2017Q3 Reports: EMNLP 2016

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The 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2016) was held on November 1–5, 2016 in Austin, Texas, USA. The conference consisted of 7 workshops and 6 tutorials and three days of full and short paper presentations.

The organization committee consisted of:

  • General Chair: Jian Su
  • Program Chairs: Kevin Duh, Xavier Carreras
  • Workshops Chairs: Annie Louis, Greg Kondrak
  • Tutorial Chairs: Bishan Yang, Rebecca Hwa
  • Sponsorship Team: Michel Galley, Hang Li (ISC Representative for EMNLP)
  • Publication Chairs: Siddharth Patwardhan, Daniele Pighin (Advisor)
  • Publicity Chair: Saif M. Mohammad
  • Student Scholarship Chair and Student Volunteer Coordinator: Vincent Ng
  • Handbook Chair: Swapna Somasundaran
  • Website Chair: Jackie C.K. Cheung
  • SIGDAT Liaison: Chris Callison-Burch
  • Local Arrangements Chair: Priscilla Rasmussen

There're 41 Area Chairs and more than 900 reviewers in the Program Committee.

There were 1,087 valid submissions, of which 687 were long papers and 400 were short papers. This represents 14.5% long paper submission increase with a strategic adjustment over short papers. 177 long papers and 87 short papers, for a total of 264 papers were accepted for an overall acceptance rate of 24.3%. An additional 9 papers accepted by the TACL journal were presented at the conference as well.

The conference was structured into three parallel oral sessions in the day and two poster sessions in the evening. Borrowing from recent NAACL conference innovations, the poster spotlight sessions (also called HMM: Half-Minute Madness) were run, where poster presenters of long papers have 30 seconds and one slide to advertise their work.

The program was complemented with 3 distinguished speakers, Christopher Potts (Stanford University), Andreas Stolcke (Microsoft Research) and Stefanie Tellex (Brown University) who presented recent advances in rational speech acts and pragmatics, the challenges and opportunities in human-human-machine dialog as well as novel methods and frameworks for enabling human-robot collaboration respectively.

Best paper awards were organized around three categories: best paper, best short paper, and best resource paper. The latter category was introduced at EMNLP 2015. Since resources have become central for scientific progress in our field, we would like this category of award to become a standard. The bottom-up selection process led to 2 best long papers, 2 honorable mentions for the best long paper, 1 best short paper and 1 best resource paper.

EMNLP 2016 also got a record number of 17 sponsors (4 platinum, 8 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze and 1 student volunteer sponsor). We are extremely grateful to all of them. For more details, see the conference website:

EMNLP 2016 had history high attendances with more than 800 participants from 31 countries as well.

Furthermore, tutorials, invited speeches, all the oral presentations of the technical papers including best papers, opening and closing remarks as well as HMM were all recorded. These videos are available at

Jian Su, EMNLP 2016 General Chair