The Workshop on Induction of Linguistic Structure (WILS)

Co-located with NAACL-HLT 2012 Montreal, Quebec, Canada; June 07, 2012

Submission Deadline: April 6, 2012

Workshop description

This workshop addresses the challenges of learning in an unsupervised or minimally supervised context with questions of linguistic structure. Inducing structured linguistic representations from text has long been a fundamental problem in Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing, drawing from theoretical Computer Science and Machine Learning. The popularity of the area is driven by two different motivations. Firstly, it can help us to better understand the cognitive process of language acquisition in humans. Secondly, it can help with portability of NLP applications into new domains and new languages. Most NLP algorithms rely on syntactic parse structure created by supervised methods, however in many cases there is no available training data, thus limiting the portability of these algorithms. Consequently work on unsupervised induction of the linguistic structure of language holds considerable promise, although current approaches are a long way from solving the general problems. This workshop aims to foster continuing research in structure induction, and bring together different communities working on these problems, be it from a cognitive or a text processing perspective.

In this workshop, we solicit papers from many subfields of computational linguistics and language processing. Topics include, but are not limited to

Our aim is to bring together work on fully unsupervised methods along with minimally supervised approaches (e.g., domain adaptation and multilingual projection).

The workshop will solicit short papers (6 pages for the text, with up to two additional pages for references) for either oral or poster presentation. More details on paper submission will be provided in due course on the workshop website.

The workshop will host the PASCAL Unsupervised grammar induction challenge, which aims to foster continuing research in grammar induction and part-of-speech induction, while also opening up the problem to more ambitious settings, including a wider variety of languages, removing the reliance on gold standard parts-of-speech and, critically, providing a thorough evaluation including a task-based evaluation.

The shared task will evaluate dependency grammar induction algorithms, evaluating the quality of structures induced from natural language text. In contrast with the defacto standard experimental setup, which starts with gold standard part-of-speech tags, we will encourage competitors to submit systems which are completely unsupervised. The evaluation will consider the standard dependency tree based measures as well as measures over the predicted parts of speech. Our aim is to allow a wide range of different approaches, and for this reason we will accept submissions which predict just the dependency trees for gold PoS, just the PoS, or both jointly.

While our focus is on unsupervised approaches, we recognise that there has been considerable related research using semi-supervised learning, domain adaption, cross-lingual projection and other partially supervised methods for building syntactic models. For this reason we will also support these kinds of systems.

Important dates

Submission Deadline: April 6

Notification of Acceptance: April 23

Camera-ready papers Due: May 04

Workshop: June 07, 2012

Shared task dates

Data made available: Jan 27

Submissions due for evaluation: April 13

Evaluation results released: April 23

Team reports due: May 4


Trevor Cohn, University of Sheffield

Phil Blunsom, University of Oxford

João Graça, Spoken Language Systems Lab, INESC-ID Lisboa

Program committee

Ben Taskar - University of Pennsylvania

Percy Liang - Stanford University

Andreas Vlachos - University of Cambridge

Chris Dyer - CMU

Mark Drezde - John Hopkins

Shai Cohen - Columbia University

Kuzman Ganchev - Google Inc.

André Martins - CMU/IST Portugal

Greg Druck - Yahoo

Ryan McDonald - Google Inc.

Nathan Schneider - CMU

Partha Talukdar - CMU

Dipanjan Das - CMU

Mark Steedman - University of Edinburgh

Luke Zettlemoyer - University of Washington

Roi Reichart - MIT

David Smith - University of Massachusetts

Ivan Titov - Saarland University

Alex Clarke - Royal Holloway University

Khalil Sima'an - University of Amsterdam

Stella Frank - University of Edinburgh

None: CallForPapers (last edited 2012-03-26 15:31:12 by TrevorCohn)