2011Q3 Reports: SIGGEN

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ACL SIGGEN report 2010-2011

SIGGEN continues to be a valued shared resource for an active and developing community of researchers in natural language generation. The SIGGEN board elections resulted in three new board members and some changes in the roles for the members that will serve another two years. Over the past year we supported a number of workshops and initiatives and maintained and developed our web presence. We are now overseeing the organisation of the ENLG 2011 conference and looking forward to yet another exciting generation event.

At the SIGGEN committee three committee members (Roger Evans, Mike White and Christian Pietsch) have come to the end of their appointments on 31 December 2010. The SIGGEN board elections ended on December 13th, 2010. 76 members voted. Ielka van der Sluis (Trinity College Dublin) and Kristina Striegnitz (Union College, Schenectady, NY) are elected as full members for a term of four years and Margaret Mitchell (University of Aberdeen) as student member for a term of two years, and have started on January 1st, 2011. CÈcile Paris and Sebastian Varges will continue to serve as board members as their terms have not ended yet.

SIGGEN organises the biennial INLG conferences and INLG 2010 took place in Ireland immediately prior to ACL 2010. With 24 accepted papers and 59 attendees we experienced a very successful conference. Currently we are in the bidding process for INLG 2012, which already promises another excellent INLG in 2012. But first, this year, Claire Gardent (at LORIA INRIA, Nancy, France) and Kristina Striegnitz (at Union College, Schenectady, NY) competently organise the 13th European conference on Natural Language Generation which will take place in Nancy on 28 - 30 September 2011. At the time of writing, the paper deadline is just a few days ahead of us, but given the impact of ENLG 2009 and INLG 2010 we are confident that ENLG 2011 will be at least as successful, academically, socially and financially.

In addition, SIGGEN offers (non-financial) endorsement to workshops and activities related to language generation. This year we were pleased to support the workshop on Language Generation and Evaluation (UCNLG+Eval) held at EMNLP-2011 (Edinburgh, Scotland, 31 July), the Give-2.5: Challenges on Generating Instructions in Virtual Environments and the Workshop on Monolingual Text-To-Text Generation (Text-To-Text-2011), which will be co-located with ACL-HLT 2011 Portland, OR, U.S.A. on 24 June. It is encouraging to see all this activity in the field, and in particular the establishment of several series of workshops on NLG themes. However, the visibility of NLG in mainstream conferences remains rather low and the SIGGEN board will make an effort to find out why this is and attempt to improve on it.

The SIGGEN website has been well-maintained in 2010 due to the efforts of our former webmaster Christian Pietsch. Since the election Margaret Mitchell has fluently and adequately taken over this task. SIGGEN's financial position is extremely healthy. Our balance has grown over the past year due to income through INLG 2010. Our total balance is currently $7742. †That includes a USD 3866 surplus from INLG-2010. Maintaining a reserve is useful for underwriting risk in free-standing events. However, the board are currently considering more pro-active ways of using a part of this money (subsidising attendance to the INLG conferences etc.), rather than just accruing an ever increasing balance.

Cecile Paris, Sebastian Varges, Margaret Mitchell, Kristina Striegnitz and Ielka van der Sluis SIGGEN board 13 June 2011