President's report Johanna Moore Now in its 42nd year, the Association is growing and prospering, and this success brings both new opportunities and new challenges. Over the past year, we undertook initiatives intended to enable the Association to better serve our members, and to streamline many of the business and administration processes of the organization, to ensure its long term health. As the Association grows, it is becoming increasingly more important that we employ appropriate systems to simplify the jobs of the many volunteers that manage the Association and the many conferences and workshops that ACL, its chapters and its SIGS put on each year. This year ACL purchased a license to use the START conference management software for ACL-04 and for NAACL/HLT-04. Reports from the program chairs of these conferences indicate that the system worked well, and they have recommended that ACL continue to use this software in future years. Having a standard software package that is routinely used for ACL conferences will free up program chairs to focus on the scientific aspects of the program, and should simplify the processes of submission and review for all involved. In an effort to reduce workload on the ACL general office and improve the correctness of our membership databases, ACL has engaged a software company to develop an online membership form. This should, for example, reduce the amount of effort required to ensure that all valid members get the opportunity to vote in ACL elections. This currently requires a great deal of effort each year due to problems caused by illegible email addresses and manual entry errors. The ACL Anthology, which was introduced in 2002, has become an incredibly valuable resource to anyone interested in Computational Linguistics, thanks to the hard work of Steven Bird and the others involved. This year ACL and ACM have signed an agreement whereby the ACM will be permitted to host the anthology content for free, open access, and provide enriched bibliographic metadata and full citation. However, there are some remaining problems that must be solved in order to guarantee that all future conferences and workshop proceedings are easily included in the Anthology. The ACL is committed to the Anthology project and will discuss solutions to this problem at the summer meeting. Robert Dale is settling in well as editor of the Association's journal Computational Linguistics. The submission rate is increasing, and Robert has several new ideas for the journal, both in terms of content and administration, some of which will be discussed at the meeting in Barcelona. The ACL chapters, the European ACL (EACL) and the North American ACL (NAACL) are also doing well. This year's NAACL conference was again held in conjunction with HLT, and was a very big success. See the chapter reports for further details. The special liaison with the Asian Federation is continuing to work well, following a very successful ACL conference in Japan last summer, where attendance was significantly higher than expected. ACL was a sponsor of IJCNLP 04, which took place on Hainan Island, China, in March. ACL and the Asian Federation have agreed that in future years IJCNLP will be held in the fall of odd years, starting in the fall of 2005. Efforts will be made to coordinate ACL and IJCNLP in years when they will both be held in Asia, in order to best serve the memberships of both organizations. The Special Interest Groups (SIGs) continue to play a very important role in our Association. See the report on SIGs by Martha Palmer for further details. The Association's finances are in good order. This year we brought in a part-time bookkeeper to work with the Association's Treasurer, and this has greatly improved our ability to keep the financial records accurate and up to date. In addition, this has freed up the treasurer to concentrate on important policy issues, such as devising a method for assessing the real cost of SIG workshops held in conjunction with the main conference, so that conference expenses are appropriately accounted for, and SIGs can do sound financial planning. See the treasurer's report for further details. Web site? The are several issues facing our organization, and these may become major challenges, if we do not take action: The organization of ACL'05 is behind schedule because we had great difficulty finding a North American venue. (The ACL conference rotates between Asia, Europe and the Americas on a 3-year cycle). I also understood that this problem arose with NAACL'04. Fortunately in both cases, members came forward who were willing to host the conference. We are very grateful to Drago Radev and Rich Thomason and their team at the University of Michigan for taking on the role of local organizers for ACL05, and conference preparation is going along smoothly now. I think this is all part of our success problem: we're getting bigger, we have more conferences and they attract more participants, and have more satellite events associated with them. All of this is fantastic for the Association and the participants in these meetings, but is a huge organizational task for the academics who volunteer their time. The Exec will discuss this at the summer meeting, where we will be considering a range of different models for conference organization. Site selection for ACL 06 in Asia is going well, and there will be announcement at the Barcelona meeting. Finally, the Exec is continually looking for ways to better serve the membership, and welcomes suggestions from all of its members. Overall, the ACL is extremely healthy, and we are working not only to keep it that way, but to improve it. Many of the improvements we have made over the past two years are not directly visible to all of our members, but these changes are allowing a small number of dedicated people to run a growing international organization in an efficient manner. We are extremely grateful to the Association's Secretary Sandra Carberry. Office Manager Priscilla Rasmussen, and Treasurer Kathy McCoy. Johanna Moore 2004 ACL President June, 2004 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ACL Secretary Report: Sandra Carberry ------------------------------------- The ACL election web page is being set up. Greg Silber is handling the election software, and the election will be overseen by Greg, Dmitriy Genzel, and me. Drago Radev is continuing to serve as "technical webmaster" with responsibility for a variety of items, including the ACL Universe and maintaining the email aliases. The annual newsletter was sent out to the membership. Besides announciong the new officers, it included short articles on the following: 1) the ACL Lifetime Acievement Award presented to Makoto Nagao at ACL-03. 2) the next ACL conference in Barcelona, Spain. 3) an article on the ACL Anthology 4) the ACL course survey conducted by Mary Taffet and Robert Dale The ACL officers and Executive Board members have been given a template for recording their duties along with a timetable and suggestions for the person following them in office. The officers have been asked to submit this information by the end of August so that it can be stored on the ACL web site for access by future officers. We have purchased a license for the START electronic reviewing software. It appears to be running smoothly, and based on feedback from the conference chairs, we will decide whether to continue using it. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- EACL Report, June 2004 Claire Gardent, Chair John Carroll, Secretary 1. EACL 2003 Conference Accounts --------------------------- The EACL 2003 conference accounts have been closed. The overall balance is a small deficit (-2 174 Euros) which the local organisers offered not to claim. A closer look at the budget shows that the tutorials were in the red (-2470 Euros) and the workshops slightly in the green (+1355 Euros). The sponsoring level was low (10 000 Euros from the hungarian government). 2. Sponsorship Policy --------------------- Each year the EACL Board receives a number of requests for sponsorship. Until this year, these requests were dealt with on an ad-hoc basis. The Board has now drawn up a policy for awarding sponsorships. A shortened version of the policy document is below. The full version is on the EACL web site http://www.eacl.org/ . Scale Each year, the EACL may make available a limited number of sponsorships each worth a relatively small amount of money. Sponsorships are awarded only if the EACL budget allows it. As an indication, in 2003, the EACL awarded three sponsorships, of approximately 750 Euros each. Focus In awarding sponsorships, EACL focuses on education in computational linguistics in the geographical area of the EACL. Priority is given to students from Eastern Europe and more generally, to students from countries with hard currency problems (within the geographical area covered by EACL). In the past, EACL has sponsored introductory courses at European summer-schools (in the form of a contribution towards the presenters' expenses), participation at summer-schools (funding tuition fees and subsistence expenses for students who would otherwise not have been able to come) and participation at student workshops at EACL conferences (contribution towards student-presenters' expenses). Visibility In return for sponsorship, EACL expects some visibility (for instance, the sponsorship is announced in a workshop programme and website etc.). A request for sponsorship must include a description of the visibility for EACL generated by the sponsorship. Procedure A request for sponsorship should identify a concrete purpose. Indeed, EACL will not sponsor a school or workshop in general, but it will sponsor a particular course, tutorial, etc., or it will sponsor participation for a particular group of students etc. A request for sponsorship should contain the following information: ... When the sponsorship is requested in view of funding the participation of individuals (students, scholars, lecturers etc.) to the event, the selection of the sponsorship recipients will be done jointly by the EACL and the requesting party as follows. * The requesting party will make a selection and submit it for approval to the EACL board. * The selection will be provided to the EACL together with any information judged relevant. ... Requests for sponsorships should be directed by email to one of the EACL board members, who passes on the request to the board. The EACL board decides within a month on a sponsorship request. Sponsorships are normally requested by and awarded to conferences, workshops, summer schools etc. Sponsorship requests from individuals will not be considered. 3. Sponsorships --------------- In 2004, EACL sponsored two students to attend ESSLLI (to be held in Nancy, France in August) namely, Corina Forascu (MsS student CL, Romania) and Sophia Katrenko (PhD student, Ukraine). The sponsorship covers accommodation, lunches and a 200 euro contribution towards travel. As the ESSLLI organisers graciously offered to waive the fees, the cost of this sponsorship for EACL amounted to 1420 Euros. EACL will also sponsor the Lexicom training workshop in lexicography and lexical computing (in Copenhagen, Denmark also in August). The organisers have already identified a student from Romania who will receive the grant, of 800 euro. 4. EACL Newsletter ------------------ Gertjan van Noord edited the fifth issue of the newsletter, which was emailed to ACL members in Europe on 17 May 2004. The contents were as follows: Editorial EACL Foundation PASCAL Network of Excellence Challenges National CL/NLP Conferences: SEPLN Spain Conference Report: IJCNLP Hainan Workshop Report: EAMT-04 Malta EACL Sponsorship Policy ACL 2004: List of Accepted Papers Conference Calendar The newsletter is online at http://www.eacl.org/ . 5. EACL 2006 ------------ The next EACL conference will take place in April 2006. In response to the call for bids to host the conference, one proposal was received, from IRST, Trento, Italy. The EACL Board agreed that this was a high quality bid, so no further bids were solicited. IRST has now been asked to provide more detailed budgetary information. The final bid will be discussed at a meeting of the Board to be held at the ACL conference in July. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- EACL ACCOUNTS Mike Rosner SWISS ACCOUNT SWISS FRANCS 2003 1 EUR = 1.52328 CHF CHF CHF EUR EQUIV 01/01/2003 28,262.43 18,553.67 INCOME pubs 2,907.26 dues 2,073.29 mail 81.50 net interest 21.00 total income 5,083.05 3,336.91 EXPENSES transfer to shadow -26,691.20 (17,181) eacl03 pcm -2,551.55 bank charges -474.40 total expenses -29,717.15 -19,508.66 31/12/2003 3,628.33 2,381.92 Mike Rosner 01.06.2004 EACL ACCOUNTS FRENCH ACCOUNT 2003 (EUR) dateEUR 01/01/2003 17,181.34 INCOME EACL03 registration 4263.21 EACL03 dues 3480.73 EACL03 sponsorship 2500.00 dues 415.88 mail 135.60 publications 132.00 donation 10.00 total income 10,937.42 10,937.42 EXPENSES EACL03 PC Meeting -3,184.90 bank charges -56.97 total expenses -3,241.87 -3,241.87 31/12/2003 24,876.89 Mike Rosner30.06.2004 ACL European Acoount (EURO) Statement of Assets 31.12.2003 Date Swiss Shadow French TOTAL 31.12.95 102,427 31.12.96 114,255 31.12.97 118,063 31.12.98 125,728 31.12.99 123,952 10,113 134,065 31.12.00 143,238 9,241 152,479 31.12.01 149,384 10,043 159,427 31.12.02 154,930 17,181 172,111 31.12.03 137,040 15,184 24,877 177,101 Mike Rosner, Malta, 01.06.2004 ACL EUROPEAN CHAPTER SHADOW 2003 (EUR) 01.01.2003 0.00 INCOME ACL Toulouse 17,181.34 (= CHF 26,691) Reimbursement LMC 175.00 total income 17,356.34 EXPENSES Eurolan Sponsorship 750.00 LMC Sponsorhip 750.00 EACL03 Posters 577.59 charges 94.59 total expenses 2000 2,172.18 31.12.2003 15,184.16 Mike Rosner 30.06.2004 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Report from NAACL, June 2004 Graeme Hirst, Chair http://www.naacl.org 1. Elections The NAACL election was held electronically in the Fall of 2003. Graeme Hirst (University of Toronto) was elected unopposed as Chair, replacing Diane Litman (ineligible for re-election), who becomes Past Chair. Lillian Lee (Cornell) was elected Secretary, replacing Claire Cardie (ineligible for re-election). Dragomir Radev was re-elected Treasurer. For the two open two-year Chapter Board positions, Ellen Riloff (University of Utah) and Janyce Wiebe (University of Pittsburgh) were elected, replacing Owen Rambow and Lynette Hirschman, neither of whom stood for re-election. As Graeme Hirst was a regular member of the Board with one year left in his term, his position became vacant upon his election as Chair. Under the constitution, the Board must appoint a replacement, subject to ratification by the ACL Executive, until the next election. Robert Frederking was nominated and ratified. Ellen Riloff has agreed to take the place of Lynette Hirschman as one of our three representatives on the HLT Advisory Board. (Graeme Hirst and Dragomir Radev continue.) 2. Executive Committee Meetings The Board met by conference call on 2004-02-21 and in person at the HLT-NAACL conference in Boston on 2004-05-02. The minutes of the meetings are available on the NAACL website. 3. Shadow Account Status See separate report by the NAACL Treasurer, Dragomir Radev. 