2011Q1 Reports: ACL 2011

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Issues for Future Consideration - Coordinating Committee Chair (Ido Dagan)

The report below was written by the various chairs of ACL-2011. It was consolidated by Dekang Lin, the General Chair, and it covers all aspects of this year’s conference. Here are a few points that came up this year and should be brought to the Exec’s attention with respect to future conferences:

=== Policy on the days of co-locating events: based on a certain event this year there is a recommendation to allow, by default, that co-locating events would occur only outside the 6 days of the official conference, to avoid competition with the events organized by the conference itself (this does not include traditionally coordinated events that overlap the workshop days, such as EMNLP and CoNLL). See a separate message to the exec in this matter.

=== Policy on joint submission and reviewing of workshop proposals by ACL and other ACL-related conferences on the same year: This year the workshop proposals process was run jointly by ACL and EMNLP. It seemingly was a positive experience, more than in the last couple of years where the conclusions were mixed, possibly thanks to some improved procedures. We expect a detailed report in this matter for the Portland Exec meeting, which will hopefully support more definite conclusions.

=== Publishing tutorial notes: It seemed like a good idea to make the tutorials notes publicly available, but it wasn’t fully clear where they should be put and at what timing, and there has been a discussion of this issue in the last few days. Having a consistent policy is desired, and Drago will bring up this issue. See the report of the publications chairs below for their intentions for this year.

=== A small number of Asian Student Session reviewers (see figures below): This is regrettable. Adding a sentence about the geo balance in the Wiki page about SRW chair duty will help avoid this problem in the future.


General Chair (Dekang Lin)

All the roles in the organizing committee were filled before July 2010. Thanks to the work of all the chairs, the conference organization is proceeding smoothly.


Program Chairs (Rada Mihalcea and Yuji Matsumoto)

- http://clair.si.umich.edu/~radev/aclsec/reports-winter11/ACL.ProgramChairsReport.Feb2011.doc -


Tutorial Co-Chairs (Patrick Pantel and Andy Way)

We received 18 proposals before the deadline of December 17, 2010. Email was used for handling submissions with email acknowledgement of receipt of proposals as stated in the CFP. Following advice from previous tutorial chairs, we solicited three proposals. We were very careful to encourage these proposals but at the same time warn that there was no guarantee of acceptance because all proposals would be subject to the same reviewing process. 1 out of the 3 solicited proposals were accepted. All 18 proposals were reviewed by both co-chairs and a few external reviewers were consulted.

We selected six proposals based on the following criteria: novelty, scientific interest, presenter, proposal document and target audience.

The selected tutorials are:

Beyond Structured Prediction: Inverse Reinforcement Learning (Hal Daume III)

Formal and Empirical Grammatical Inference (Jeffrey Heinz, Colin de la Higuera, and Menno van Zaanen)

Summarizing Text and Speech: Algorithms, Approaches and Issues (Ani Nenkova, Sameer Maskey , and Yang Liu)

Web Search Queries as a Corpus (Marius Pasca)

Rich Prior Knowledge in Learning for Natural Language Processing (Gregory Druck, Kuzman Ganchev, and Joao Graca)

Dual Decomposition for Natural Language Processing (Michael Collins and Alexander M Rush)

All presenters are confirmed. They will provide descriptions of the tutorials (for publicity and tutorial proceedings) by March 11, 2011 and the complete tutorial materials by April 25, 2011


Workshops (John Carroll and Hal Daume III)

This year, proposals for workshops were solicited jointly for ACL-HLT 2011 and EMNLP 2011. Acceptance and division of workshops to the two conference was easy and pleasant. Most workshops were given their first choice venue. The only time this was not the case was when the co-chairs agreed that doing so would result in an overlap in workshop topics. Review was conducted jointly by the workshop chairs of the respective conferences. In total, 32 proposals were received. Fifteen were selected for inclusion in the official ACL-HLT 2011 Workshop Program, plus CoNLL which had been pre-selected. All workshops have put up their websites, committees and calls for papers, and have START accounts for handling submissions. The workshop paper submission deadlines range from March 4 to April 1, and camera-ready copy deadlines from April 22 to May 6. Workshops chairs have been instructed to provide all relevant materials to the ACL-HLT Publications Chair by May 11 at the latest.


