[Elsnet-list] I UNL Panel - Call for Participation

Ronaldo Martins r.martins at undlfoundation.org
Tue Nov 6 13:36:24 CET 2012

please distribute, and our apologies for cross-postings

I UNL Panel
December 15, 2012 - Mumbai, India
Associated event to COLING 2012


The UNL is an artificial language created to represent and process
information across language barriers. Initially proposed by the
Institute of Advanced Studies of the United Nations University, in
Tokyo, Japan, in 1996, it has been enhanced and promoted by the UNDL
Foundation, in Geneva, Switzerland, under a mandate of the United
Nations, since 2000. The basic assumption of the UNL approach is that
the information conveyed by natural languages can be formally
represented through a semantic network made of three different types
of discrete semantic units: Universal Words (UW's), relations and
attributes. The UW's are the nodes in the graph, to be interlinked by
relations and specified by attributes.

The main purpose of the UNL Panel is to collect the opinion of
specialists, from inside and outside the UNL Community, about
technical issues of UNL, in order to prepare the ground for an
in-depth revision of the current UNL specifications. The I UNL Panel,
an associated event to COLING 2012, is devoted to the nature and role
of Universal Words (UW's), the nodes in the UNL semantic graph.

As the name indicates, Universal Words are expected to be "universal".
This does not mean that they represent a sort of common lexical
denominator to all languages or a semantic primitive. The concept of
universality, in UNL, must be understood in terms of "semantic
accessibility", i.e, in the sense of "capable of being used and
understood by all" (as in "universal adapter", "universal screwdriver"
or "universal remote control"), and UW's depict concepts that may
range from absolutely global to absolutely local, and even temporary.
They are universal in the sense that they are uniform identifiers to
the entities defined in the UNL Knowledge Base, which is expected to
map everything that we know about the world, and that is used to
assign translatability to any concept.

In order to take the best directions concerning the UW's, the UNDL
Foundation will listen to 6 specialists about 5 topics of lexical
*What is to be considered a "Universal Word"?
*Which named entities should be introduced in the dictionary of UW's, if any?
*UW's must correspond to roots, to stems or to word forms?
*Antonyms should be represented as a single UW or as different UW's?
*When a multiword expression must be represented as a UW?

These topics will be discussed considering the five questions
available at www.unlweb.net/wiki/I_UNL_Panel. They illustrate
practical issues concerning UW's and have been receiving several
different possible answers. The main goal of I UNL Panel is to discuss
which answers would be more appropriate and feasible, considering the
nature and role of the UNL, and the state of the art of the theory and
technology on natural language processing.

*Eric Wehrli (Université de Genève)
*Igor Boguslavsky (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid/Institute for
Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences)
*Mike Dillinger (eBay)
*Nicoletta Calzolari (Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale Antonio
Zampolli, Pisa)
*Pushpak Bhattacharyya (IIT-Bombay)
*Sameh Alansary (University of Alexandria)
*Ronaldo Martins (UNDL Foundation)
Saturday, December 15, 2012
*09:00-09:30 - Opening session
*09:30-10:00 - General presentation of the questions
*10:00-12:00 - Presentations of the panelists
*12:00-14:00 - Lunch break
*14:00-16:00 - Presentations of the panelists
*16:00-17:30 - Discussion session
*17:30-18:00 - Closing session
*Victor Menezes Convention Center - IIT Bombay
Further information
*Ronaldo Martins (r.martins at undlfoundation.org)

Language Resources Manager
UNDL Foundation
48, route de Chancy
CH-1213 - Geneva - Switzerland
+41 22 879 8090

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