4. HLT-NAACL 2004 The Chapter Board and the HLT Advisory Board agreed that the merged HLT-NAACL 2003 conference in Edmonton (see Diane Litman's report in July 2003) was enough of a success that the merged conference should be repeated in 2004. The conference was held in Boston, at the Park Plaza Hotel, in the first week of May. As in 2003, the conference style was a fusion of the (NA)ACL and HLT styles (e.g., plenary demos, highly referred long papers, late-breaking short papers/posters, student workshop and tutorials, etc.), and it also spanned several previously relatively independent subareas of human language technology. The conference was designed to especially encourage reports of work on synergistic combinations of language technologies. The conference was generally held to have been very successful. Despite competition from a greater-than-usual number of CL, NLP, IR, and related conferences in 2004, HLT-NAACL attracted 168 full paper and 84 short paper submissions; 43 and 40, respectively, were selected. There were 22 demo submissions, of which 19 were selected. In addition, there were 10 workshops and 6 tutorials. There were 10 corporate or institutional sponsors for a total of $25,000. Much of the success of the conference can be attributed to the hard work of the chairs, especially the general chair, program co-chairs, and local arrangements chair. The conference website (http://www.hlt-naacl04.org) contains full details regarding the conference. The general chair's full report is available on the NAACL website. The organizers were as follows: General chair: Julia Hirschberg, Columbia University Program co-chairs: Daniel Marcu, USC/ISI Salim Roukos, IBM Susan Dumais, Microsoft Local arrangements chair: Christy Doran, Mitre Tutorials Chairs: Alex Acero, Microsoft Jamie Callan, CMU Andy Kehler, UCSD Workshops Chairs: Bhuvana Ramabhadran, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center Alan Smeaton, Dublin City University Richard Sproat, University of Illinois Demo co-chairs: David Palmer, Virage Joe Polifroni, Unveil Technologies Deb Roy, MIT Media Lab Publications co-chairs: Katrin Kirchoff, University of Washington Gina-Anne Levow, University of Chicago Miles Osborne, Edinburgh Publicity Chairs: Peter Anick, Overture Peter Heeman, OGI Shri Narayanan, USC Sponsorships and Exhibits Chairs: Doug Jones, MIT Lincoln Labs Roberto Pieraccini, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center Student Workshop Faculty Advisors: Lisa Ballesteros, Mount Holyoke College Eric Fosler-Lussier, OSU Amanda Stent, Stony Brook University Student Workshop Chairs: Ani Nenkova, Columbia University Nicola Stokes, University College Dublin Karen Livescu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5. ACL 2005 The international ACL conference will be held in North America in 2005, with NAACL as the host. The site selected is the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, MI, with local arrangements by Dragomir Radev and Richmond Thomason. As the ACL Exec has decided that this will not be a merged meeting with HLT. The Chapter Board, the HLT Advisory Board, and SIGDAT are presently discussing the possibility of a different kind of joint conference. 6. NAACL 2006 A call for bids to host the chapter's 2006 conference was published in early May. Janyce Wiebe is the Chapter Board member responsible for coordinating the search for a site. 7. Support for Summer Schools 2004 is the third and final year of our agreement with Johns Hopkins University in which we sponsor students to attend their summer courses in computational linguistics. We received applications from 16 students, of whom 10 were selected by a sub-committee of the Chapter Board (Dekang Lin (chair), Ellen Riloff, and Robert Frederking). The total cost to NAACL will be something less than $10,000. The number of applicants was only half of that in 2003; it is unclear what the reason for that is. We have been approached by the Linguistic Society of America to sponsor or subsidize courses on computational linguistics at the LSA summer school in Cambridge, MA, in summer 2005. NAACL will provide $3000 of support to the LSA provided that the LSA offers at least three computationally-oriented courses that the NAACL exec approves of --- in terms of instructor, topic, or both --- subject to NAACL budget constraints. $1000 of the $3000 must be reserved to fund a 10% tuition discount for any ACL student members who attend; any unused portion of the discount fund will revert back to the NAACL. 8. Debugging the NAACL Constitution The NAACL Executive Board proposes to amend the NAACL constitution as detailed below in order to remove a some unclarities and anomalies. This will be put to the membership along with the elections in October. .................................................................. Article 5.1 TEXT OF PRESENT ARTICLE AND CHANGES PROPOSED: The administration of the Chapter shall be conducted by the Chapter Board, which shall consist of a Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, the most recent past Chair (provided he or she completed a term of duty), and four (4) Board members. The [** DELETE: Secretary-] Treasurer of the ACL shall ex-officio be a member of the Chapter Board. Except for the past Chair they shall be elected by the Chapter Members for a two-year term of office. If vacancies occur, the Chapter Board shall appoint replacements, subject to approval by the Association Executive Committee, to serve until the next election. Except for the Treasurer, no Board member shall serve more than two (2) terms in any single [** ADD: elected] office, [** REPLACE: and no longer than six (6) consecutive years on the Board WITH: and no more than three (3) terms in any elected office]. The Treasurer may serve for a maximum of ten (10) years in that position, subject to the satisfaction of the Board, the Members, and the Association Executive Committee. After the first Chair, every Chair must have served on the Board for at least one year during the past five years. RATIONALE: (1) The ACL has split the position of Secretary-Treasurer into two positions. The Treasurer is the more appropriate to continue ex officio on the Chapter Board because of the very close financial working between NAACL and ACL. (2) The present six-year limitation leads to anomalies. The Past Chair is supposed to provide experience and corporate memory, and yet might have to step down early in his or her term if he or she had spent six years, or nearly that as President or Board Member, only to be replaced by an inexperienced appointee. Similarly, the ACL Treasurer might spend more than six years in that office and hence should be available for more than six years as an ex officio member of the Chapter Board. The new wording tries to capture what is assumed to be the intent of the original wording, a limitation on re-election, while not restricting the terms of unelected members of the Chapter Board. Article 5.4 TEXT OF PRESENT ARTICLE AND PROPOSED CHANGES: To oversee the elections, there shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of at least three members, who shall each serve a three year term. Retiring members of the Chapter Board who are not re-elected to positions as officers or board members become new members of the Nominating Committee. [** ADD: Any member of the Nominating Committee who is elected to the Chapter Board shall stand down from the Committee.] If the size of the Nominating Committee falls below three, the requisite number of new members shall be elected by the Members as part of the elections of new officers. Nominating Committee members must be Chapter Members in good standing. The Chair of the Nominating Committee shall be determined by random draw from among the members of the Nominating Committee whose terms are about to expire. The [** REPLACE: outgoing WITH: Past] Chair of the Chapter Board shall meet with the Nominating Committee in an ex officio capacity to provide advice about potential nominees. RATIONALE: (1) Nothing at present prevents the Nominating Committee from nominating its own members if they are eligible. Such a situation might or might not be a Good Thing. At the very least, a member of the committee who is re-elected should stand down from the committee. (2) There is only a neutral "outgoing" Chair in years when the Chair's term has expired and the incumbent is ineligible for re-election or doesn't wish to stand for re-election. Article 5.5 TEXT OF PRESENT ARTICLE AND PROPOSED CHANGES: Elections shall be conducted annually as follows: the Nominating Committee shall by the first of September preceding the end of a term of office nominate at least one person for each position to be filled, including [** REPLACE: a WITH: any necessary] new [** REPLACE: Nominations WITH Nominating] Committee member. RATIONALE: (1) Clarification and correction of typo. .................................................................. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- NAACL Treasurer Dragomir R. Radev firstname.lastname@example.org The balance sheets of NAACL are in the black. Our current balance (before a number of pending adjustments) is just below $16K. We started 2003 with a balance of $21,861.26. Our major expenses for 2003 are all related to the JHU-NAACL summer school (http://www.clsp.jhu.edu/ws2003/calendar/preliminary.shtml, http://www.clsp.jhu.edu/ws2003/calendar/preliminary.shtml). According to an agreement between JHU and NAACL, NAACL is sponsoring approximately 10 students per year to attend the summer school. This agreement was in its second year in 2003. This year (2004) is the last one unless the agreement is extended. We received $4,023.82 from ACL 02 (that conference was held jointly by ACL and NAACL so we received half of the income). The balance as of March 2004 is $15,844.33. Expected income: HLT-NAACL 2003 (surplus expected), HLT-NAACL 2004 Expected expenses: NAACL board meeting 2004, JHU summer school 2004 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Report from Asian Federation of Natural Language Processing -- Tsujii Jun'ichi, Hiroshi Nakagawa 1.Organization and Activity of AFNLP The members of AFNLP are: AIRS, Australasian Language Technology Association, Association of NLP(Japan), Chinese and Oriental Language Information Processing Society, Singapore Chinese and Oriental Languages Information Processing Society, Indonesian Language Technology - Research Community (ILT-RC), Int'l Conf. on Computer Processing of Oriental Languages, NLP Assoc. of India (NLPAI), PACLIC, PACLING, SIG on Korean Language Computing, The Association for Computational Linguistics and Chinese Language Processing, Taiwan, etc. AFNLP approved its revised Chapter of Conferences Coordination Committee on 9/28/2002, in which the relation between ACL and AFNLP is stated as : AFNLP will keep its current form and role, and welcome the future cooperation with ACL. (cf. Appendix) Benjamin Tsuo (Hong Kong) is elected as the first president of AFNLP is and Jun'ichi Tsujii(Japan) is elected as the vice president at AFNLP meeting on March 22, 2004. 2.IJCNLP04 IJCNLP is the flagship conference of AFNLP. The first IJCNLP: IJCNLP-04 has been held in Sanya, Hainan Island, China, on March 22-24, 2004. 211 submissions were received from 19 different regions (80% from Asia, 10% from North America, 10% from Europe). 66 Oral presentations and 35 poster presentations were accepted. The number of participants is about 250. The conference is organized by the many people including: Conference Co-chairs: Guangnan Ni (Chinese Academy of Engineering, Beijing), Benjamin Tsou (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) Program Committee Co-chairs: Keh-Yih Su (Behavior Design Corporation, Taipei), Jun-ichi Tsujii (University of Tokyo, Tokyo) Local Organising Committee Chair: Youqi Cao (Chinese Information Processing Soceity of China, Beijing (Vice Chair) Maosong Sun (Tsinghua University, Beijing) (External Liaison Person) 3.IJCNLP05 IJCNLP-05 will be organized by Prof. Lee, Jong-Hyeok at Jeju Island, Korea around November. Note: IJCNLP is held every two year, however IJCNLP04 was originally planned to be held in 2003, but postponed by the delay of establishing AFNLP. Thus the second conference comes to be IJCNLP05. ----- Appendix: Defining AFNLP's role when ACL conferences are in Asia: Issues (stated at ACL Winter EXEC meeting by Martha Palmer and Jun'ichi TSUJII. (But many things are still to be solved.) ACL will hold conferences in Asia every 3 years. AFNLP will hold conferences every 2 years. Once every 6 years the conferences will be in the same year. The first time that will happen is 2009. The ACL Exec would like to clarify the role that AFNLP will play with respect to ACL conferences, both in the years when the conferences could potentially overlap, and also in the years when they do not. There are several issues to be addressed. In the years when both ACL and AFNLP are scheduled to hold an Asian conference, there are several possibilities: - there could be one joint conference, like ACL/Coling, with a Coordinating Committee made up jointly of ACL Exec members and AFNLP Exec members. - there could be 2 parallel, co-located conferences, as we did in Seattle. - there could be two conferences, spaced several months apart. In which case, AFNLP still might be involved in assisting with local arrangements for the ACL conference - choosing the site, etc. - there could be just an ACL conference, with AFNLP helping with the organization, more like NAACL and EACL do. In which case, should AFNLP also share in the profits, like NAACL and EACL do? This presupposes a close tie between ACL and AFNLP, which may be perceived as ACL having more control than it currently does. In any event, no matter how the coinciding conferences are handled, - Should the proceedings of AFNLP conferences be handled the same way as ACL conference proceedings? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Statement by the Nominating Committee Eduard Hovy, John Nerbonne, Mark Johnson June 2004 We are delighted to nominate the following candidates for positions on the ACL Executive. All the nominees have a long history of distinguished technical contributions and reliable professional service to Computational Linguistics worldwide. In light of ACL's ongoing need for experienced high-level management, we are very pleased to nominate as Vice President Elect - Pierre Isabelle, Xerox Europe - Mark Steedman, University of Edinburgh In light of ACL's continuing outreach to Asia, the nominating committee has nominated the following two outstanding Asian researchers for the position of Exec member: - Prof. KeySun Choi, KAIST - Dr. Keh-Yih Su, BDC ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Report of General Chair for ACL'2004 Donia Scott Being a member of a conference organising committee invariably ends up being much more work than one anticipates when one agrees to serve. I have been moved by the generosity of so many members of our community -- from the members of the ACL exec, to other senior colleagues in our field, to the wide pool of reviewers and to the student body -- who gave up so much of their valuable time to the service of the ACL conference. The success of ACL'04 will be due entirely to them. The structure of ACL'04 will be much the same as previous years; we haven't found it necessary to introduce any innovations. There was a strong feeling from several chairs that ACL should strive to increase its acceptance rate, thereby allowing more participation from our membership. Suggestions for achieving this included adding a session on "hot-off-the-press" papers describing new and ground-breaking work. After much debate, it was acknowledged that ACL'03 actually achieved this through the introduction of "interactive posters" as part of the Demo Session, and so we decided to adopt that model for ACL'04. ACL conferences are in fact much more inclusive than is suggested every year when we announce our acceptance rate; in the past we have reported only the results for the main session, thus ignoring all the activities that take place in the workshops, demos, posters, student session and the like. The statistics for this year show that ACL'04 received a total of 619 submissions to the technical sessions and workshops, of which roughly half were for the main session. The overall acceptance rate for the conference is 36%; the acceptance rate for the main session is 25%. We have thus achieved the desired target of both (a) a highly-selective main session, with papers of a quality that one could argue is equivalent to that of a journal article, and (b) an inclusive conference. 1. Selection of Chairs I was invited by the ACL Exec to be General Chair on mid Oct 2002 (21 months before conference). The PC co-chairs were invited by the ACL'04 working group, in consultation with me, in early November 2002 (20 months before the conference). I invited the other chairs in early February 2003 (17 months before conference). The Sponsorship Chair was selected much later: end November 2003. This was because (a) the first 4 people I approached turned declined the invitation and (b) the ACL exec was still deliberating whether to continue the tradition of a volunteer sponsorship chair or (as agreed at the Exec Meeting in July 2003) to engage someone on a professional basis. Finally, the Exec decided to ask Debbie Dahl to carry out this role on a volunteer basis, with the possibility of later establishing with her a more professional relationship. Luckily for us, she agreed. The Exec needs to take a clear decision on this issue for future conferences. The organisation of the Student Research Workshop was set up in October 2003. Following the request of last year's SRW, there were 3 co- chairs, one from each geographical region. Because ACL'04 is joint with EACL, we asked EACL to nominate one of its student board to be co-chair; the other two were selected by me from nominations from the co-chairs of the 2003 SRW. 2. Site visit Priscilla and I went on a site visit to Barcelona in mid-February 2004. This was a critical event, first because we were able to allay our fears about the conference venue, which was still under construction. Our meetings with the local organising committee, with the Forum Officials and with the company handling accommodation, were extremely valuable for me in planning the activities leading up the conference, and in scheduling my time for coordinating them. I produced a very detailed report on the site visit, which was sent at the end of February to the ACL'04 working group, the Exec and all chairs. In this they were alerted to any non-standard requirements or procedures that they needed to know to make their own schedules. 