The workshops are:

June 23-24:

BioNLP 2011 Chairs: Kevin Bretonnel Cohen, Dina Demner-Fushman, Sophia Ananiadou, John Pestian, Jun'ichi Tsujii, Bonnie Webber CoNLL 2011: Fifteenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning Chairs: Christopher Manning, Sharon Goldwater 5th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (The LAW V) Chairs: Nancy Ide, Adam Meyers

June 23:

Automatic Summarization for Different Genres, Media, and Languages Chairs: Ani Nenkova, Julia Hirschberg, Yang Liu 2nd Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (CMCL) Chairs: Frank Keller, David Reitter Workshop on Language in Social Media (LSM 2011) Chairs: Meenakshi Nagarajan, Michael Gamon Multiword Expressions: from Parsing and Generation to the Real World (MWE 2011) Chairs: Valia Kordoni, Carlos Ramisch, Aline Villavicencio Workshop on Relational Models of Semantics (RELMS) Chairs: Su Nam Kim, Zornitsa Kozareva, Preslav Nakov, Diarmuid ? S?aghdha, Sebastian Pad?, Stan Szpakowicz Fifth Workshop on Syntax, Semantics and Structure in Statistical Translation (SSST-5) Chairs: Dekai Wu TextGraphs-6: Graph-based Methods for Natural Language Processing Chairs: Alessandro Moschitti, Irina Matveeva, Llu?s M?rquez, Fabio Zanzotto

June 24:

4th Workshop on Building and Using Comparable Corpora Chairs: Pierre Zweigenbaum, Reinhard Rapp, Serge Sharoff DiSCo - Distributional Semantics and Compositionality Chairs: Chris Biemann, Eugenie Giesbrecht, Emiliano Guevara 6th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications Chairs: Joel Tetreault, Jill Burstein, Claudia Leacock 5th Workshop on Language Technology for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, and Humanities (LaTeCH 2011) Chairs: Kalliopi Zervanou, Caroline Sporleder Workshop on Monolingual Text-To-Text Generation (Text-To-Text-2011) Chairs: Katja Filippova, Stephen Wan 2nd Workshop on Computational Approaches to Subjectivity and Sentiment Analysis (WASSA 2.011) Chairs: Alexandra Balahur, Ester Boldrini, Andr?s Montoyo, Patricio Mart?nez-Barco


Student Session ( Sasa Petrovic, Emily Pitler, Ethan Selfridge, Miles Osborne, Thamar Solorio)

Name: We have changed the name from "Student Research Workshop" to "Student Session". This was done as part of a rebranding effort in hopes of generating more submissions and greater attendance.

Program Committee Formation: The program committee list was approved by the Student Session faculty advisors on September 10, 2010. The program committee consists of 55 members, of which 31 are from North America, 20 are from Europe, and 4 are from Asia/Pacific. They represent 25 areas of NLP and computational linguistics research.

Conference Setup and Procedures: The call for papers was first uploaded to the ACL 2011 website on August 24, 2010. We also emailed it to a number of lists on Monday September 20th, 2010. The START account was also created for the submission process.

Submissions and Reviewing Procedure: We introduced a “Thesis Proposal” submission type, in addition to the traditional “Research Paper”. 57 valid submissions were received. This is the second largest number of submissions ever received. Of these, 9 were Thesis Proposals and the rest were Research Papers. All of the submissions were assigned 2 reviewers. We started the reviewing process on Monday January 31, 2011 and the reviews are due Friday, March 4, 2011.


Funding for Participants: We have been awarded funding for participants from the ACL Walker Student Fund, the European Association of Computational Linguistics, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). These will be coordinated by Thamar Solorio, and a web page will be up soon with all the relevant information.

Submission Presentation: We have elected to have a poster-only session to be held in conjunction with the main ACL poster session. We are confident that this will increase the amount of feedback for participants, which is the primary goal of the Student Session. We plan to continue the tradition of non-student researcher feedback.


