The Workshop on Induction of Linguistic Structure -- at NAACL HLT 2012

Event Notification Type: 
Call for Papers
Abbreviated Title: 
Le Sheraton Centre
Thursday, 7 June 2012
Submission Deadline: 
Saturday, 14 April 2012


** Note: New paper submission deadline **

The Workshop on Induction of Linguistic Structure (WILS)

Co-located with NAACL-HLT 2012 Montreal, Quebec, Canada; June 07, 2012

Submission Deadline: April 14, 2012

Workshop description:

This workshop addresses the challenges of learning in an unsupervised
or minimally supervised context with questions of linguistic
structure. Inducing structured linguistic representations from text
has long been a fundamental problem in Computational Linguistics and
Natural Language Processing, drawing from theoretical Computer Science
and Machine Learning. The popularity of the area is driven by two
different motivations. Firstly, it can help us to better understand
the cognitive process of language acquisition in humans. Secondly, it
can help with portability of NLP applications into new domains and new
languages. Most NLP algorithms rely on syntactic parse structure
created by supervised methods, however in many cases there is no
available training data, thus limiting the portability of these
algorithms. Consequently work on unsupervised induction of the
linguistic structure of language holds considerable promise, although
current approaches are a long way from solving the general problems.
This workshop aims to foster continuing research in structure
induction, and bring together different communities working on these
problems, be it from a cognitive or a text processing perspective.

In this workshop, we solicit papers from many subfields of
computational linguistics and language processing. Topics include, but
are not limited to
- grammar learning
- part-of-speech and shallow syntax
- learning semantic representations
- inducing document and discourse structure
- learning/projecting structures across multilingual corpora
- relation induction across document collections
- evaluation of induced representations
Our aim is to bring together work on fully unsupervised methods along
with minimally supervised approaches (e.g., domain adaptation and
multilingual projection).

The workshop will solicit short papers (6 pages) for either oral or
poster presentation. More details on paper submission will be provided
in due course on the workshop website.

The workshop will host the PASCAL Unsupervised grammar induction
challenge, which aims to foster continuing research in grammar
induction and part-of-speech induction, while also opening up the
problem to more ambitious settings, including a wider variety of
languages, removing the reliance on gold standard parts-of-speech and,
critically, providing a thorough evaluation including a task-based

The shared task will evaluate dependency grammar induction algorithms,
evaluating the quality of structures induced from natural language
text. In contrast with the defacto standard experimental setup, which
starts with gold standard part-of-speech tags, we will encourage
competitors to submit systems which are completely unsupervised. The
evaluation will consider the standard dependency tree based measures
as well as measures over the predicted parts of speech. Our aim is to
allow a wide range of different approaches, and for this reason we
will accept submissions which predict just the dependency trees for
gold PoS, just the PoS, or both jointly.

While our focus is on unsupervised approaches, we recognise that there
has been considerable related research using semi-supervised learning,
domain adaption, cross-lingual projection and other partially
supervised methods for building syntactic models. For this reason we
will also support these kinds of systems.

Important dates:

Submission Deadline: April 14
Notification of Acceptance: April 28
Camera-ready papers Due: May 04
Workshop: June 07, 2012

Shared task dates
Data made available: Jan 27
Submissions due for evaluation: April 13
Evaluation results released: April 23
Team reports due: May 4


Trevor Cohn, University of Sheffield
Phil Blunsom, University of Oxford
João Graça, Spoken Language Systems Lab, INESC-ID Lisboa

Program committee:

Ben Taskar - University of Pennsylvania
Percy Liang - Stanford University
Andreas Vlachos - University of Cambridge
Chris Dyer - CMU
Mark Drezde - John Hopkins
Shai Cohen - Columbia University
Kuzman Ganchev - Google Inc.
André Martins - CMU/IST Portugal
Greg Druck - Yahoo
Ryan McDonald - Google Inc.
Nathan Schneider - CMU
Partha Talukdar - CMU
Dipanjan Das - CMU
Mark Steedman - University of Edinburgh
Luke Zettlemoyer - University of Washington
Roi Reichart - MIT
David Smith - University of Massachusetts
Ivan Titov - Saarland University
Alex Clarke - Royal Holloway University
Khalil Sima'an - University of Amsterdam
Stella Frank - University of Edinburgh