3. Planning issues I was extremely fortunate to have a simply splendid team of Chairs. They have all been strongly committed, highly organised and very proactive. I haven't had to chase any of them for anything! Walter and Lyn did an excellent job chairing the Programme Committee; this was especially the case given that for some eight months leading up to the PC meeting, Lyn was under medical instruction not to type. In particular, the local organising committee were just superb. Based on what I knew of ACL conference organisation from my many years on the exec, I had expected coordination with the local activities to be something of a nightmare, but this was in fact the smoothest and most pleasant part of the process for me. The Conference Handbook was enormously useful, helping me and the various other chairs to plan ahead and keep to schedule. The archive of policy documents was also very useful: it allowed us to avoid having to consult the Exec too often. 4. Hurdles and stumbling blocks The conference organisation has run remarkably smoothly. The most time-consuming part of the process was in the month between the middle of May (PC decisions on the papers to be accepted) to the middle of June (late registration deadline), when I had to deal with an average of 10 emails per day on the conference -- on a few occasions up to as many as 50. The main hurdles or stumbling blocks encountered -- in no particular order -- were: The late appearance of the registration form. This led to something of a panic in getting the form tested, launched and announced in reasonable time before the early-registration deadline, and resulted in many emails from anxious prospective attendees. The late ratification of the conference budget and registration fee. The late appearance of the accommodation form and information on hotels. This was due to the fact that our designated contact at Tilesa, the OPC we engaged to handle the accommodation and catering, left on maternity leave and the company allowed the ball to drop. The lack of an explicit procedure for informing the Publication Chair on the number of proceedings to print. This put undue pressure on the Publication Chair at what was a fairly crucial time for him. The gaps in availability of the ACL office at a time when their support was critical to the organisation of ACL'04. One such occasion coincided with the time of NAACL, which begs the question of how much support the ACL office should be expected to provide to the chapter conference over ACL. The delay in announcing the scheme for Student Volunteers. The apparent surprise of some members of the organisation team to know, close to the start of the conference, that their expenses and registration would not automatically be covered by ACL. They were informed of this at the time they were invited to serve on the committee, but probably not in a very formal or explicit way, and many had forgotten this in the intervening period. The same probably applies to area chairs. More generally, communication has been something a problem, with the same information often having to be repeatedly sent out. I had expected the Newsletter to help us avoid this problem, and maybe it did reduce it, but the level of this kind of activity was surprisingly high. I think this is probably part of a wider problem of us all receiving too many emails every day to be able to read and digest properly the important ones; there is probably nothing we can do about this as an organisation. However, it may also partly result from a perceived dilution in the importance of email announcements from Priscilla, given that we now receive so many of them for a variety of non-ACL activities. 5. Suggestions for information to be added to Conference Handbook Schedule for agreeing budget and determining fees. Schedule for launching on-line registration. Schedule and procedure for Call for Student Volunteers Schedule for making programme publicly available. Sample pages for acknowledging sponsors. Schedule for Newsletters? Site visit report as sample on website? Donia Scott, 30th June 2004 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ACL'04 Programme co-chairs report Walter Daelemans & Marilyn Walker Our first action was to write the Call for Papers for the conference. The major decision that we took here was to depart from previous practice, and describe the conference topics in terms of a large set of inclusive keywords, and avoid describing specific areas that papers could be submitted under. This decision was taken to encourage researchers in interdisciplinary or not well represented areas to submit papers to the conference. We also then had to verify that the START conference system would allow papers to be submitted by checking off multiple keywords, rather than selecting a single area. We also attempted to coordinate our submission and notification dates with the COLING conference in Geneva, so as to allow our notification date to occur prior to the COLING submission date, but this was not possible. Next we selected a PC, consisting of 11 area chairs. In order to make sure that a comparable number of papers could be assigned to all area chairs, we looked for people with some breadth in the field, who apart from their primary area of expertise, could also manage additional topics. We believed that this would facilitate our decision to list a large inclusive number of keywords in the Call for Papers, rather than describing area chairs in terms of a single area that they would handle. We also believed that this would make it easier for us to make decisions about 'grey area' papers at the PC meeting since there would be overlap amongst the area chairs in terms of areas of expertise. Following is the list of area chairs, their main area, and between brackets their secondary areas. Elisabeth Andre: Multimodal/multimedia processing and HCI (dialogue interaction) Jill Burstein: NLP applications (TTS and ASR, lexical semantics, summarization and discourse structure) Claire Cardie: Information extraction (NLP at large, applications, natural language understanding) Pascale Fung: Statistical methods for NLP (Machine learning, speech, multilinguality, information extraction, machine translation) Hitoshi Isahara: Machine Translation and Multilinguality (semantics, resources) Michael Johnston: Syntax/semantics/parsing (multimodal/multimedia processing, dialogue interaction) Rada Mihalcea: Lexical semantics, ontologies, Word Sense Disambiguation (parallel corpora, data-oriented machine translation) Jon Oberlander: Discourse and dialogue (computational psycholinguistics, multimodal processing and multimodal interaction, generation) Kemal Oflazer: Finite state methods, dependency parsing (grammars, morphology, phonology, machine translation) Kees Van Deemter: Text document and concept-to-speech generation, Psycholinguistic Models (multimodal generation, semantics/pragmatics, mathematical models of language) Antal van den Bosch: Machine learning of language (morphology, phonology, computational psycholinguistics, statistical methods) As soon as the area chairs were assigned, they recruited reviewers (about 20 each), which provided us with a pool of more than 200 reviewers. There was no central coordination of this and some reviewers ended up reviewing for multiple areas. We received 348 submissions for the main session, which were then allocated to the 11 area chairs so that each chair had approximately the same number of papers. While START nominally assigns papers to areas, it makes no attempt to balance papers among areas so the initial assignment was highly skewed. Thus the assignment must basically be done by hand. As these areas were defined heterogeneously (the same area chair would be responsible for different topics), the distribution of papers over areas is not informative. More informative is the distribution of keywords in the papers. Authors could assign as many keywords as they wanted to label their submission. The following count lists the number of times keywords have been selected by authors in their submission. corpus based modeling of language 122 machine learning for language 112 applications, tools and resources 77 syntax 74 linguistic, mathematical and psychological models of language 71 semantics 66 lexicon 59 information extraction 58 evaluation of systems 52 machine translation and translation aids 52 multi lingual processing 40 language oriented information retrieval 32 discourse 31 discourse and dialogue 30 multi modal and natural language interfaces and dialogue systems 24 spoken language recognition and understanding 23 morphology 18 text, document and concept to speech generation 16 pragmatics 13 question answering 13 phonetics 9 phonology 9 multi modal language processing and multi media systems 7 message and narrative understanding systems 5 The keywords were useful in assigning papers to area chairs, especially the use of multiple keywords, although authors cannot be relied on 100% to select all relevant keywords. For example, a paper about coreference resolution was submitted under the sole keyword of information extraction, because the algorithm was intended to be used for that application. Note also that the combination of corpus-based modeling of language and machine learning of language totals 234 of the 348 papers were submitted, and that these terms co-occurred with almost every other area, indicating that these methods have permeated all areas of the field. Reviewing was blind, but the area chairs had access to the names of the authors to better allow detection of conflict of interest. A one-day Program Committee meeting was held in Brighton at the ITRI premises kindly made available by Donia Scott the General Chair, with the help of Kees Van Deemter (Area Chair) and Petra Tank, Professor Scott's PA, who handled local arrangements. The meeting resulted in the acceptance of 88 papers, an acceptance rate of 25%, once more an extremely competitive selection. Among the accepted papers, 57% originates from North America, Canada and Mexico, 11% from Asia and the Pacific Rim area, and 32% from Europe. A large proportion of the submitted (and of the accepted) papers indicated double submission. However, all accepted papers chose to have the paper presented at ACL rather than the other venue to which the paper was submitted. During and after the PC meeting, the programme committee set up a shortlist of candidates for keynote talks, and invited Anne Cutler (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands) and Jack Mostow (Carnegie Mellon University, Robotics Institute). Both accepted our invitation. We also selected a best paper award winner for ACL'04. As in previous incarnations of the ACL conference, the program is structured into three parallel paper sessions, demo/poster sessions, and the student workshop. The accepted papers were organized into the 27 available session slots, and labeled with session names. Finally, we invited 27 expert session chairs for guiding the speakers in the technical program sessions and moderating discussion. We received various feedback (from area chairs, reviewers, and authors of submitted papers) on different aspects of the reviewing procedure, which we will summarize here: * Oriental character sets in pdf files often caused problems for reviewers and area chairs with some versions of some pdf readers. Some general solution or at least a support page should probably be set up for that. * Areas. Both Pascale Fung (Statistical Methods for NLP) and Antal van den Bosch (Machine learning of language) said that they believed having an area for these methods which can apply to any topic such as syntax/semantics/discourse no longer makes sense because these areas are about methods, and these methods have permeated every topic in NLP. They felt that it was very difficult to recruit reviewers with appropriate expertise covering methods that could conceivably be applied to every topic in NLP. * Reviewer Recruitment: After the paper allocation was done, three or four area chairs asked to recruit additional reviewers because they got papers in areas that they did not feel they had appropriate reviewers for. For example there were so many papers in discourse and dialogue that many of the spoken dialogue papers were directed to Elisabeth Andre (multimodal interaction), and there were a large number of discourse papers that relied on statistical methods. Some area chairs felt that the system could be improved if it were possible to wait to recruit reviewers until after area assignments had been made, but this would require a submission date at least a month earlier than we had. Another possibility would be to use the bidding process that START has to allow area chairs or reviewers to bid for papers that they want to review, since it seems likely that amongst the whole pool of 200 recruited reviewers, there would be reviewers who were appropriate for each paper, while those reviewers wouldn't necessarily have been recruited by the area chair who ended up being responsible for the paper. * Review form. A feedback for innovation was introduced to the review form since there was some concern among the executive committee that the competitive selection process for ACL was eliminating papers with high novelty. Reviewers expressed some degree of unclarity about the difference between originality and innovation (originality was to be interpreted within the scope of the topic of the paper, whereas innovation was to be measured within the scope of the field as a whole). In addition, some people missed the opportunity to indicate their level of expertise; others missed a category for software and resources reusability. * Notification feedback. Some people deplored the lack of numeric feedback (numeric scores). While this does indeed provide some useful feedback to the authors, the scores should also be interpreted in the context of the scores of other competing papers in the same and other areas, the textual comments, expertise of reviewers, confidential comments, sometimes additional reading by members of the PC etc. Without this background information, it may seem strange that one paper is accepted with an average 6.33 whereas another paper is rejected with an average of 7. To us it seemed wise not to include the numeric scores so we adapted START so that it removed this information from the reviews before they were sent to the authors. * PC meeting. Possibly, one day is not enough to support a thorough and complete decision making process. For example, we had only time to discuss the unclear cases and did not explicitly review with the complete PC the papers with very high or very low scores (although obviously the reviews for these papers were checked by the PC chairs and at least one area chair). We believe a one and a half day meeting finishing at lunch time on the second day would work much better. Ideally this might allow itself enough time for the schedule for the program to be organized, the invited speakers to be selected, and the best paper selected at the end of the meeting rather than leaving this as a task for the PC chairs. Finally, some more time than the current 10 days should have been scheduled between deadline for reviewers and PC meeting. It would have been impossible to achieve the fast, efficient and hardcopy-less (i.e. cheap) submission - review - notification cycle without an electronic conference management system like START. START is a relatively mature and stable system and the support is adequate. However, we did experience a number of problems