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

   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 .


   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.


   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).


   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.


   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

   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 .

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.


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

        pubs                     2,907.26
        dues                     2,073.29
        mail                        81.50
        net interest                21.00

        total income             5,083.05                       3,336.91

        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


01/01/2003                              17,181.34

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

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

01.01.2003                                   0.00

      ACL Toulouse            17,181.34             (= CHF 26,691)
      Reimbursement LMC          175.00

      total income            17,356.34

      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

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 ( 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

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


Article 5.1

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.


(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

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.

(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

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.

(1)  Clarification and correction of typo.



  NAACL Treasurer

  Dragomir R. Radev

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 (, 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.


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


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
   - 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
     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 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

I invited the other chairs in early February 2003 (17 months before

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

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

   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

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

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,

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,

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
server, as suggested by softconf itself.


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

. 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

. 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

. 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

. It would be useful if start can automatically extract a spreadsheet
with the reviewers/secondary reviewers, possible associated with

* 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



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

        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
        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

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

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:


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

EMNLP 2004 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: 132

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

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

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.


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


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


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

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

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

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, 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.


- 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

Antonia Marti, Local Sponsorships Chair

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

Antonia Marti, Local Exhibitors Chair

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

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,, ATALA( as well as to the following Spanishs Institutions or
associations: Instituto Cervantes (Oficina de la Sociedad de la
Informacion, SEPLN ( 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

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


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

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

-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

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

                  2003     2004

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

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 


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.


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.


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.


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, 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:

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

* 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

∑ 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

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

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

An Ann Arbor events listings and restaurant guide can be found at Other relevant URLs are and .

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

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, and the
Campus Inn, . 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:

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.

URL: which links to


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,

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

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


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



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: 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

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:

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


Richard Sproat 

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

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

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 for more details.  SENSEVAL made modest use
of ACL banking facilities, for storing sponsorship money raised for the

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,
* 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.





June 12th 2004

CHAIR: Elisabeth Andre (University of Augsburg, Germany,




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:
The proceedings have already been published in the Springer LNCS
series, see

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:

    Dagstuhl Seminar on Evaluating Embodied Conversational Agents,
Dagstuhl Germany, March 15th-19th, 2004. The URL of the Seminar is:


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

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 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.

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, 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


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.


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.


SIGPHON continues to serve the community by maintaining a mailing list
and online bibliographies at its web site, .


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

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 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

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


  ACL Internet site

  Dragomir R. Radev
   Sandra Carberry


- In fall 2003, the old host machine,, 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

- After 10 years of hosting 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.


- 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,

- Some of the top queries to the Universe:

  job opportunity 2004
  information extraction
  speech to speech translator
  query expansion
  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.


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

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" (,
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 -
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:

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
and join the OLAC-General mailing list.