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From Jens Grivolla <j+...@grivolla.net>
Subject Re: Last chance: Workshop on Open Infrastructures and Analysis Frameworks for HLT
Date Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:43:15 GMT
Good news everyone!

The early registration deadline for COLING 2014 has just been extended to
July 2nd (it was going to end tomorrow).  This means that early
registration rates for COLING will still be valid at the time of acceptance
notification for the workshop.

So that's one more reason to submit a paper to our workshop (only 5 days
left). Don't hesitate!

Workshop on Open Infrastructures and Analysis Frameworks for HLT


At the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING
Helix Conference Centre at Dublin City University (DCU)
23-29 August 2014

Recent advances in digital storage and networking, coupled with the
extension of human language technologies (HLT) into ever broader areas and
the persistence of difficulties in software portability, have led to an
increased focus on development and deployment of web-based infrastructures
that allow users to access tools and other resources and combine them to
create novel solutions that can be efficiently composed, tuned, evaluated,
disseminated and consumed. This in turn engenders collaborative development
and deployment among individuals and teams across the globe. It also
increases the need for robust, widely available evaluation methods and
tools, means to achieve interoperability of software and data from diverse
sources, means to handle licensing for limited access resources distributed
over the web, and, perhaps crucially, the need to develop strategies for
multi-site collaborative work.

For many decades, NLP has suffered from low software engineering standards
causing a limited degree of re-usability of code and interoperability of
different modules within larger NLP systems. While this did not really
hamper success in limited task areas (such as implementing a parser), it
caused serious problems for building complex integrated software systems,
e.g., for information extraction or machine translation. This lack of
integration has led to duplicated software development, work-arounds for
programs written in different (versions of) programming languages, and
ad-hoc tweaking of interfaces between modules developed at different sites.

In recent years, two main frameworks, UIMA and GATE, have emerged that aim
to allow the easy integration of varied tools through common type systems
and standardized communication methods for components analysing
unstructured textual information, such as natural language. Both frameworks
offer a solid processing infrastructure that allows developers to
concentrate on the implementation of the actual analytics components. An
increasing number of members of the NLP community have adopted one of these
frameworks as a platform for facilitating the creation of reusable NLP
components that can be assembled to address different NLP tasks depending
on their order, combination and configuration. Analysis frameworks also
reduce the problem of reproducibility of NLP results by formalising
solution composition and making language processing tools shareable.

Very recently, several efforts have been devoted to the development of web
service platforms for NLP. These platforms exploit the growing number of
web-based tools and services available for tasks related to HLT, including
corpus annotation, configuration and execution of NLP pipelines, and
evaluation of results and automatic parameter tuning. These platforms can
also integrate modules and pipelines from existing frameworks such as UIMA
and GATE, in order to achieve interoperability with a wide variety of
modules from different sources.

Many of the issues and challenges surrounding these developments have been
addressed individually in particular projects and workshops, but there are
ramifications that cut across all of them. We therefore feel that this is
the moment to bring together participants representing the range of
interests that comprise the comprehensive picture for community-driven,
distributed, collaborative, web-based development and use for language
processing software and resources. This includes those engaged in
development of infrastructures for HLT as well as those who will use these
services and infrastructures, especially for multi-site collaborative work.
Workshop Objectives

The overall goal of this workshop is to provide a forum for discussion of
the requirements for an envisaged open “global laboratory” for HLT research
and development and establish the basis of a community effort to develop
and support it. To this end, the workshop will include both presentations
addressing the issues and challenges of developing, deploying, and using
the global laboratory for distributed and collaborative efforts and
discussion that will identify next steps for moving forward, fostering
community-wide awareness, and establishing and encouraging communication
among the various players.

It aims at bringing together members of the NLP community specifically
users, developers or providers of components and tools for these frameworks
in order to explore and discuss the opportunities and challenges in using
such platforms for modern, well-engineered NLP applications.

The challenge of creating reusable and interoperable components raises
particular interest and are affected by legal issues, such as potentially
incompatible licenses of components and tools as well as the technical
aspects of packaging and distribution of components. Also, tools are
important, for example to assemble complex processing pipelines, to manage
the bodies of data that are to be analysed and to visualize, explore, and
further deploy the analysis results. Further challenges are involved in
embedding framework based analysis within applications or using it in
distributed computing scenarios, such as deployment of and access to
required resources. Finally, the preservation of analysis results, their
provenance and reproducibility are of particular interest to the scientific
user community.

Workshop topics include, but are not limited to:

   - processing of very large data collections: scale-out, parallelization,
   and performance optimization
   - advanced applications driven by an NLP framework
   - sophisticated tools to build and manage complex processing pipelines
   - analysis of results: exploration, evaluation, visualization, and
   statistical analysis
   - experience reports combining components from different sources, as
   well as solutions to interoperability issues
   - experience reports combining different frameworks (e.g.
   - UIMA components with a special focus on genericity and type-system
   - repositories of ready-to-use components for UIMA and/or GATE
   - distribution of components: documentation, licensing and packaging
   - developing for UIMA or GATE: simplified APIs, debugging, unit testing,
   and limitations of the frameworks
   - combining annotation type systems in processing frameworks (GATE,
   UIMA, etc.) with standardization efforts, such as done in the ISO TC37/SC4
   or TEI contexts.
   - use of NLP frameworks in real-world “industry” settings
   - reports on current projects and frameworks, their challenges and
   proposed or implemented solutions, including efforts to address
   - issues and challenges of multi-site collaborative projects, including
   reports of implemented or proposed strategies
   - pipeline management, including authentication, strategies for passing
   resources through disparate tools and across hosting nodes, and licensing
   - development and use of evaluation environments that facilitate
   assessment of HLT component performance, iterative application development,
   and replication of results
   - community awareness and implementation of open infrastructures,
   including how to engage the community, establish confidence in the process,
   and promote use


Paper Submission Deadline: *10th June 2014*
Author Notification Deadline: 30th June 2014
Camera-Ready Paper Deadline: 10th July 2014
Workshop: 23rd August 2014

Nancy Ide
Department of Computer Science, Vassar College

James Pustejovsky
Department of Computer Science, Brandeis University

Eric Nyberg
Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science, Carnegie
Mellon University

Christopher Cieri
Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania

Jonathan Wright
Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania

Jens Grivolla
GLiCom, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Kalina Bontcheva
Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield
Program Committee

   - Richard Eckart de Castilho, TU Darmstadt
   - Peter Klügl, Universität Würzburg
   - Jens Grivolla, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
   - Renaud Richardet, École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne
   - Michael Tanenblatt, Thomas J. Watson Research Center
   - Azad Dehghan, University of Manchester
   - Leon Derczynski, University of Sheffield
   - Horacio Saggion, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
   - Carlos Rodríguez-Penagos, Barcelona Media
   - Joan Codina, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
   - Mark A. Greenwood, University of Sheffield
   - Marie-Jean Meurs, Concordia University
   - Kamel Nebhi, University of Geneva
   - Bahar Sateli, Semantic Software Lab, Concordia University
   - René Witte, Semantic Software Lab, Concordia University
   - Graham Wilcock, Helsinki
   - Torsten Zesch, University of Duisburg-Essen
   - Yoshinobu Kano, PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency
   - Mohammad AL Asswad, Cornell University
   - and many more...

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