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

Kalina Bontcheva K.Bontcheva at dcs.shef.ac.uk
Thu Nov 1 12:20:20 CET 2007





2008 Volume 49 Number 2

Deadline for submission: 28th January 2007

http://www.atala.org <http://www.atala.org/>/

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 environments.

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 standardisation;
- 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 annotations;
- 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 
<mailto: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 <mailto:tal-plateformes at info.unicaen.fr>
Style sheets are available for download at http://tal.e-revues.com/appel.jsp

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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