with and shortcomings of START in the version we used. We add an appendix to this report, written by the local ACL-04 START system maintainer, Guy De Pauw, which may be of interest to future users of the software. One START-related problem the software was not to blame for is that we chose to host the system at a local machine at the University of Antwerp. This created major problems at a crucial moment (area chairs sending out review information to reviewers) because of a sudden, badly communicated, change in the network security set-up of the University of Antwerp (disallowing use of mail servers except from a limited trusted set). We were also threatened a few times by power cuts, which fortunately didn't affect the procedure. Therefore our advice would be to use START preferably hosted at a softconf.com server, as suggested by softconf itself. APPENDIX: Feedback about START: * Submission . The 'Submission Report' could perhaps point out that the registration information is also sent through e-mail . It would be good if authors can be forced to select at least one keyword . Perhaps an (optional) checkbox can be included: 'This paper is under consideration for other conferences' yes/no . It is now possible to submit without actually submitting an actual file. It would be useful to be able to make the file submission field a mandatory field. In any case: if no paper is being submitted, the confirmation should not read 'We successfully received your submission to...' . It is possible to submit after the deadline if you open submit.html before the deadline closes . It would be useful if an archive of all submitted papers can be created, similar to the "make archive" for final submissions * Reviewing . After submitting a review, a link to the list of papers to be reviewed would be handy . In the review form, you can use both 'Upload Comments File' as well as 'Enter Comments Here' at the same time. Please indicate that the 'enter comments here' box is the default . In the review form, it would be handy to be able to add a short piece of information for each evaluation category . It is possible to access abstracts of submissions that one hasn't been assigned to review, by manipulating ID-numbers in the assignment URLs . When an author contacts you to withdraw a paper, you can delete it from the system. But when you want to contact the reviewers who had been assigned to that paper, it is not possible anymore to retrieve this information. . One user commented on the location of the buttons on the review form. He noted that the buttons for accept and clear are the "wrong way round" and that "Where the clear button is is on most Windows applications the OK button!!!" . One of the track administrators decided to access all the reviews by using a wget operation. This process also accessed the "delete reviews" link, thereby effectively deleting all the reviews. Perhaps there should be some kind of confirmation before reviews can be deleted . It would be useful if start can automatically extract a spreadsheet with the reviewers/secondary reviewers, possible associated with tracks/papers * Tracks . Using a conference with tracks can get very complicated. It should be made possible that Program committee members added by track chairs are also added centrally. . Some dedicated program committee page would be handy that indicates for each author in which tracks they are reviewing. . It would also be handy if the number of reviews per author can be viewed centrally (especially for authors who are reviewing in several tracks at once). . 1 reviewer assigned to different tracks gets different review assignment e-mails. This often confuses them. It would be useful if a reviewer can slogin centrally and still get to see all the reviews he's doing (for different tracks) . In a track-based conference, it would be useful to classify incoming papers by default in a temporary track and not yet in one of the actual tracks . Review Progress seems to be broken centrally. If you want a correct overview of review progress per reviewer, you have to do this on a track by track basis * General Management . From the different setup pages, there should be a direct link back to the Manager's Console at the top and bottom of the page . Many users (authors, program committee members, ...) lose their password. It would be handy to have a password retrieval option. Perhaps an option for the manager's console: get personal information for a given account name/ e-mail address, paper number, ... . Start was not able to process an (admittedly weird) e-mail address containing a "+" sign ---------------------------------------------------------------------- REPORT OF LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS CHAIR Toni Badia ACL chose Barcelona as the site for the ACL'2004 meeting after a joint proposal by people belonging to all the universities in the Barcelona area having a computational linguistics research group. Accordingly, the local arrangements for ACL'2004 are being handled by a committee formed by people from all these universities: Toni Badia (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) (chair) Sergi Balari (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) Ignasi Iriondo (Universitat Ramon Llull) David Farwell (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya) Joaquim Llisterri (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) Toni Marti (Universitat de Barcelona) Jose B. Marino (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya) Horacio Rodriguez (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya) Enric Vallduvi (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) Some of these people have had responsibilities in the committees of the ACL'2004 meeting: Sergi Balari (local publications co-chair) Toni Marti (local sponsorship co-chair) Horacio Rodriguez (local poster & demos co-chair) The Local arrangements committee has worked in a collegiate way and has distributed specific tasks to their members (institutional relations, banquet and gifts, newsletter, web-page...). The committee has been meeting regularly once a month for the last year, and fortnightly since May 2004. This distribution of tasks and working arrangements has helped to bear the workload that the committee has faced at some specific moments. Our experience is satisfactory and we would recommend that in the future cooperative bids are promoted. We have had a company producing the basic design of the web page. They implemented the general structure of the web, and produced specific interfaces for the pages with high content modification. After their work was finished, most of the modifications in the web have been performed by the local committee people. This arrangement has not implied a high expenditure, has worked well, and has balanced the null design capacities of the committee members. The ACL'2004 conference is held as part of the general programme of the Forum of Cultures that takes place in Barcelona from May to September 2004. And the meeting takes place within the premises of the Forum, specifically within the brand new Barcelona Convention Centre. This has determined to a large extent the work of the local arrangements committee. The organisation of ACL'2004 has been eased considerably by the fact that it is held in a specialised environment operated by specialised people, with all facilities needed when organising an up-to-date conference. On the other hand, the main burden of the preparation work has consisted in the relations with the Forum: specifying all the requirements in the contract, negotiating the contract, preparing the site visit of the Donia Scott and Priscilla Rasmussen so that we could discuss all relevant issues there, fixing the details once the building had been finished... All in all, we hope that the fact that the conference is held within the Forum is going to contribute to its success: the attendees will be able to benefit from the activities that are organised by the Forum during the days of the conference. As of 28th June, the registration figures are the following: total registrants is 541 300 regular 152 students 29 student volunteers 60 workshop only 312 (61%) have bought tickets for the banquet 173 people have indicated that they will attend the student lunch detailed figures: MAIN CONFERENCE: 481 TUTORIALS: T1. Beyond Syntax: Predicates, Arguments, Valency Frames and Linguistic Annotation: 44 T2. Building linguistically motivated speech recognisers with Regulus: 10 T3. Kernel Methods in Natural Language Processing: 68 T4. Adaptive Learning: From Supervised to Active Learning of statistical models for Natural Language and Speech Processing: 59 ASSOCIATED CONFERENCE: EMNLP 2004 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: 132 WORKSHOPS: W1. Current Themes in Computational Phonology, and Morphology, 7th Meeting of the ACL Special Interest Group in Computational Phonology: 13 W2. Discourse Annotation: 40 W3. Incremental Parsing: Bringing Engineering and Cognition Together: 30 W4. Multiword Expressions: Integrating Processing: 37 W5. Question Answering in Restricted Domains: 26 W6. RDF / RDFS and OWL in Language Technology: 4th Workshop on NLP and XML (NLPXML - 2004): 17 W7. Reference Resolution and Its Applications: 20 W8. SENSEVAL-3 Third International Workshop on the Evaluation of Systems for the Semantic Analysis of Text: 58 W9. 2nd Workshop on Text Meaning and Interpretation: 23 W10. Text Summarization Branches Out: 32 W11. Third SIGHAN Workshop on Chinese Language Processing: 15 The social events foreseen for ACL'2004 are the following: Reception: July 21 at 19:00 on the ground floor of the Conference Building Banquet: July 23 at 19:00, in the medieval 'Salo de Contractacions' (Contracts Hall) of the 'Llotja' (the Exchange Building) address: passeig Isabel II, 1 nearest underground station: Barceloneta Other special events: ACL Exec Meeting: July 21 in room 131 in the conference building (main floor) Exec+ dinner: July 22 in the restaurant El Principal address: carrer Provenca 286-288 nearest underground station: Passeig de Gracia CL Editorial Board Meeting: July 23 in room 131 in the conference building (main floor) Student Lunch: July 23 in the coffee breaks area in the conference building (main floor) After Conference breakfast: July 24 in room Montjuic (3rd floor) of the AC Hotel (next to the conference building) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Tutorial Report for ACL-2004 Inderjeet Mani In response to the Call for Tutorial Proposals, I received 8 tutorial proposals, broken down as follows: 3 on speech, 1 on machine lea rning, and 4 on particular NLP problems. These proposals were reviewed by me with the expert assistance of two other colleagues: Marc Vilain of MITRE and Grace Chung of CNRI. The proposals were judged based on a subjective assessment of quality, representativeness, expertise, attractiveness, and feasibility. While the proposals were all well-thought-out and of high quality, only 3 could be selected that met all of the above criteria. In ad dition, I solicited one additional tutorial on a machine learning-related topic (T3) which had been given at ACL-2002 (with the foc us broadened somewhat, based on discussion with the presenter). Past tutorial statistics from the ACL Business Manager suggested that four half-day tutorials all held on a single day seemed to work best. The final list of four half-day tutorials, with one on annotation, one on speech, and two on machine learning-related topics, is as below: T1. Beyond Syntax: Predicates, Arguments, Valency Frames and Linguistic Annotation Collin Baker, International Computer Science Institute Jan Hajic, Charles University Martha Palmer, University of Pennsylvania Manfred Pinkal, Saarlandes University T2. Building linguistically motivated speech recognisers with Regulus Manny Rayner and Beth Ann Hockey, NASA Ames Research Center Pierrette Bouillon, ISSCO/University of Geneva T3. Kernel Methods in Natural Language Processing Jean-Michel Renders, Xerox Research Center Europe T4. Adaptive Learning: From Supervised to Active Learning of statistical models for Natural Language and Speech Processing Giuseppe Riccardi, Dilek Hakkani-Tur and Gokhan Tur, AT&T Labs-Research The preparation of the web material, tutorial notes and cd-rom materials all went reasonably well, with a glitch or two that was promptly addressed by ACL2004 staff. As of June 28, 2004, the following pre-registration statistics were available: T1: 44; T2: 10; T3: 68; T4: 59. Regarding T2, the presenters informed me that at least 4 others had confirmed they would attend. These numbers are higher than the results from ACL2002 *final* registrations, where we had 13, 43, 46, and 54. I look forward to a stimulating set of tutorials on July 21, 2004. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Report of Publications Co-Chairs ACL 2004 ----------------------------------------- The ACL Executive Committee urgently needs to address the question of publications for ACL-sponsored conferences. There are two issues for the ACL Exec; we also list some recommendations for future publications chairs. 1. COPYRIGHT The copyright situation is a mess. Many issues are currently unclear: Can the copyright form be submitted by fax? Can authors substitute a form devised by their employer? What happens if the form is not present in time? The ACL Executive Committee must gain a clear understanding of the legal issues, formulate a policy, and define a procedure that implements the policy. The policy and the procedure must be spelled out explicitly in the Conference Handbook. The policy must be published or referred to with the Call for Papers. Clarifying this issue will either involve (blindly) adopting the approach taken at a sister association, or consulting an intellectual property lawyer. 2. PUBLICATIONS -- SOFTWARE We acknowledge the tremendous effort that previous publications chairs have put into devising scripts for helping in compiling the proceedings. The ACL Executive Committee needs to hire a programmer to compile all scripts, style files, etc.; test them; document them fully (including code documentation); make sure versions for A4 and letter are available; and then make them available for download in the Conference Handbook. A significantly better alternative to hiring a programmer would be to professionalize the entire publications procedure, as is done by other conferences. 3. PUBLICATIONS -- MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION Publication is moving to an all-electronic format, with printing only happening at the printer. We recommend to future publications chairs to establish precise guidelines for authors on how to prepare the final files to be sent to the printer. Especially authors not using latex should be very careful at the time of preparing their PDFs and make sure that ALL fonts are included in the final file in order to avoid printing problems. Authors using Word must be responsible for making sure their files are printable. We also recommend that future publications chairs ask the workshop chairs to clearly label their files, for example prefixing file names with two digits that indicate the order in which the files have to be printed. Of course, if the ACL Executive Committee follows our recommendation and professionalizes the publications process, then these recommendations will be moot. Sergio Balari & Owen Rambow ACL 2004 Publications Co-Chairs ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Student Session Chairs Report for 2004 ACL-04 Student Research Workshop Leonoor van der Beek, Dmitriy Genzel, and Daniel Midgley 1. Program Committee The co-chairs of the ACL-04 Student Research Workshop, Leonoor van der Beek (University of Groningen, Netherlands), Dmitriy Genzel (Brown University, USA), and Daniel Midgley (University of Western Australia) were nominated by this year's general chair, Donia Scott, and approved by the ACL Executive Committee. Justine Cassell was appointed by the ACL Executive Committee as Faculty Advisor. The program committee was formed by the co-chairs and approved by the ACL Executive Committee. The final program committee consisted of 21 student members and 36 non-student members. Of the 38 reviewers, 13 were from North America, 20 from Europe, 3 from Asia, and 2 from Oceania. 