2009Q3 Reports: SIGGEN

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ACL SIGGEN report 2008-2009

SIGGEN continues to be a valued shared resource for an active and developing community of researchers in natural language generation. Over the past year we have achieved full compliance with ACL SIG requirements, held elections for the board, updated our online presence, given endorsement to three related workshops (with three more in the pipeline), and agreed a host for the next INLG conference, in Ireland in 2010.

SIGGEN is now fully compliant with ACL SIG requirements, including (slightly reluctantly) the assignment of officer roles (chair, secretary, treasurer, webmaster) to various board members. The new arrangements were fully confirmed in an election to the board at the end of 2008 - the next election is due at the end of 2010. We would like to thank the outgoing board members, Charles Callaway, David McDonald, Jette Viethen for their hard work on behalf of the generation community, and welcome our new members, Cecile Paris, Christian Pietsch and Sebastian Varges who join Roger Evans and Mike White on the SIGGEN board.

SIGGEN organises the biennial INLG conferences, and this year was a rest year after the very successful INLG 2008 at Salt Fork, Ohio, USA. Following an open bidding process in early 2009, we were delighted to award organisation of INLG 2010 to Ielka van der Sluis (Trinity College, Dublin), John Kelleher and Brian McNamee (Dublin Institute of Technology). INLG 2010 will be held in Trim, County Meath, Ireland, 7-9 July 2010. In addition, SIGGEN offers (non-financial) endorsement to workshops and activities related to generation, and this year we were pleased to support the Third Workshop on Constraints in Discourse (Potsdam, August 2008), a Workshop on the Question Generation Task and Evaluation Challenge (Arlington, September 2008) and the 12th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation (ENLG'09) (Athens, April 2009). Support for three further workshops in July and August 2009 (UCNLG+Sum, GIVE-2 and PRE-Cogsci 2009)is also already agreed, so we look forward to a busy year for the NLG community.

In January 2009, Christian Pietsch took over the role of SIGGEN webmaster, and gave our online presence a much needed review. As well as a general tidy-up of the main pages, Christian undertook to transfer the SIGGEN wiki site, previously hosted at Edinburgh by David Reitter, into the main ACL wiki (http://aclweb.org/aclwiki/index.php?title=Natural_Language_Generation_Portal), and to re-establish clear email addresses for contacting the SIGGEN board through the main ACL mail server (siggen-board@aclweb.org etc.). We continue to explore effective ways to support communication and access to resources for the generation community.

SIGGEN's financial position is healthy. We last reported our account balance (as a subaccount of the ACL account) in 2007 as $928 (all figures in US dollars). We have since confirmed that INLG 2006 did not alter this balance (as it ran as an ACL workshop, hence the risk and any surpus were assumed by the main conference), and can now report that INLG 2008 made a surplus of $2943, so that our current balance stands at $3871. Such a reserve is useful to underwrite risk in free-standing events, and to allow for the possibility of subsidising attendance to the INLG conference.


Roger Evans, Cecile Paris, Christian Pietsch, Sebastian Varges, Mike White SIGGEN board 2 July 2009