Local arrangements (Brian Roark)

Completed tasks: 1. Set up initial web site (no content): http://acl2011.org/ done

2. Inquiries into local dorms (Portland State U. and Reed College) done (PSU dorms highly suitable)

3. Site visit by Priscilla Rasmussen and Graeme Hirst done

4. Decisions on hotel/date done (Marriott, June)

5. Decisions on banquet site and catering done (Portland Art Museum)

5.5 Decisions on extra space arrangements for poster and parallel sessions done (extra space available)

6. Establish local arrangements committee and convene first meeting done

7. Finalize location and dates; sign contracts for meetings and accommodations, pay any deposits (involves ACL Office) done

8. Initial web site content specifying broad details of conference: dates and site done: acl2011.org


9. Select Exhibits Coordinator and Publicity Chair done: Peter Heeman


10. Select local sponsorship chair and make contact with ACL Sponsorship Committee done: Richard Sproat

11. Finalize local dormspace at Portland State U. and/or Reed College done: 75 rooms at PSU

12. Collect preliminary local info (describe meeting place and accommodations, travel info, visas, weather, etc.) done

13.More fleshed out website, with most preliminary information: general conference announcement; preliminary local info; stubs for calls for papers, etc. done

14. Prepare new work plan for remainder of preparation done

Other tasks that have been completed by local arrangement chair/committee

Set up email addresses for contact

Designed conference logo for program, posters

Coordinate with Sponsorship Chairs for corporate logos

Appoint Student Volunteer Coordinator (Christian Monson)

Appointed student housing coordinators for managing dorm space (Mahsa and Masoud)

Arrange conference social program: confirm arrangements with banquet and other social event providers; arrange reception and banquet


Tasks remaining to be done: 1. Set up a web page for accommodation booking Target Completion Date: 03/01/2011 Link available for hotel; form in progress for dorms

2. Second site visit by Priscilla Rasmussen Target Completion Date: 04/05/2011 Two day on-site visit planned to pin-down nitty-gritty decisions on banquet, room allocations, poster session plan, etc.

3. Specific detailed room allocation for main conference, tutorials, workshops and other meetings Target Completion Date: 04/15/2011 Initial rough allocation with program chairs done; will work through details with Priscilla during visit, then finalize in following week

4. Made a detailed plan for the Conference Handbook (making use of designs from last few ACLs and NAACLs) Target Completion Date: 04/15/2011 in progress; have appointed a student as publications coordinator

5. Set approximate registration deadlines and costs Target Completion Date: 04/15/2011 Will work with Priscilla on this

6. Plan registration process Target Completion Date: 04/15/2011 Will work with Priscilla on this

8. Plan on-site process, staff needs, etc. Target Completion Date: 04/15/2011 Will work with Priscilla on this

9. Organize conference bag or other gimicks Target Completion Date: 04/15/2011 Will work with Priscilla on this

10. Make a detailed budget for local costs Target Completion Date: 04/15/2011 Will work with Priscilla on this


Demos (Sadao Kurohashi)

The demo session has had 46 submissions. Thanks to the previous demo chair's advise, we collected enough size of demo committee beforehand (23), and the reviewing is about to start. Reviews are due March 21, and the final decision will be announced April 1.

As a new attempt, we are planning to ask accepted demo-ers to make a one-minute video clip for the advertisement (optional), and put them on the screen before main sessions (during the break) and on a minitor beside the reception desk.


Publications (Zhou Guodong)

The publication committee had submitted formatting instructions, author instructions and style files to the program committee and web master before the first official Call for Paper. Besides, we have initially coordinated with the workshop and tutorial chairs for the inclusion of workshop proceedings and tutorials. Specifically, we hope that the tutorial speakers can provide their tutorial PPTs to be included in the conference proceedings this year, instead of only brief abstracts. We will provide a basic PPT template before early-April so that the tutorial speakers can conform to it.

Although we are not going to publish paper copies of the proceedings this year, we still need to co-work with the local committee for the publication of CDROMs and program handbook (which includes local information as well as program schedules, and so on). Some such details will therefore be negotiated with the local committee from early-April.

Before the camera ready due, we will also continuously watch and coordinate the publication needs of the various co-events, including workshops, tutorials, demos, exhibitions, student research workshops and local information. And ensure the correctness and consistent style of the e-copies of the proceedings.

We will then get familiar with ACLPUB in the START system starting from early April and begin to compile the proceedings starting from Mid-April after the camera ready date.