SIGNLL Report 2002

ACL SIGNLL - President's Report 2001

An election for SIGNLL officers was organized after the summer of
2001. New president is Walter Daelemans, secretary Dan Roth, and the
advisory board consists of Thorsten Brants, James Cussens, Diane
Litman, Raymond Mooney, John Nerbonne, Miles Osborne, David Powers,
Adwait Ratnaparkhi, and Erik Tjong Kim Sang. Our SIGDAT Liaison
Representative remains David Yarowsky, and our Information Officer
Antal van den Bosch.

In 2001 SIGNLL has an estimated 220 members (judging from the on-line
information, and controlled for inactive email addresses). The SIGNLL
home page is located at URL

The goals of the SIG (promoting of and informing about research on
computational language learning) are served by the following two
activities: (i) the maintenance of an informative and up-to-date
website and associated mailing list, and (ii) the organization of at
least one yearly event (CoNLL), and support of other related

The web-pages, maintained by Antal van den Bosch, remain an important
source of information, complemented by an email list for conference
announcements. On the web-site, links can be found to relevant
assocations, networks, research cooperations, research departments,
groups, institutes, individuals, mailing lists, archives, journals,
bulletins, conference reports, online papers, online courses and
slides, bibliographies, software, corpora, companies, meta-information
sources etc. A major addition was made to the website in 2001 with the
incorporation of a separate page for a CoNLL on-line proceedings
archive, going back to the 1997 meeting in Madrid.

The main event in 2001 was the fifth CoNLL (SIGNLL Conference on
Natural Language Learning), organized with the ACL in Toulouse. Again,
this was a successful event, with 60 submissions of which 18 could be
accepted, and invited talks by Eric Brill (sponsored by CLIF, and John Nerbonne. A shared task on clause
segmentation was organized as part of the CoNLL, to which 6 systems
participated. More information can be obtained from the SIGNLL
website. 75 persons registered officially for the workshop.

The sixth CoNLL will be organized in Taipei by Roth and van den Bosch,
with a shared task organized by Tjong Kim Sang on named entity
recognition. CoNLL was merged this year with SIGDAT's VLC and the LLL
workshop. 44 papers were submitted of which 23 were accepted for
presentation and publication in the proceedings. 12 systems were
submitted for the shared task, and will also be presented and included
in the proceedings. We look forward to yet another successful CoNLL.

We think SIGNLL is still unique in its multiple focus (computational
models of language learning both for language engineering and for
testing psycholinguistic and linguistic theories; formal and empirical
aspects of learning of both artificial and natural languages). We keep
striving for complementarity with related SIGDAT events such as EMNLP
and WVLC, and have contributed to interdisciplinary communication by
our conference collocation policy.

Walter Daelemans
Antwerp, May 23, 2002