2. Submission and Acceptance We received 43 submissions to the Student Research Workshop. The volume of papers received caused some stretching of resources, but all papers were assigned to at least three reviewers. In all, forty papers were assigned three reviewers each, two papers were assigned four reviewers, and one paper was assigned five reviewers. Reviews were done by e-mail. We accepted 12 of the papers. All of our selected presenters were able to attend, obviating the need for alternates. Statistics for submissions and acceptance are shown below (Tables 1-3). 3. Presentation Format The Workshop is organised into a day-long single session, running in parallel with the two other main sessions. Papers have been grouped into pairs by topic. A block will begin with both authors' presentations (15 minutes each), followed by 20 minutes for panelists' feedback and general questions. 4. Panelists The co-chairs have asked 15 conference attendees to be on the panel for the Student Research Workshop. These panelists have been selected for their knowledge of the research area, and for their availability during the Workshop. 5. Funding We submitted our request to Mary Harper, program director of Human Language and Communication (HLC) at NSF in late November and received notice of award in January. The grant totalled $22,400. We were able to fund all 10 of the students who applied for funding. The amount granted to each student varied because of varying distance and fares. 6. Suggestions The process of organising the Student Research Workshop has been an invaluable and rewarding learning experience. We wish to thank the ACL conference organizers who helped us with the details of many issues such as preparing materials for publication and student volunteering. We would like to thank the ACL general chair, Donia Scott, and the ACL Executive Committee for allowing us the opportunity to serve as this year's co-chairs. Here are some suggestions we would like to offer for future student sessions. 6.1 Soliciting submissions Response to our call for papers was most gratifying, not only in number but in coverage. We credit this mainly to the following factors: - An aggressive publicity drive. We sent posters and the call for papers not only to a wide array of CL-themed mailing lists, but also directly to a large number of relevant departments in universities worldwide. - Early publicity. The call for papers went to potential submitters in early December, which gave potential submitters time to prepare. An even earlier start would have been even more helpful. - Announcing the availability of funding. Because funding was applied for early on in the process, we were able to announce its availability directly in the call for papers. This helped to attract the large number of submissions from students. 6.2 Funding As in previous years, we had students fill out a request for funding form. However, unlike previous years, we gave out a lump sum to each student rather than reimbursing tickets and housing. This had advantages and disadvantages. The major advantage is that the faculty chair's university does not need to get involved in complicated and very long-term interactions with students around the world (many of whom, in the past, had forgotten to save receipts). The disadvantage is that the committee must carefully investigate prices for tickets for each presenter in order to announce to that person the amount of money being awarded. We used www.cheaptickets.com, Expedia, and similar websites for this purpose. 6.3 Communication between past and present chairs Progress of the Workshop was facilitated by last year's chairs, who nominated us in a very timely way -- in some cases, during ACL-03 itself. Occasionally we had to scramble to find materials from last year, and we recommend that the current year's co-chairs prepare a directory of materials (documents, forms, mailing lists, and templates) to hand down to next year's chairs. 6.4 Coordinating between the main session and the student session As in previous years, we invited distinguished faculty members and researchers to join the panel and offer suggestions to the student presenters. Our program schedule was due at the same time as that of the Main Session, and as a result, we had to quickly shift our program around to avoid clashes and double-bookings for our panelists. In future, it would be helpful if the program for the Student Research Workshop could be required rather later than that of the Main Session, in the interest of keeping the programs accurate. 6.5 Division of labor Each of the co-chairs tended to gravitate toward certain areas of organisation (student liaison, paperwork, getting reviewers, etc.) and took over the duties of these areas. In hindsight, we can see the value of assigning task areas to co-chairs in a more explicit way. 6.6 Review form We found last year's review form largely satisfactory, though we didn't seem to use all the detail it contained. Perhaps a less fine-grained categorisation would have been sufficient. We did, however, add another category: in addition to "Comments to the Author" section, we added a section for comments to the committee, not to be seen by the author. This allowed the reviewers to give extra information that we found very useful. 6.7 Student status We required a email or fax from the advisors of all potential presenters, stating that all authors were students, and had not presented at an ACL Student Research Workshop before. In previous years, students could send a CV, but we required only a supervisor letter. This ensured that all presenters met the eligibility guidelines. 7. Submission statistics Table 1: Papers by Country ------------------------------------------| | Country | Submissions | Accepted | |----------------+-------------+----------| | UK | 9 (21%) | 3 | | USA | 7 (16%) | 4 | | Australia | 3 (7%) | 0 | | France | 2 (5%) | 0 | | Germany | 2 (5%) | 1 | | Korea | 2 (5%) | 1 | | India | 2 (5%) | 0 | | Thailand | 2 (5%) | 0 | | Russia | 2 (5%) | 0 | | China | 1 (2%) | 0 | | Czech Republic | 1 (2%) | 1 | | Finland | 1 (2%) | 0 | | Italy | 1 (2%) | 0 | | Japan | 1 (2%) | 1 | | Mexico | 1 (2%) | 0 | | Netherlands | 1 (2%) | 1 | | Spain | 1 (2%) | 0 | | Sweden | 1 (2%) | 0 | | Tunisia | 1 (2%) | 0 | | Turkey | 1 (2%) | 0 | | Ukraine | 1 (2%) | 0 | |------------------------------------------ Table 2: Papers by Geographical Area ------------------------------------------| | Area | Submissions | Accepted | |----------------+-------------+----------| | Europe | 23 (53%) | 6 | | North America | 8 (19%) | 4 | | Asia | 8 (19%) | 2 | | Oceania | 3 (7%) | 0 | | Africa | 1 (2%) | 0 | |------------------------------------------ Table 3: Papers by Topic -------------------------------------------------------------| | Topic | Submissions | Accepted | |-----------------------------------+-------------+----------| | Machine Translation | 0 | 0 | | Generation | 0 | 0 | | Information Extraction | 3 | 0 | | Lexicon | 2 | 1 | | Models of language | 1 | 0 | | Corpus based Language Modeling | 3 | 0 | | Morphology | 1 | 1 | | Syntax | 6 | 0 | | Discourse/Dialogue | 3 | 1 | | Information Retrieval | 4 | 2 | | Semantics | 6 | 3 | | Speech Recognition/Synthesis | 4 | 0 | | Summarization | 2 | 1 | | Message & narrative understanding | 3 | 1 | | Pragmatics | 0 | 0 | | Phonetics and Phonology | 0 | 0 | | Question Answering | 0 | 0 | | Multilingual processing | 1 | 1 | | Language in multi-modal systems | 1 | 0 | | Text classification | 3 | 1 | |------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Report from the ACL 2004 Workshop Chair Srinivas Bangalore In response to the call for workshop proposals sent out in October 2003, a total of 18 proposals were received by the deadline on December 8, 2003. The workshop proposals were reviewed over a period of two weeks by the ACL 2004 Workshop committee. The committee constituted of members from USA, Europe and Asia with representation from academic and research institutions (Srinivas Bangalore (AT&T, USA), Marcello Frederico (IRIST, Italy), Christopher Manning (Stanford Univ,USA), and Helen Meng (CUHK, Hong Kong)). Based on the room availability, a limit of 11 workshops was placed by the local organizers. The committee selected the 11 workshops based on the following criteria: - Does the topic have a broad community of interest? - Is the workshop one of Research/Application/Technology/Resource and how important is to have a workshop forum for that topic? - All SIG workshops were accepted. - Interdisciplinary workshop proposals got a preference. Four two-day workshops and seven one-day workshops made up the eleven selected workshops. Three of the eleven workshops were Special Interest Group (SIG) sponsored workshops -- SIGHAN, SIGLEX, and SIGPHON. The SIGDAT sponsored EMNLP conference was not treated as a workshop from the very outset. It was only in May 2004, it became clear that due to the lack of sufficient number of quality paper submissions one of the workshops had to be cancelled. The workshop chairs were informed about the acceptance decision on December 23, 2003 and were asked to prepare a call-for-papers by the second week of January, 2004 for circulation. The workshop chairs were free to set their own schedule for paper submission, review and camera-ready version, although the workshop committee suggested a reasonable set of dates for these deadlines. The only constraint was that the camera-ready papers would have to be submitted to the publication chair by June 1, 2004. The chairs were also required to set up a web-page for their workshop and a HTML template file was provided to ease this process. With the help of local organizers, an e-mail alias was set up to communicate with all the workshop chairs which proved to be very useful to discuss issues related to workshop organization and publications. Barring a glitch in e-mail delivery to one of the workshop chairs, the process progressed smoothly. Issues: - At the current time, a workshop proposal requires an individual organizer as a point-of-contact for communication. Instead, workshop organizers should be required to set up an e-mail alias that includes the e-mail addresses of all the workshop organizers. This would eliminate the problem of dropped e-mails due to the absence of the point-of-contact as well as provide the necessary redundancy in case an e-mail is not delivered to the point-of-contact. This will also obviate the need for the point-of-contact to forward e-mails to other co-organizers. - Given the appeal of EMNLP to a large subset of the ACL community, organizing it in parallel against the workshops might affect the workshop registrations. However, if the ACL community does not want to add another conference to the list of conferences in a year, then it might be a better choice to run EMNLP in parallel to the tutorials. This option was not explored this year. - Conflict-of-interest Issue: The ACL policies and procedures handbook might want to explicitly lay out the procedure for handling the review of a workshop proposal which involve one of the members of the workshop committee in an organizational role in the workshop. This year we had such a situation for one workshop and an independent review from the General Chair was solicited for deciding the acceptance of that workshop. - It is a bit awkward that the workshop organizers have to pay registration fees to attend their own workshop. Furthermore, the invited speaker for a workshop is required to pay the registration fees for the workshop that they have been invited to. It might be more appropriate if the registration fees for the organizers and invited speaker is waived and if necessary, the fee for the workshop be set suitably to recover this cost. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Sponsorships Chairs Report for 2004 Deborah Dahl, Sponsorships Chair email@example.com Antonia Marti, Local Sponsorships Chair firstname.lastname@example.org This year we were very fortunate that the Forum for Cultures was able to provide the facilities and some services for free because the ACL meeting is part of the Forum for Cultures. This was of significant benefit to the ACL and was greatly appreciated. The Forum for Cultures sponsorship required coordinating with the Forum for Cultures so that no ACL sponsors were competitors of Forum Sponsors (who had been promised exclusive sponsorships). In practice this was not a problem because the businesses of the ACL and Forum sponsors did not overlap. The Student Workshop also received a grant from the National Science Foundation for $$22,400. This year we offered several levels of sponsorships -- Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. as well as a banquet sponsorship. As of June 30, we had one Silver ($3,000) and two Bronze ($1,000) sponsors for a total of $5000. The Silver sponsor was Comprendium, and the Bronze sponsors were Xerox Research Center Europe and Daedalus. Cambra de Comerc de Barcelona sponsored the conference banquet (6,000 euros, approximately $7,300). We had 8 institutional sponsors: Ajuntament de Barcelona Generalitat de Catalunya Spanish Government Universitat de Barcelona Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya Universitat Pompeu Fabra Universitat Ramon Llull Point for discussion: For 2004 we've put together a database of sponsorship contacts with a total of over 300 contacts in Europe, North America, and Asia which we used for both general mailings and individual mailings soliciting sponsorships. We can pass this information along to next year's sponsorships chairs. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Exhibitor Chairs Report for 2004 Deborah Dahl, Exhibitors Chair email@example.com Antonia Marti, Local Exhibitors Chair firstname.lastname@example.org Fortunately, as the ACL is going to take place in the context of the Forum of Cultures, the Forum provides the facilities and some services for free. So far, we have: two one-day exhibitors: Answerbus and Forsip; three book exhibitors (Benjamins 22-23, Elsevier 22-23, and CambridgeUP 22-24); and, as Exhibit space is also included with Platinum, Gold and Silver sponsors, we need to add another exhibitor (Comprendium). Local Research Groups are given an exhibit space to (CLiC, Centre de Llenguatge i Computaci_, from the University of Barcelona and GLICOM, Grup de Linguistica Computacional from the University of Pompeu Fabra). Point for discussion: In addition to the contact list mentioned in the Sponsors Report, we can provide a list of about 50 Spanish companies, which we have used for individual mailings. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Conference publicity Felisa Verdejo Conference Publicity has been carried out using a variety of channels, listed below: 1- Newsletters . Three newsletters dedicated to inform timely on the issues related to the ACL04 event have been produced. These newsletters have been distributed electronically to ACL membership, to the following international professional lists: ELSNET, ISCA, IEEE Speech Technical Committee, email@example.com, ATALA( LN@cines.fr) as well as to the following Spanishs Institutions or associations: Instituto Cervantes (Oficina de la Sociedad de la Informacion firstname.lastname@example.org), SEPLN (email@example.com) AEPIA. These newsletters have also been posted on the ACL04 web site. 2- Posters announcing the Conference have been produced and distributed (500 ) to selected Institutions in a list provided by P.Rasmussen, to ELSNET Institutions and other Universities. 