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From Jens Grivolla <j+...@grivolla.net>
Subject CFP: Workshop on Open Infrastructures and Analysis Frameworks for HLT
Date Wed, 26 Mar 2014 13:34:47 GMT
Workshop on Open Infrastructures and Analysis Frameworks for HLT


At the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics 
(COLING 2014)
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 

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.

### Topics

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: 2nd May 2014
Author Notification Deadline: 6th June 2014
Camera-Ready Paper Deadline: 27th June 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

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