where the model input consists of both a source article and a natural language requirement for the desired summary characteristics. To this end, we curate an evaluation-only dataset for this task setting and conduct human evaluation on 5 LLM-based summarization systems. We then benchmark LLM-based automatic evaluation for this task with 4 different evaluation protocols and 11 LLMs, resulting in 40 evaluation methods in total. Our study reveals that instruction controllable text summarization remains a challenging task for LLMs, since (1) all LLMs evaluated still make factual and other types of errors in their summaries; (2) all LLM-based evaluation methods cannot achieve a strong alignment with human annotators when judging the quality of candidate summaries; (3) different LLMs show large performance gaps in summary generation and evaluation. We make our collected benchmark, InstruSum, publicly available to facilitate future research in this direction.