2017Q3 Reports: SIGDIAL

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Jason D. Williams, SIGdial President

Report submitted in July 2017, covering the period Aug 2016 - July 2017

SIGdial is the ACL and ISCA Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue. More information about SIGdial can be found on our website: http://www.sigdial.org. Users can also become members from the website; members are added to a low-volume, moderated mailing list (mainly conference and job announcements). SIGdial is fully compliant with ACL and ISCA guidelines for SIGs, and currently has 575 members.

SIGdial held an election in early 2017 for the term 2017-2018. The exec is now Jason D. Williams (President), Kallirroi Georgila (Vice President), and Ethan Selfridge (Treasurer). The Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of a mixture of elected and appointed members, including Milica Gasic, Barbara Di Eugenio, Annie Louis and Ryuchiro Higashinaka. Amanda Stent is our President Emeritus and also administers the SIGdial website and mailing list. The election did not fill one board seat and the secretary position -- we will hold an election for these positions shortly, in accordance with the SIGdial constitution. We are also in the process of appointing liaisons to other organizations, such as IUI, ISCA, AVIOS, SIGGEN, IEEE, etc.

SIGdial has held an annual workshop on discourse and dialogue since 2000; the workshop became a conference in 2009. SIGDIAL 2016 was held in Los Angeles, in "near co-location" with INTERSPEECH 2016. SIGDIAL 2016 included a special session on “The Future Directions of Dialogue-Based Intelligent Personal Assistants”. The organizers were: Raquel Fernandez and Wolfgang Minker (general co-chairs), Giuseppe Carenini and Ryuchiro Higashinaka (program co-chairs), Ron Artstein and Alesia Gainer (local co-chairs), Pierre Lison (mentoring chair) and Ethan Selfridge (sponsorships chair). The keynote speakers were Susan Brennan and Louis-Philippe Morency. Of the 65 long paper submissions: 19 were accepted for oral presentation, 15 were accepted for poster presentation. Of the 30 short paper submissions, 7 were accepted for poster presentation, for a total of 22 posters. There were 5 demonstration papers that were accepted. We thank the SIGDIAL 2016 sponsors, including Microsoft, Xerox PARC, Intel, facebook, Amazon, Interactions Corp, Educational Testing Service, Yahoo!, and the Honda Research Institute. As is now SIGDIAL tradition, we video-recorded oral presentations with permission of the presenters and archived these online.

Since 2005, the Young Researchers’ Roundtable on Spoken Dialog Systems (YRRSDS) has been co-located with SIGDIAL. Although it has been organized as a separate event, in practice the two have coordinated efforts. In 2016, YRRSDS and the SIGdial board mutually agreed to have YRRSDS officially become the second annual event of the SIG. YRRSDS will continue to be organized by early-stage researchers, and we encourage the event to continue experimenting with innovative meeting formats. YRRSDS 2016 was attended by approximately 24 early-stage researchers.

SIGDIAL 2017 will be held at the University of Saarland in Saarbrucken, Germany, August 15-17, 2017, in "near colocation" with INTERSPEECH 2017. In addition, SIGDIAL 2017 is co-located with SemDial 2017, with joint registration, and several joint sessions. The organizers of SIGDIAL 2017 are: Kristiina Jokinen and Manfred Stede (general co-chairs), Annie Louis and David DeVault (program co-chairs), Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova and Volha Petukhova (local co-chairs), Pierre Lison (mentoring chair) and Ethan Selfridge (sponsorships chair).

SIGdial also endorses a number of other dialogue-related workshops and events that are open to the general community. Events which were endorsed or occurred in 2016-2017 include: IWSDS 2016 and 2017, DSTC5, the RE-WOCHAT LREC Workshop 2016, JerSem (SemDial 2016), and the SIGIR workshop on Conversational Approaches to Information Retrieval (CAIR). There is ongoing sponsorship of Dialogue & Discourse and ongoing endorsement of DialPort.