3- The ACL04 web-site 4- The FORUM publicity: - Announcements in Spanish Journals, mainly on Sundays have appeared several times, including the ACL04 Conference. - The web site of the FORUM Other chairs (students, workshops) have also take actions on their own. Recommended for the future: to have (and enrich) the list of potential electronic addresses to distribute the newsletter to related organizations or communities ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ACL Poster-Demo Session Philippe Blache Report The poster-demo session is now an entire part of the ACL. However, many details were still unclear: recommendations and list of duties of the poster-demo chairs was not very precise; not many information was available from previous editions, etc. Fortunately, we have had a very good interaction with the general chairs, making it possible to precise many points and take decisions rapidly. Our first task was then to precise the main goals of the session. It was not clear in particular what the status for posters was. We had a discussion with other chairs in order to clarify whether the papers accepted in this section was only late-breaking papers or whether there could be a possibility for good papers, but rejected from the main conference for some reason (typically not enough evaluation due to too recent results), to be presented in this session. Finally, the first solution has been chosen. This solution was easiest to implement, even though this point still has to be discussed. The second question concerned the calendar and the selection process. We have decided to set up a scientific committee, making it possible to organize an actual reviewing process. The committee was formed by 23 experts, coming from different geographic and thematic areas. We have then fixed the calendar, which was tight: Paper submission deadline: May 1, 2003 Notification of acceptance: May 20, 2003 Camera ready copy due: June 1, 2003 As for the reviewing process itself, each article, (4-pages long, anonymous) had to be reviewed by 2 reviewers. We have received 76 submissions; each reviewer has received 6 or 7 papers to review. This was a problem because most of us were also involved in other reviewing task, 7 papers is clearly too much. Some extra reviewers (in the end 2) had to be found. We had a problem during the reviewing process: no clear difference was done between poster and demo submissions. Then no specific criteria have been applied in the selection process. Finally, decided not to distinguish them. We think that for further conferences authors should be asked to identify their submissions as poster or demos and the organization should propose an approximate balance between the two types of submissions. After the reviewing process, from the 76 submissions, 34 were accepted. This ratio has also been under discussion. Some think that this section could have a higher acceptance ratio. In the end, we have decided to keep close to the ACL ratio, but again, this point still has to be discussed. Finally, having one of the chairs from the local side is clearly indispensable, many decisions, including in the selection ratio, also depends on practical constraints from local organization. Scientific committee: Philippe Blache, Universite de Provence, France Rens Bod, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Christian Boitet, Universite Joseph Fourier, France Antonio Branco, University of Lisbon, Portugal Francisco Casacuberta, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Spain Ken Church, ATT Labs, USA Tomaz Erjavec, Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia Roger Evans, University of Brighton, UK Marcello Federico, IRST, Italy Julio Gonzalo, UNED, Spain Nancy Ide, Vassar College, USA Ruslan Mitkov, Wolverhampton, UK Diego Molla, Macquarie University, Australia Stefan Muller, Universitaet Bremen, Germany Kemal Oflazer, Sabanci University Istanbul, Turkey Patrick Paroubek, LIMSI, France German Rigau, EHU, Spain Horacio Rodriguez, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain Laurent Romary, INRIA, France Graham Russell, RALI, Canada Eric Wehrli, LATL, Switzerland Shuly Wintner, University of Haifa, Israel Pierre Zweigenbaum, DIAM, France ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Computational Linguistics Editor's Report for 2003-2004 Robert Dale This report covers my first year as editor. My approach over the year was to see how the journal operates, avoiding radical changes that attempt to fix things that aren't broken; but at the same time the editorial board has discussed a number of potential changes to the journal: -the inclusion of submission and acceptance dates on published papers: this will take effect from the next issue; -fast track processing of best papers from conferences: we decided against any special treatment for best paper award winners, but did agree that positively soliciting revised versions as possible journal publications was appropriate; -timely electronic publication: MIT Press has promised to provide a possible model for how this would work, which I should be have received By the time of the Exec meeting. On the more routine side, I had hoped to bring down our turnaround time for papers this year through a rigorous process of frequent reminders. initially this seemed to be going well, but our final figures for the year are marginally worse than the previous year: Time to first decision: For 2001 papers: 110 days For 2002 papers: 127 days For 2003 papers: 129 days For the 2003 papers, there were 59 long papers with an average time to first decision of 130 days, and 7 short papers with an average time to first decision of 117 days. We'll try to tighten this up over the next year. Here's the traditional 'disposition by first decision' table: Decision 2004 to 28/6 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 Submitted 30 65 65 57 64 47 48 Accept 2 16 23 18 15 13 9 Reject 7 20 20 12 11 9 7 Resubmit as squib 0 2 2 2 1 3 0 Revise and resubmit 4 25 18 22 27 12 4 Withdrawn 0 0 2 3 3 2 0 No decision 17 2 0 0 7 8 28 Here's the breakdown by country of first author for the 2003 and 2004 papers: 2003 2004 Europe Bulgaria 1 Finland 3 France 3 2 Germany 4 Iran 2 Israel 1 1 Italy 1 Netherlands 1 1 Poland 1 2 Portugal 2 Romania 1 Slovenia 1 Spain 2 2 Sweden 2 Turkey 1 United Kingdom 7 5 North America Canada 5 1 Mexico 1 United States 21 5 Asia Hong Kong 3 India 1 2 Japan 2 1 Korea 1 Taiwan 2 Thailand 1 South America Brazil 1 2 Total 65 30 In summary, the journal remains healthy and appears to be maintaining its prestige value; major items for the year ahead are improving our turnaround time, moving to electronic publication, and considering the inclusion of new kinds of content in the journal. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Computational Linguistics Book Review Editor's report Graeme Hirst June 2004 BOOK REVIEWS PUBLISHED In 2003, published an average of two book reviews plus a couple of brief notices in each issue of Computational Linguistics. As predicted in my report last year, this number was much lower than in 2002 (five reviews per issue), as the number of books published in computational linguistics and closely related areas has dropped noticeably over the last year or two. At present, it looks like the average will be three per issue in 2004. Most reviews are published in a timely manner -- that is, within 12 months of receipt of the book. This allows six months for the reviewer (some take less) and five months for journal production. MATERIAL REVIEWED I am continuing to be fairly strict in deciding if a book is to be reviewed, but try to include all books that are in "core" computational linguistics, as well as a variety of books from adjacent and overlapping disciplines that are likely to be useful in CL. We do not review technical reports, doctoral theses, conference proceedings, or workshop proceedings, except if revised for publication as a book by a recognized publisher. PRODUCTION MATTERS I am indebted to Nadia Talent for long hours of reading out loud with me to check the galleys. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Computational Linguistics Squibs and Discussions: report for 2003 Pierre Isabelle At the beginning of year 2003, there was only one submission in the squibs pipeline. In the course of year 2003, 4 additional papers were (re-) submitted. At the end of the year, there were two submissions left in the pipeline. Thus, 3 decisions were made during year 2003. The results were as follows: * 2 papers accepted * 1 invitation to revise and resubmit The mean time taken for these decisions was 177 days. Thus far, 4 papers have been (re-) submitted in 2004. -- Pierre Isabelle Squibs editor for Computational Linguistics 30 June 2004 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- CUP/ACL Book Series "Studies in Natural Language Processing" Steven Bird and Bran Boguraev The goal of Studies in Natural Language Processing is to identify and publish state-of-the-art work on topics of interest to the CL/NLP community. Feedback from sales suggests that interest in the community is maintained at level similar to prior years; levels of sales are in line with the types of scholarly books that have been published recently. The series has a new acquisitions editor at Cambridge University Press (Helen Barton), based in the Cambridge office. The series is undergoing a renewal and reprofiling process with the Press, and we welcome proposals for books addressing current research topics in CL/NLP. Breadth of scope and audience is of particular importance. STATUS OF CURRENT PROJECTS 1. Books published during the last 12 months: 0521650585 HB ASHER/LASC Logics of Conversation SNLP 7/1/03 2. Book projects approved, with manuscripts under review: * Masterman,M. "Language, Cohesion and Form" Edited, and with an introduction and commentaries by, Y Wilks * Daelemans/Bosch "Memory-Based Language Processing" ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ACL ANTHOLOGY Report, 2004 Steven Bird The ACL Anthology is a digital archive of research papers in computational linguistics, sponsored by the CL community, and freely available to all. It includes the CL journal, proceedings of the ACL, EACL, NAACL, ANLP, TINLAP, COLING, and ACL-sponsored workshops. The anthology now contains 8350 papers (up from 6,400 this time last year), and supports full-text search. Most of the papers are also indexed by Citeseer, helping the citation counts of ACL authors. PERSISTENT URLs: The ACL website supports persistent URLs for all papers that are resolved to a copy at the selected mirror site. These URLs have the form http://www.aclweb.org/anthology/P99-1012, and they may be used for citation purposes. ACM DIGITAL LIBRARY: The ACL and ACM have signed an agreement whereby the ACM will be permitted to host the anthology content for free, open access, and provide enriched bibliographic metadata and full citation linking. The Anthology materials are now available at: http://portal.acm.org/browse_dl.cfm?linked=1&part=affil&coll=portal&dl=ACM FUTURE MATERIALS. Last year I reported that David Yarowsky has developed tools to generate new anthology content from conference CD-ROMs. Unfortunately, EACL-03 and COLING-04 did not use the tools, and so they have to be manually converted. In order for the Anthology to be maintained efficiently, these tools need to be documented and disseminated. OUTSTANDING TASKS: * Streamline incorporation of new materials * Offer of past HLT proceedings for scanning * Processing of microfiche journal issues * Set up mirror sites * ACL membership of Crossref, for Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary Report of the General Chair HLT/NAACL 2004 Julia Hirschberg June 2004 High Points: ∑ Conference registration numbers are good. ∑ We chose three chairs for each sub-chair position, one each from NLP, IR, and the Speech community. This worked extremely well, since there was always backup when someone was traveling, and it spread the workload out. I think it also gave more people a sense of involvement in the conference; e.g., 21 of the 27 chairs are attending the conference. All of the groups did first-rate jobs. Christy and I are having a thank-you lunch to show our appreciation on Monday. ∑ The paper submission and selection process went relatively smoothly and the PC chairs and area chairs all recommend the Start review software they used to other ACL conferences. Long paper decisions were made in a face-to-face meeting and short paper/poster decisions on a conference call. The PC chairs chose area chairs who had expertise in multiple areas, to provide flexibility in case submissions did not follow the previous year’s pattern, and this worked well in general. The PC chairs and Area chairs decided to give a best paper award; in consultation with the NAACL board, we decided to do this, although this decision need not bind future PC committees. 43 of 168 full paper submissions were accepted (26%), and 40 of 84 short papers (48%). While it was difficult to count the submissions by broad area, the PCs best effort at doing this (which counts some papers in multiple categories) indicates that, for Long Papers, 129 were in NLP, 53 in IR, and 33 in Speech; for Short Papers, 47 were in NLP, 28 in IR, and 27 in Speech. ∑ Student Workshop: We did receive NSF funding ($20,164) this year to support the workshop, thanks to the efforts of the Faculty Advisors to the workshop. One issue here is international students, since NSF is better able to support U.S. students from U.S.; however, other options for support are available for foreign students, and future Advisors should explore them. We also decided to hold the workshop during the tutorial day, so that there would be less competition from parallel paper sessions. Finally, we decided to hold a student evening party instead of a lunch; IBM agreed to sponsor. ∑ Tutorials: We settled on six, 2 in each of our theme areas, IR, NLP, Speech. As of the end of pre-registration, two workshops (one NLP and one Speech/IR) had rather low enrollments (12 and 8) but the rest were doing fine. We decided not to cancel any assuming we would get walk-ins in Boston. ∑ Workshops: We received 11 proposals and accepted 10. As of 26 April, registration ranges from 19 (WS7 on Speech Indexing and Retrieval) to 60 (WS8 on Linking Biological Literature, Ontologies and DBs). ∑ Demos: There were 22 submissions of which 19 were accepted. The demo chairs solicited other demos as well, but few of these solicited proposals resulted in demos. We decided on a demo plenary session with 2 demos for presentation plus overviews of the rest by the demo co-chairs. The actual demos will be given (in parallel) during the remainder of the session. ∑ Sponsorships: We contacted 48 organizations and 8 publishers. Of these, we received $25,000 from 10 sponsors/exhibitors, most at the ‘Bronze’ ($1,000) level. We allowed Bronze sponsors free exhibit space on a one-time basis to get more exhibits. Not many publishers (only ACM and MIT Press) wanted to exhibit this time. Low Points/Suggestions: ∑ Overall: It was not always clear whom to ask and who had the final say when we wanted to innovate or to find out standard practice where this was not specified in the ACL Conference Handbook. It would be good to clarify whether the NAACL Exec or the HLT conference board (or the ACL exec) should be contacted for different matters, or to specify which contact person in each the General Chair should deal with. This was particularly an issue wrt the Best Paper Award issue, the naming of Area Chairs (the PC chairs wanted to call them Senior Program Committee members), policies on co-located workshops (e.g. SigDial), and many budget issues. We got lots of help from lots of people, but if experts and designated contact people could be specified in advance, it would be helpful. ∑ Budget and fees: Over the years, responsibility for preparing the conference budget and setting fees has been shared among the various conference chairs and the treasurer of the ACL or chapter. This needs to be clarified in the ACL Conference handbook. ∑ Tax-exempt payments: A section should be added to the handbook about the desirability of handling payments for the conference through some tax-exempt organization. Christy and I had assumed that ACL was tax exempt and so originally were not budgeting for tax; we are now hopefully getting Mitre to handle payments since they are tax-exempt in Massachusetts. ∑ Registration: Holding the conference in early May may have lessened the number of students who could attend. However, there were problems getting a good hotel later. It is possible that this is a reason for the low submissions to the Student Workshop. However, despite considerable efforts to advertise and encourage submissions, only 12 (9 NLP and 3 IR or Speech) papers were submitted, out of which 10 (7 NLP; 3 other) were accepted. This is a problem. ∑ Website: ACL needs to move its website to a commercial hosting service; this was a problem when we started registration. In general, the conference handbook needs to be clarified about all web issues wrt conferences. In addition, I would recommend that any workshop that wants internet access should be able to get it, without paying for it itself. This is 21st century J. ∑ Co-located but non-ACL-run workshops: ACL and NAACL have developed certain practices over the years in dealing with co-located workshops. It would be very helpful to have the sections in the conference handbook updated to reflect these and that future general chairs follow them strictly. Future conferences should offer to workshops two choices: either the workshop conforms completely to ACL workshop guidelines or it is completely on its own. In addition, it would be useful to make liaison with such conferences part of the Workshop Chair’s duties. There is too much duplication of effort otherwise. This would require a change to the Handbook. ∑ Publications: Things went pretty smoothly despite several last minute changes, one workshop getting its proceedings in very very very late, and Omnipress mis-numbering the Companion volume (they reprinted the TOC to match their numbering to fix this). The Publications Chairs handled all this extremely calmly. If others have similar problems, perhaps future conferences might want to find another press? Also, the publications software we now use needs better documentation in order to take advantage of some of its features. This should be an action item on perhaps for the NAACL exec. