[Elsnet-list] Journal TAL: special issue on NLP Platforms

Patrice Enjalbert Patrice.Enjalbert at info.unicaen.fr
Thu Nov 1 09:33:46 CET 2007




2008 Volume 49 Number 2

Deadline for submission: 28th January 2007


Research in NLP increasingly requires sophisticated software  
architectures. Because there is no agreed “integrated” model of  
language processing, researchers often produce ad hoc and application- 
specific solutions, while NLP platforms help by bringing components  
together and making them interoperable. Due to the complex nature of  
NLP applications — and language itself — one needs to mix in the same  
process different models, resources and algorithms, leading to  
important problems of interoperability and data exchange. Moreover,  
the increasing complexity of linguistic models implies sophisticated  
formalisation tools, and the development of experimental studies on  
large corpora also brings strong constraints on the software  

These various characteristics and requirements raise many questions  
which will be the focus of the present special issue on platforms for  
language processing. Two interrelated and complementary aspects are  
relevant: an architectural and a methodological one.

1)   Architectural issues
Bringing together different modules raises many architectural and  
technical questions, centered around interoperability and data  
exchange, such as:
-       interoperability between representation formats of corpora,  
linguistic resources, documents and annotations; possible  
-       technical compatibility of heterogeneous algorithms and data:  
portability, availability, maintainability, etc;
-       graphical user interfaces supporting computer scientists and/ 
or linguists to assemble sets of “components” and to visualise and  
debug the results of their application to corpora;
-       multimodality and multilinguism;
-       software execution models: pipeline, agent-based  
architectures, distributed web services, etc; techniques for limiting  
errors from propagating into subsequent modules; efficiency  
comparisons of the various kinds of architectures; scalability  
(massive data, simultaneous on-line users…);

2)   Methodological issues
The scientific approach which consists in projecting a certain  
linguistic model – or a set of models — on the same data or corpora  
also raises interesting questions:
-       formalisation: which formalisms are appropriate for the  
various levels of linguistic analysis? How can they be made  
interoperable? What should be considered first: the expressivity of a  
formalism or the complexity of the associated algorithms?
-       descriptive power: how can we ensure the declarative nature  
of NLP processes, from linguistic rules to the specification of  
process chaining? Is it possible to have a convergence of descriptive  
and prescriptive models?
-       repeatability: how to ensure that an experiment, based on  
complex algorithms, can be reproduced? How to share and capitalize on  
operational models and resources?
-       modularity: how to make a complex process independent of the  
choice of a particular component for a particular task? Reuse and  
adaptation of resources and components; support for multiple  
-       evaluation of composite processes;
-       theoretical productivity: by bringing together different  
“local” models can we study new linguistic phenomena, at a higher  
complexity level?

Presentation of concrete experiments embedding NLP platforms into  
application-oriented software systems (human-machine interfaces,  
information retrieval and extraction, terminology/ontology  
constitution, automated translation…) is warmly encouraged.  
Description of specific NLP platforms is also welcome, and authors  
should then clearly explain the underlying principles and hypotheses,  
in order to contribute to the general discussion.

(see http://www.atala.org/)
The journal TAL (Traitement Automatique des Langues) is an  
international journal published since 1960 by ATALA (Association pour  
le Traitement Automatique des Langues) with the support of the CNRS.  
It is now becoming available in electronic form, with print on  
demand. The reading and selection process remain unchanged.

Manuscripts may be submitted in English or French. French-speaking  
authors are requested to submit in French.

- as soon as possible : send an email including the title, authors  
and a ten lines abstract, to tal-plateformes at info.unicaen.fr    
(preferred but optional)
- 28/01/2008 Deadline for submission
- 11/04/2008 Notification to authors
- 18/05/2008 Deadline for submission of revised version
- 09/06/2008 Final decision
- September 2008 Publication


Contributions (25 pages maximum, PDF format) will be sent by e-mail  
at the address below:
tal-plateformes at info.unicaen.fr
Style sheets are available for download at http://tal.e-revues.com/ 

Kalina BONTCHEVA (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)
Patrice ENJALBERT (University of Caen, France)
Benoît  HABERT (ENS LSH & ICAR, France)


Jason BALDRIDGE (University of Texas Austin, USA)
Frédérik BILHAUT (University of Caen, France)
Jean CARLETTA (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
Farid CERBAH (Dassault Aviation, France)
Javier COUTO (INCO, Uruguay)
Robert DALE (Macquarie University, Australia)
François DAOUST (UQAM, Quebec, Canada)
Thierry DECLERCK (DFKI, Germany)
Serge HEIDEN (ENS-LSH & ICAR, France)
Nancy IDE (Vassar College, New-York, USA & LORIA/CNRS, France)
Michel JACOBSON (LACITO, France)
Diana MAYNARD (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)
Jean-Luc MINEL (MoDyCo, CNRS, France)
Sylvaine NUGIER (EDF, France)
Sébastien PAUMIER (University of Marne-la-Vallée, France)
Etienne PETITJEAN (ATILF, France)
Thierry POIBEAU (LIPN-CNRS , France)
Laurent ROMARY (INRIA, France & MPG, Germany)
Vera Lucia STRUBE de LIMA (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio  
Grande do Sul, Brasil)
Valentin TABLAN (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)

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