2013Q3 Reports: NAACL 2013

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NAACL 2013 General Chair Report

by Lucy Vanderwende

NAACL HLT 2013 took place June 9-14, 2013 in Atlanta. The conference completed successfully, attracting a healthy number of attendees (131 tutorial-only attendees, 553 main conference, and 276 workshop attendees). The organizing committee was excellent and put together interesting programs and I am very grateful for the effort they put into this conference.

While NAACL HLT 2013 followed the format of previous conferences for the most part, there are a number of differences worth pointing out. There is now a unified START account that all authors and reviewers can use across all of the conference using the START system. We requested candidate reviewers to indicate which area they were willing and able to review for and then allocated reviewers to tracks once the papers had been submitted; this led to a reduced reviewer load, where no track had either too few or too many reviewers, as well as a greater diversity in reviewers per track. A second notable difference is the initiative to have video-recordings of all tutorials and all oral presentations, which will be available soon (location not yet known). We also implemented the recommendations of previous NAACL chairs to have two publications chairs, with overlapping terms, to provide greater institutional memory and incentive to improve recurring tools; the publications chairs did a phenomenal job, additionally creating a conference app which was much used and much appreciated. Through the post-conference survey undertaken by NAACL, it seems that the app will be continued at future conferences with added functionality.

Priscilla Rasmussen continues as the Local Arrangements Chair, and I am very grateful for the tremendous amount of work Priscilla does to make the conference successful. Of note is the importance to have the program scheduled published prior to, or at the same time as, the registration. We were delayed in publishing the program as we opted to select the best papers based on camera-ready copy rather than submission; given the delay that resulted, it’s probably advisable to select based on the original submissions after all.

NAACL HLT 2013 was co-located with *SEM and with ICML. There were several workshops and one symposium co-organized by NAACL and ICML to bridge the two conferences, which were very well received.

Main Conference

The main conference received 294 full paper submissions of which 89 papers were accepted (30.2% acceptance rate), as well as 162 short paper submissions of which 51 were accepted (31.4% acceptance). Of these, 62 full papers and 31 short papers were oral presentations; there were 47 posters, each of which was given a 1 minute slot to present in “One Minute Madness”, which included the 13 posters from the Student Research Workshop in addition (making for a very long session of 1 slide presentations.)

For the first time, papers from the Transactions of the ACL were also presented at an ACL conference. 5 papers had oral presentation slots, and 1 paper had a poster presentation slot. These papers were interspersed with the regular NAACL HLT papers, and noted in the program with [TACL] to distinguish them.

The best student paper (sponsored by IBM) was awarded to “Automatic Generation of English Respellings” by Bradley Hauer and Greg Kondrak. The best short paper was awarded to “The Life and Death of Discourse Entities: Identifying Singleton Mentions” by Marta Recasens, Marie-Catherine de Marneffe and Christopher Potts. NAACL HLT 2013 hosted two invited talks. First, the out-of-field talk by Dr. Gina Kuperberg, Dept. of Psychology, Tufts University, “Predicting Meaning: What the Brain tells us about the Architecture of Language Comprehension”. Second, the in-field talk by Dr. Kathleen McKeown, Dept of Computer Science, Columbia University, “Natural Language Applications from Fact to Fiction”.