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ACL 05 local arrangements report Dragomir R. Radev firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.aclweb.org/acl2005 ACL 05 will be held jointly with NAACL in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The conference site will be the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The dates are set to be June 25 to June 30, 2005. We will be following the standard schedule: the tutorials will be on the first day, the main conference will follow during the next three days, finally, the workshops will be on the last two days. The general conference chair is Kevin Knight. Local arrangements chair is Dragomir Radev. The local committeeincludes Steve Abney, Joyce Chai, San Duanmu, Kurt Godden, Acrisio Pires, Martha Pollack, Rich Thomason (associate chair), Keith van der Linden. The local chair and associate chair will be supported by the Conference Management Services at the University represented by William Vlisides and his team. Ann Arbor is located in southeastern Michigan, less than an hour from Detroit. It's small but cosmopolitan, with many restaurants, museums, galleries, and cultural opportunities. Most activities are reachable by foot or taxi or AATA buses. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is one of the largest, most diverse, and most prestigious centers of learning in the United States. The University has three campuses in Ann Arbor, over 50,000 students, and --- a startling statistic --- more graduates than any other university in the world. Michigan's Central Campus includes the 80-acre Medical Center, the Law School with its picturesque ``quad,'' Hill Auditorium, the Rackham Graduate School building, the ``Diag'' where students hang out, as well as many other historic buildings. Nearby is the Arboretum, with its flower gardens, fields, and forests, through which the Huron River runs. The Arboretum is a favorite spot for jogging, walking, picnicking, and just relaxing. The University's North Campus is home to the schools of Engineering, Music, and Architecture and Design. To the south is the Athletic Campus, which includes stadiums and arenas for University of Michigan varsity teams. The shopping area immediately to the northwest of Central Campus has many new and used book stores, including the original Borders, as well as shops and restaurants. The Main Street area, a few more blocks from Central Campus, is a great place to dine, shop, and stroll. Attendees can eat dinner at any of a large number of excellent restaurants, sample fresh beer at one of Ann Arbor's three brewpubs, or listen to live music at The Bird of Paradise jazz club or The Ark. The Kerrytown area of Ann Arbor is several blocks further to the north. The Farmer's Market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday; indoor Kerrytown shops are open every day of the week and include everything from fish markets to flower sellers to designer clothing stores. Just around the corner you'll find Zingerman's, Ann Arbor's famous New York-style deli, one of the most popular eateries in the city. The corporate side of Ann Arbor is flourishing. Industrial parks and new corporate complexes house such companies as Domino's Pizza and Borders Group, Inc., all of whom have made their headquarters here. Additional major companies such as Pfizer have research facilities in the city. Ann Arbor is home to numerous museums, parks, galleries, and shops, including the Hands-On Museum, University of Michigan Exhibit Museum and Planetarium, Matthaei Botanical Gardens as well as several outdoor pools. An Ann Arbor events listings and restaurant guide can be found at http://www.arborweb.com. Other relevant URLs are http://www.annarbor.org and http://aa.mlive.com . Ann Arbor is easy to reach by air, rail, or highway. An Amtrak station is located less than two miles from the University of Michigan, and Detroit Metropolitan Airport is a brief 30-minute drive. Detroit Metro is a hub airport for Northwest/KLM, and direct flights link Detroit to a large number of cities around the world, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Osaka, and many other cities. The Ann Arbor area has an unusually large number of hotels for a town of its size. There are two hotels within walking distance of Central Campus: The Bell Tower Inn, http://www.belltowerhotel.com/ and the Campus Inn, http://www.campusinn.com/home.html . We have reserved rooms in both of these hotels as well as two other hotels which are not within walking distance. Transportation from and to these other two hotels will be provided on a schedule to be announced later. Additional hotels are also available: http://www.annarbor.org/accommodations/hotels.asp Students will be able to stay in campus dormitories which are within walking distance from campus. There are a large number of parking garages in the Central Campus area, and temporary parking stickers are available for a fee. See http://www.parking.umich.edu. URL: http://www.aclweb.org/acl2005 which links to http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~radev/acl2005/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- A bid from Robert Dale has been received and details are being discussed. Full bid will be circulated. Martha Palmer ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary of SIGS, July 2004 ACL EXEC Meeting Martha Palmer Points for discussion - first three bullets - SIGMEDIA, SIGHAN, SIGDAT/SIGNLL SIGMEDIA - Joint SIGDIAL/SIGMEDIA tutorial and research workshop - 2004. 2 other successful workshops and involvement of members in EEC project (HUMAINE). Possible Issue: all of the workshops in the last year have been in Germany, and the pc for the last one consists of 3 Germans and 1 Dane. Needs to be more international. SIGHAN - Successful segmentation bakeoff and workshop last year, and election. Excellent representative distribution of Chinese speaking countries in 3rd Sighan workshop (ACL-2004). Possible issue: Low Taiwanese membership. SIGDAT - fine, EMNLP very successful, conflicts with CONLL - discussion at ACL SIGDIAL - is there a package SIGs can use for paper reviewing? very active, workshops, new officers, 2005 (Eurospeech). SIGGEN - fine, new officers, successful June meeting. SIGLEX - ok, SENSEVAL3 in Spain, upcoming election. SIGMOL - No issues. Successful 2003 workshop, planning elections, planning next workshop for 2005 SIGNLL - 2003 election, Successful 2003 and 2004 HLT-NAACL CONLL's, shared tasks (NE, Propbank). Possible issue: Coordination with SIGDAT? SIGPARSE - fine, book (collection of papers) appearing, 2005 meeting being planned. SIGPHON - Fine, half new exec members in 2003. Planned ACL-2004 workshop, invited papers on morphology as well. Outreach to linguists. NOTE: Might expand charter to include morphology - SIGSEM - fine, special journal issue, essli tutorials, Tilburg meetings. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- SIGDAT (Ken Church, David Yarowsky) =================================== SIGDAT - 2004 Summer Report SIGDAT is ACL's special interest group for linguistic data and corpus-based approaches to NLP. In 2004, SIGDAT will organize a 2-day Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-2004). The meeting is scheduled immediately after ACL-04 in Barcelona on July 25-26. Dekang Lin is program chair and Dekai Wu is co-chair. The conference appears to be highly successful: A record 257 submissions were received, and 58 papers accepted (a 22% acceptance rate). The proceedings exceeds 450 pages (much larger than pre-1997 full ACL's), and essentially the entire conference will be held in parallel sessions, except for a poster session, plenary lecture and panel session. In terms of scale on several dimensions, EMNLP is now at a similar size to several recent NAACL or EACL meetings. In 2003, SIGDAT organized the 2-day Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-2003). The meeting was scheduled immediately after ACL-03 in Sapporo on July 11-12 at the Sapporo Convention Center. Michael Collins served as conference chair and Mark Steedman served as co-chair. 28 papers were accepted for presentation out of 121 submissions (a 23% acceptance rate), equivalent to the main ACL sessions. 280 copies of the proceedings were printed. - David Yarowsky Secretary-Treasurer ---------------------------------------------------------------------- REPORT ON SIGDIAL ACTIVITIES: July 2003 to June 2004 David Traum (with material from past president Laila Dybkjaer) SIGdial is the ACL and ISCA Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue which was formed in November 1997. More information about SIGdial can be found on the webpages: http://www.sigdial.org including a calendar of upcoming events, resources, and previous reports. Members can join from the webpage, which includes participation in a low-volume, moderated mailing list (mainly conference and job announcements). Sigdial currently has over 350 members from 28 countries. This has been a transition year for Sigdial leadership, with elections in 2003 (taking effect in 2004), and change in Presidents and many other positions. The current board includes officers David Traum (President), Wolfgang Minker (Vice President), and Kristiina Jokinen (Secretary), and Science Advisory Committee members Jan Alexandersson, Susan McRoy, Michael McTear, Alexander Rudnicky, Jan van Kuppevelt, and Ronnie Smith. Additional positions are President Emeritus: Laila Dybkjaer, Information officer: Karen Ward, SIG SLUD/JSAI liaison: Syun Tutiya, ISCA Liaison: Rolf Carlson, Student Liaisons: Holmer Hemsen, Dan Bohus, and Kotaro Funakoshi, Mailing List Maintainer: Laurent Romary. Sigdial has held an annual workshop on discourse and dialogue since 2000. In July 2003, the 4th workshop was held in Sapporo Japan, just before the ACL conference. This workshop was organized jointly with SIG/SLUD, the Japanese national interest group on spoken language understanding and dialogue. The general chair was Akira Kurematsu, and the program chairs were Alex Rudnicky and Syun Tutiya. The 5th workshop was just held at MIT, just before the HLT/NAACL conference in May 2004, with workshop chairs Candace Sidner and Michael Strube. Plans are currently underway for the 6th workshop, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, in September 2005, just before the Eurospeech conference. Program chairs will be Wolfgang Minker and Laila Dybkjaer. More information on Sigdial workshops can be found here: http://www.sigdial.org/workshops/ Sigdial also endorses other workshops in the general area of discourse and dialogue. The following endorsed workshops were held during the past year: July 20-21 2003: AI in Education 2003 Workshop on "Tutorial Dialogue Systems: With a View Towards the Classroom" (Sydney, Australia) August 28-31 2003: ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Error Handling in Spoken Dialogue Systems (Chateau-d'Oex-Vaud, Switzerland) September 4-6 2003: DiaBruck 2003: Seventh Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue (Saarbruecken, Germany) June 14-16 2004: Affective Dialogue Systems (Kloster Irsee, Germany) The following upcoming workshops have also been endorsed: July 19-21: CATALOG '04: 8th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue (Barcelona, Spain) Oct 22-24 2004: 2004 AAAI Fall Symposium on Dialogue Systems for Health Communication. (Washington, DC). Sigdial has also maintained a collaboration with Elsnet, with a SIGdial contribution in Elsnews through its final issue. Sigdial contributors in the last year include: John Aberdeen, Arne Jonsson, Michael McTear, Candy Sidner, and Ronnie Smith. The contributions can be found in the issues at http://www.elsnet.org/elsnews.html ---------------------------------------------------------------------- SIGHAN Richard Sproat Chair, SIGHAN In 2004 SIGHAN is sponsoring the 3rd SIGHAN Workshop on Chinese Language Processing to be held in conjunction with ACL 2004, in Barcelona, Spain, July 25-26. The CFP and description of the workshop can be viewed at http://dev.eurac.edu:8080/sighan/call.html The following is the breakdown of authors of submitted and accepted workshop papers by country/region/whatever: Submitted Accepted China 9 7 Taiwan 4 4 Hong Kong 2 2 Japan 2 2 Korea 2 2 Singapore 2 2 France 2 1 USA 2 2 (1 withdrawn) Australia 1 1 Germany 1 1 ----------------------------------------------- Total 27 24 (1 withdrawn) Current SIGHAN membership breaks down by region as follows: Australia 1 Canada 2 China 30 Finland 1 France 1 Germany 1 Hong Kong 5 Japan 4 Singapore 5 South Korea 1 Taiwan 3 United Kingdom 2 United States 33 United States Minor Outlying Islands 1 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- SIGLEX 2003-2004 Adam Kilgarriff Chair The main SIGLEX activity for July 2003- July 2004 has been through its sub-group, SENSEVAL, which under the committed and effective leadership of Phil Edmonds and Rada Mihalcea, has organized a third evaluation exercise. Like the last two only more so, this was a large exercise with very high levels of participation, energy and enthusiasm. The exercise is now complete bar the workshop and announcement of results, which will take place in Barcelona. See http://www.senseval.org for more details. SENSEVAL made modest use of ACL banking facilities, for storing sponsorship money raised for the workshop. SIGLEX has also supported and leant its name to the following events: * 2nd International Workshop on Dictionary Writing Systems, Brighton, UK, Dec 1-2 2003 * 2nd International Wordnet Conference, Mazaryk University, Brno (Czech Republic), Global WordNet Association, January 20-23, 2004 * Workshop: Beyond Named Entity Recognition: Semantic labelling for NLP tasks, Lisbon, Portugal, May 25, 2004, LREC 2004 * Workshop: OntoLex 2004: Ontologies and Lexical Resources in Distributed Environments, Lisbon, Portugal, May 29, 2004, LREC 2004 * Workshop: Building Lexical Resources from Semantically Annotated Corpora, Lisbon, Portugal, May 30, 2004, LREC 2004 * 11th EURALEX International Congress, Lorient, France, July 6-10, 2004, EURALEX 2004 * Tutorial on Dictionary Writing Systems, EURALEX, Lorient, France, July 6, 2004. * 2nd Workshop on RDF/RDFS and OWL in Language Technology: 4th Workshop on NLP and XML (NLPXML-2004), Barcelona, Spain, 25 July 2004, ACL 2004 * Workshop on Multiword Expressions: Integrating Processing, Barcelona, Spain, 26 July 2004, ACL 2004 The other activity, also to culminate at the SENSEVAL workshop, is to replace ourselves: the election process for new officers and committee is currently under way and will be concluded, and new officers and committee announced, at the Barcelona SENSEVAL workshop. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ANNUAL REPORT SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP ON MULTIMEDIA LANGUAGE PROCESSING (SIGMEDIA) June 12th 2004 CHAIR: Elisabeth Andre (University of Augsburg, Germany, email@example.com) MAILING ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://www.sigmedia.org CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS: In the last reporting period, SIGMedia has been serving as a sponsor for three events at the crossroads of virtual agents, affective interfaces and speech-based dialogue systems. Following the tradition of the successful ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Multi-Modal Dialogue in Mobile Environments (IDS02) in 2002, SIGMEDIA organized another Tutorial and Research workshop on Affective Dialogue Systems (ADS04) in collaboration with the ACL Special Interest Group SIGDial. The workshop will take place at Kloster Irsee, Germany from June 14-16, 2004. The organizing committee consists of: Elisabeth Andr----------------------------------------------------------------------
