2008Q3 Reports: SIGNLL

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ACL SIGNLL Annual Report (2007-2008)
====================================

The goals of SIGNLL, ACL's special interest group on natural language
learning, are to promote and inform about research on computational
modeling of learning in natural language. These are served by (i) the
maintenance of an informative and up-to-date website and associated
mailing list, and (ii) the organization of annual events (the CoNLL
conference and the CoNLL shared task), and support of other related
activities.

The web-pages, located at URL http://www.aclweb.org/signll/ and
maintained by Erik Tjong Kim Sang, remain an important source of
information, complemented by an email list for announcements for
SIGNLL-related events. On the web-site, links can be found to relevant
associations, networks, research cooperations, research departments,
groups, institutes, mailing lists, archives, journals, bulletins,
conference reports, online papers (including all papers of all CoNLL
proceedings), online courses and slides, bibliographies, software,
corpora, companies, meta-information sources, etc.

About SIGNLL organization
=========================

* An election for SIGNLL officers was organized after the summer of
  2007. New president is Lluís Mà rquez (Technical University of
  Catalonia, Spain) and secretary Joakim Nivre (Växjö University and
  Uppsala University, Sweden). Our Information Officer remains Erik
  Tjong Kim Sang and our SIGDAT Liaison Representative remains David
  Yarowsky.

* In Fall 2007 SIGNLL created an active Steering Committee with past
  SIGNLL Board Members, including Antal van den Bosch, Claire Cardie,
  Walter Daelemans, Hwee Tou Ng, David Powers, and Dan Roth. The
  background and larger SIGNLL Advisory Board remains as it was.  See
  http://ifarm.nl/signll/about/#officers for a complete description of
  SIGNLL officers.

* The SIGNLL website was improved and updated with respect to the
  members data base. After cleaning some fake and inactive entries,
  currently SIGNLL has 292 confirmed and active members.

* SIGNLL reached an agreement with ACL and SIGDAT to give alternative
  priority to the preferences for the location of EMNLP and CoNLL
  conferences (starting with CoNLL in 2008).

* At present, SIGNLL is compliant with ACL's guidelines for SIGs

Main Events in the period
=========================

* The Twelfth SIGNLL Conference on Computational Natural Language
  Learning, CoNLL-2008, will be co-located with COLING in Manchester,
  UK, August 16-17, 2008. Programme chairs are Alex Clark and Kristina
  Toutanova. Paper submission is now closed, with 94 papers
  received. This ensures another healthy and high quality program for
  the CoNLL conference. CoNLL-2008 is sponsored by Microsoft
  Research. More information at the conference website
  http://www.cnts.ua.ac.be/conll2008/

* The CoNLL-2008 shared task focuses, for the first time, on the Joint
  Learning of Syntactic and Semantic Dependencies. It is being
  organized by Mihai Surdeanu, Richard Johanson, Adam Meyers, Lluís
  MÃ rquez and Joakim Nivre. The call was very successful with more
  than 50 teams downloading datasets and start working on the task.
  The evaluation phase is now finished and there are 23 teams
  submitting results Updated information at:
  http://www.yr-bcn.es/conll2008/

* CoNLL-2009 has been already pre-approved by ACL. It will be
  co-located with NAACL HLT in Boulder, Colorado.

Conclusion
==========

The SIGNLL board is of the opinion that the SIG remains unique in its
focus (computational models of language learning both for language
engineering and for testing psycholinguistic and linguistic theories;
formal and empirical aspects of learning of both artificial and
natural languages), which are clearly reflected in the CoNLL-2008
Special Topic of Interest. We intend to continue guarding these topics
as laid out in the original charter of SIGNLL
(http://ifarm.nl/signll/about/) as the core elements of CoNLL.  At the
same time, we keep striving for complementarity with related SIGDAT
events such as EMNLP.

Finally, we are also happy to observe that the CoNLL conference series
continues to have a significant impact on the field, partly because of
the successful shared tasks, which have been broadly referenced and
have contributed benchmark data sets that are commonly used throughout
computational linguistics.


Lluís Mà rquez
Joakim Nivre
May 24, 2008