2017Q3 Reports: SIGSLAV

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The purpose of SIGSLAV (the ACL Special Interest Group on Slavic Natural Language Processing) established in December 2014 is to stimulate research in NLP and creation of linguistic resources for the Slavic languages. The SIGSLAV web page located at: http://sigslav.cs.helsinki.fi maintained by Lidia Pivovarova and Roman Yangarber remains an important source of up-to-date information on relevant events and activities.

As of 2017 SIGSLAV is meeting at its main workshop BSNLP (Balto-Slavic Natural Language Processing) (*Note: Baltic languages are included therein for historical reasons (the first BSNLP workshop took place in 2007 as a co-located event of ACL 2007) and also due to certain relatedness to Slavic languages.), which is held biennally (last in 2017; next in 2019). Our meetings typically attract 30-40 participants and are organized as co-located workshops of major conferences in the area of NLP and computational linguistics. The last one (6th edition) was held in Valencia (Spain) on 4 April 2017.

We are continuously elaborating strategies to grow SIGSLAV into a more active community. To facilitate this task an Advisory Board has been established in 2015. It is also important to emphasize that support from ACL is of paramount importance for SIGSLAV in the context of acknowledging that BSNLP is currently the flagship workshop of the SIG.


Since the establishment of SIGSLAV in 2014, the membership count of the SIG grew to 110 as of July 2017. In particular, BSNLP 2017 workshop held on 4 April 2017 in Valencia in Spain facilitated recruitment of new members. We intend to use SIGSLAV-sponsored events to actively recruit new members.


The term of the elected officers started on 1 December 2014:

  • Chair: ​Jakub Piskorski, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw & Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
  • Vice-Chair: ​Roman Yangarber, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Secretary: ​Jan Šnajder, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Resource Manager: ​Lidia Pivovarova, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Resource Manager: ​Hristo Tanev, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

Advisory Board

The members of the Advisory Board are nominated by the SIGSLAV chair and they continue to serve in this position until further notice.

  • Tomaž Erjavec, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
  • Natalia Grabar, Université Lille 3, France
  • Cvetana Krstev, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Vladislav Kuboň, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
  • Adam Przepiórkowski, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  • Marko Tadić, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Serge Sharoff, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  • Kiril Simov, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria

Events and Publications


BSNLP 2017 (http://bsnlp-2017.cs.helsinki.fi/) was held on 4 April 2017 in Valencia, Spain as a workshop co-located with EACL 2017 conference. Serge Sharoff (University of Leeds, UK) gave the keynote talk. Of the submitted 24 papers, 14 papers were accepted (overall acceptance rate: 58%). The proceedings of BSNLP 2017 were published in the ACL Anthology at https://aclweb.org/anthology/W/W17/W17-1400.pdf. For the first time, a shared task was organised in the context of BSNLP workshop. The task (http://bsnlp-2017.cs.helsinki.fi/shared_task.html) focused on recognizing mentions of named entities in web documents in Slavic languages (7 languages covered), their normalization/lemmatization, and cross-language matching. 4 different systems have been evaluated in the context of the shared task.

SIGSLAV Business Meetings

  • The last SIGSLAV business meeting was held on 5 April 2017 in Valencia (Spain). Plans were discussed on general strategy on engaging Slavic NLP community in coordinating efforts related to organization of scientific events related to Slavic NLP, follow-up to the shared task and preparation of the SIGSLAV elections in 2017.
  • The next business meeting will be held at BSNLP 2019 (date/venue yet to be decided)


  • The first SIGSLAV elections will be held in September/October 2017. The call for nominations has been sent out in May 2017, The current officers took over on 1 December 2014 and will remain in office until the end of 2017.

Financial Report

SIGSLAV does not have any financial resources at the moment.