, University of Augsburg, Germany, Laila Dybkjaer, University of Southern Denmark, Paul Heisterkamp, DaimlerChrysler AG, Germany, and Wolfgang Minker, University of Ulm, Germany. The URL of the workshop is: http://www.sigmedia.org/ads04/ The proceedings have already been published in the Springer LNCS series, see http://www.springeronline.com/3-540-22143-3 Two events sponsored by SIGMEDIA were successfully completed during the last reporting phase: 4th International Working Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, Kloster Irsee, Germany, Sept. 15th-17th, 2003. The URL of the working conference is: http://www.sigmedia.org/iva03. Dagstuhl Seminar on Evaluating Embodied Conversational Agents, Dagstuhl Germany, March 15th-19th, 2004. The URL of the Seminar is: http://www.dagstuhl.de/04121/ COOPERATIONS WITH OTHER NETWORKS AND INSTITUTIONS: SIGMEDIA members have been involved in the preparation of a proposal for a European network called Human-Machine Interaction Network on Emotions (HUMAINE). The proposal has been accepted by the EC and the Network started work in January 2004. SIGMEDIA plans to organize workshops and summer schools in cooperation with this network. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Report for SIGMOL, Mathematics of Language, June, 2004. Jim Rogers MOL 8 was held in conjunction with the 2nd North American Summer School in Logic, Language and Information at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana June 20-22, 2003. There were 13 contributed papers, covering a broad range of areas of mathematical linguistics, invited talks by Aravind Joshi, Ed Keenan and Ed Stabler and six additional talks in the context of two symposia: one on Language and Game Theory and one on Statistical and Symbolic Aspects of Natural Language Learnability. A collection of extended versions of a selection of the papers presented at the meeting will appear this Fall as a special issue of the Journal of Logic Language and Information. We are currently in the process of taking nominations for the position of Vice President/President-Elect and are in the early planning stages for MOL9. Proposals, so far, include U. Toronto (likely sometime next Spring), a joint meeting with the Formal Grammars conference at the 2005 ESSLLI in Edinburgh or a joint meeting with Logical Aspects of Computational Linguistics next Spring in Bordeaux. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ACL SIGNLL - President's Report 2003-2004 Dan Roth In 2003 a SIGNLL election took place among the SIGNLL members and a new president and secretary were elected. The new elected officials are Dan Roth and Antal van den Bosch, respectively. They replace the previous SIGNLL president Walter Daelemans and secretary Dan Roth. Erik Tjong Kim Sang is the new Information officer. We would like to thank Walter for serving as the SIGNLL president for many years and for his immense contribution to the formation of the community through his role at SIGNLL and the CoNLL meeting. Walter joined the SIGNLL advisory board, which has grown this year to include also Rada Mihalcea, Grace Ngai, Hwee Tou Ng and Ellen Riloff. Adwait Ratnaparkhi has left the board. In 2003-2004 SIGNLL has grown to 395 registered members. The goals of the SIG are those of promoting of and informing about research on learning in natural language are served by (i) the maintenance of an informative and up-to-date website and associated mailing list, and (ii) the organization of an annual event (CoNLL), and support of other related activities. The web-pages, located at URL http://www.aclweb.org/signll/ and maintained by Erik Tjong Kim Sang, remain an important source of information, complemented by an email list for conference announcements. On the web-site, links can be found to relevant associations, networks, research cooperations, research departments, groups, institutes, individuals, mailing lists, archives, journals, bulletins, conference reports, online papers (including all papers of all CoNLL proceedings), online courses and slides, bibliographies, software, corpora, companies, meta-information sources etc. As of earlier this year, SIGNLL is now a separate entry on the top-page of the ACL Anthology. http://acl.ldc.upenn.edu/ The main events in 2003-2004 were the seventh and eighth CoNLL (SIGNLL Conference on Natural Language Learning). More information about these events can be obtained from their web-pages, linked from the SIGNLL website. The seventh CoNLL was organized with HLT-NAACL May 2003 in Edmonton by Walter Daelemans and Miles Osborne, with a shared task organized by Tjong Kim Sang and Fien De Meulder, on language-independent named entity recognition (for the second year in a row). 35 papers--for the first time full papers instead of long abstracts--were submitted of which 18 were accepted for presentation and publication in the proceedings. 16 systems were submitted for the shared task, and their descriptions included in the proceedings. An invited talk was given by Steven Abney (sponsored by CLIF, http://clif.uia.ac.be) and attendance was an all time high for CoNLL with 85 official registrations. The eighth CoNLL was organized with HLT-NAACL in May 2004 in Boston, by Hwee Tou Ng and Ellen Riloff. The shared task was on Semantic Role Labeling, using the PropBank data, organized by Lluis Marquez and Xavier carreras. 23 full papers were submitted, of which 11 were accepted for a full presentation. We believe that the relative low number of submissions this year is due to the fact that the meeting was held too early in the year. The number of registration was 65. Invited talks were given by Christopher D. Manning and by Martha Palmer. As usual, the shared task was one of the focal points of CoNLL, and drew large participation, also from people who did not register to CoNLL. 10 teams submitted systems to the shared task and presented their work in the shared task session. We think SIGNLL is still unique in its focus and has had Significant impact, partly due to the shared tasks, which have been broadly referenced and have contributed benchmark data sets that are commonly used outside the CoNLL context. We keep striving for complementarity with related SIGDAT events such as EMNLP, and have contributed to this communication by our conference collocation policy. Dan Roth Urbana, IL June 25, 2004 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- SIGPARSE Annual Report, June 2004 Harry Bunt, June 2004 The main aim of SIGPARSE is to ensure the continuity of the biennial `International Workshop on Parsing Technologies' (IWPT) series. In 2003 the 8th International Workshop on Parsing Technologies (IWPT'03) was held in April in Nancy, France. Preparations have started for IWPT'05, which is planned to be held in the US in early Fall 2005. On the basis of IWPT 2000, which took place in Trento, Italy, in February 2000, and IWPT 2001, which was held in Beijing in October 2001, a book has been put together containing revised and edited versions of the best papers from these workshops, edited by Harry Bunt, John Carroll and Giorgio Satta. This book, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in their Text, Speech and Language Technology series, will appear in early Fall 2004. To facilitate its operation and the communication in the parsing community, a SIGPARSE website is maintained at the University of Twente by Hendri Hondorp, and a mailing list is operated at CMU by Kenji Sagae. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 2003-2004 Annual Report SIGPHON (Computational Phonology) Jason Eisner MEMBERSHIP ---------- SIGPHON is ACL's special interest group for computational phonology. Membership currently stands at 240 (previous years: 237, 214, 190, 176) with 58 declaring computational phonology as their "primary" interest (previous years: 53, 47, 39, 36). A new SIGPHON executive committee was elected in 2003, consisting of 3 old and 3 new members. WORKSHOP -------- Our seventh biannual workshop will be held at ACL 2004. The program was chaired by Richard Wicentowski and John Goldsmith and features 11 peer-reviewed papers. Note that since 2002 we have explicitly invited papers on computational morphology as well as phonology. ONLINE ACTIVITIES ----------------- SIGPHON continues to serve the community by maintaining a mailing list and online bibliographies at its web site, http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/sigphon/ . FUTURE PLANS ------------ SIGPHON is interested in continuing to increase connections with related communities, such as morphology, speech technology, and "pure" phonology. The new executive committee includes a computational morphologist and a speech technologist, as well as the linguist John Goldsmith. There is no ACL SIG devoted to computational morphology. SIGPHON's last workshop focused on morphological and phonological learning; this summer's workshop was also opened to morphology papers. We may consider expanding our charter to cover morphology as well as phonology. This arguably forms a natural interest group, as the two problems are somewhat intertwined, especially when dealing with corpus data. Consolidating the two communities would increase submissions and attendance at our workshops. We would be interested in the thoughts of the ACL Exec on this question. We hope to arrange for a special issue of a journal such as _Phonology_, focusing on the contribution of computational phonology to phonology proper. We are also considering holding our next workshop at a linguistics conference such as the LSA. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Report on SIGSEM, June 2004 Patrick Blackburn and Harry Bunt The period since the last SIGSEM report was written (January 2004) has been relatively quiet. Over the last five months SIGSEM has not organised any of its own events, but it has supported a meeting of its Working Group on the Representation of Multimodal Semantic Information and it has endorsed a number of other events . In particular, computational semantics will be heavily represented at ESSLLI 2004 which takes place in Nancy, France, from 9-20 August 2004 (see http://esslli2004.loria.fr/) and SIGSEM has endorsed 4 courses at this summer school, namely: Computational semantics (Introductory Course) Alexander Koller, Aljoscha Burchardt and Stephan Walter Reasoning with natural language (Introductory Course) Ian Pratt-Hartmann (University of Manchester) Recent developments in computational semantics (Advanced course) Markus Egg and Valia Kordoni Modelling information structure for computational discourse processing Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova Pre-registration figures indicate that all four courses will be well attended (indeed the course by Koller et al looks set to be the most popular course of the summer school). A special issue of the Journal of Logic, Language and Information, edited by Michael Kohlhase, devoted to inference in computational semantics has appeared (Journal of Logic Language and Information, Volume 13, No. 3, Spring 2004). This contains a selection of papers which were originally presented at ICoS-3, the Third International Workshop on Inference in Computational Semantics (a SIGSEM event). All papers were revised and re-refereed for the special issue. The ACL SIGSEM Working Group on the Representation of Multimodal Semantic Information held its third meeting in conjunction with LREC 2004 in Lisbon in the form of a joint meeting with the ISO (International Standards Organization) Technical Committee on Terminology and Language Resources. This meeting has resulted in the identification of a number of aspects of semantic annotation and representation for which small task groups have been formed that will report at the WG's next meeting. The next major activity in which SIGSEM will be involved will be IWCS-6, the Sixth International Workshop on Computational Semantics, 12 - 14 January 2005 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. For more information see the IWCS-6 website http://let.uvt.nl/research/TI/sigsem/iwcs/iwcs6 Immediately preceding IWCS-6, on 10-11 January 2005, the WG on the Representation of Multimodal Semantic Information will have its fourth meeting at Tilburg University. This meeting will be open to IWCS-6 participants. For more information see the Working Group's website at http://let.uvt.nl/research/TI/sigsem/wg ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ACL Internet site Dragomir R. Radev email@example.com Sandra Carberry firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.aclweb.org NEW ACTIVITIES - In fall 2003, the old host machine, bluewhale.cs.columbia.edu, died of old age. With a lot of help from Pablo Duboue, Andy Schlaikjaer, Kathy McKeown, and Julia Hirschberg, all from Columbia, most of the services associated with ACL's site moved to the University of Michigan. - After 10 years of hosting aclweb.org on a server at universities: Columbia University (and recently, partially at the University of Michigan), we are preparing to move the ACL site to a commercial provider. This way, we will be getting DNS, email addresses, secure registration, database servers, etc. all on one machine with dedicated (paid) customer support. ONGOING ACTIVITIES - This year, Reagan Kelly of U. Michigan redesigned the NLP/CL Universe search engine and ported it to more reliable software. Rachael Hu, Erin Doumpoulaki, and Chris Peterson, all of U. Michigan entered all new entries. The site now includes 3,454 pointers, up from 2,893 last year (an increase of 19.4%). There are 354 academic pages, 779 conference links, 79 professional organizations, 198 subject-specific resources, 365 personal pages, etc. - Some of the top queries to the Universe: semantic job opportunity 2004 information extraction translators tokenizer speech to speech translator query expansion language document clustering - The acl-news mailing list is used to announce changes to the NLP/CL Universe. After a recent cleanup of defunct addresses, the list now includes 385 members. - The unofficial Natural Language Processing FAQ (list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers) is still available through the ACL page. It is now out of date so volunteers are sought to contribute to the list. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- NLSR Thierry Declerck In the last period work dedicated to the ACL Natural Language Software Registry, hosted at DFKI, was mainly concerned wiht designing the next generation of the service offered to the community. On the one hand efforts has been spent within the EU Project INTERA, aiming at offering an hyperlinking to other kind of repositories (language data for example). See http://www.elda.fr/rubrique22.html. The second activity started concerns a major redesign of the conceptual structure of the ACL Registry, in dependency of the second edition of the online book "Survey of the State of the Art in Human Language Technology" (http://www.lt-world.org/HLT_Survey/Edit_Board/), that is related with the COLLATE project conducted within the National Competence Centre for Language Technology at the DFKI. The actual structure of the ACL Registry was following the description of the field proposed in the first version of the book. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- OLAC Report for 2004 OLAC - Open Language Archives Community - www.language-archives.org Steven Bird and Gary Simons OLAC, the Open Language Archives Community, is an international partnership of institutions and individuals who are creating a worldwide virtual library of language resources by: (i) developing consensus on best current practice for the digital archiving of language resources, and (ii) developing a network of interoperating repositories and services for housing and accessing such resources. OLAC was launched in 2000, and now has some 30 participating repositories with about 30,000 documented language resources (articles, corpora, tools, etc). These can be searched using the new interface hosted at the Linguistic Data Consortium. Features include result summaries by archive, result ranking, approximate language name matching, and country-based searches: http://www.ldc.upenn.edu/olac/search.php OLAC now invites language resource providers of all kinds to participate by contributing resource descriptions in a standard XML format. For more information, please visit www.language-archives.org and join the OLAC-General mailing list.