SIGFSM constitution

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Constitution of the [Special Interest Group on Finite-State Methods, SIGFSM]


The purpose of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) [Interest Group on Finite-State Methos, SIGFSM] (the SIG) shall be:

  • To promote interest in Finite-State Methods in Natural Language Processing, including such aspects as
    • applying the methods in natural language processing
    • basic research on the relevant finite-state methods
    • common representations and interfaces for finite-state resources in NLP
    • inclusion of the finite-state methods into relevant standards and infrastructures.
  • To provide members of the ACL having a special interest in Finite-State Methods with a means of exchanging news of recent research developments
  • To sponsor meetings and workshops (such as the FSMNLP workshops) in Finite-State Methods that appear to be timely and worthwhile
  • To make it easier to coordinate/share organization efforts for joint meetings and workshops with related ACL SIGs, especially SIGMORPHON
  • To provide and make available resources relevant to Finite-State Methods and their NLP applications, including previous FSMNLP proceedings, bibliographies, test suites, formalisms and tools, formats and interfaces, research papers and publicly available finite-state libraries and generated resources.

SIGFSM will operate within the framework of the ACL's general guidelines for SIGs.


The elected officers of the SIG shall consist of a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. These shall be be members in good standing of the ACL. The term of all elected officers of the SIG shall be 3 years or shorter if the elected officers organize the elections earlier.


The duties of the President shall be:

  • To have primary executive authority over actions and activities of the SIG;
  • To prepare a written report on the activities of the SIG for the Executive Committee of the ACL, for presentation to the ACL at its Annual Business Meeting.
  • To designate a Liaison Representative and a Resource Manager.


The duties of the Secretary shall be:

  • Communication with members of the SIG
  • Answering inquiries about the SIG
  • To maintain a membership roster of the SIG
  • To conduct elections as mandated below


The duties of the Treasurer shall be:

  • To be responsible for any moneys awarded to the SIG by the ACL; to collect and manage any dues that may be required by the organization; and to present a written annual report on the SIG finances to the Executive Committee of the ACL.


The President designates a Liaison Representative and a Resource Manager.

The elected officers will nominate an International Advisory Committee which represents at least four countries and three continents.

Liaison Representative

The duties of the Liaison Representative shall be:

  • To be primarily responsible for communication with the Executive Committee of the ACL;
  • To be responsible for relations to other ACL SIGs,
  • To requests the approval of the ACL Executive Committee for any activities jointly sponsored with any other non-ACL organizations.

Resource Manager

The duties of the Resource Manager shall be:

  • To create a webpage with the statement of purpose, constitution, current officer information;
  • To handle resources that are made available through the web.

International Advisory Committee

The duties of the International Advisory Committee shall be:

  • Planning and coordination of SIGFSM activities,
  • To ratify the time and venue of for the workshops and meetings.



Membership is open to anyone who professes an interest in finite-state methods. It does not require ACL membership. The membership can be obtained either through provided electronic means or by filling a membership form in conjunction with a SIG meeting.


Membership will be terminated on request, or automatically if no reply is received within 2 months of a timely membership renewal request. Such requests are to be communicated by the medium, and to the address, last notified to the Secretary. Automatically terminated memberships will be reinstated on request.


All elected officers of the SIG shall be elected by a vote of the membership. If a vacancy occurs among the officers of the SIG, remaining two elected officers may nominate a replacement officer who will serve out up to the remainder of the previous office holder's term.

Nominations 3 months before the election

Nominations shall be called at least 3 months prior to the election, and shall close 2 months prior to the election. SIG members will be given notice to submit nominations for SIG officers. Candidates must be nominated by two members, must accept nomination, must be in good standing of SIGFSM.

Voting 2 months before the election

Voting shall commence at least 2 months before the expiration of the current terms of the officers. All members shall be notified of the election date and the nominations at least 4 weeks prior to the close of voting.

Votes may be entered by electronic or physical mail or other designated means. Votes arriving by the notified closing date will be counted. The votes will be counted by the Secretary or another officer appointed by the Advisory Committee and agreed to by all candidates.

Announcement of the Results

Any nominee receiving a majority of the votes will be declared elected. The results shall be notified to the members within 4 weeks immediately after the announcement of the results, and the previous officers will remain active for 3 months to ease the transition. Notification shall signify dispatch of mail by the medium and to the address last notified to the secretary.


SIGFSM does not charge dues.


In providing and making available any resources as defined in Clause 1, and especially any held and distributed electronically, the SIG shall follow proper procedures with respect to matters like copyright, registration and data protection as is appropriate to each case.

The SIG shall not enter into any formal or potentially legally binding contracts without the approval of ACL Executive Committee (or the ACL Secretary-Treasurer acting under delegated powers). The SIG shall not enter into any financial commitments for such resources without ensuring that the moneys required are available.

The version control of this document

--Anssi.Yli-Jyra 02:28, 27 July 2012 (EDT) This version has been approved by the ACL Board and the SIGFSM members in 2009. Formatting and subsection divisions added 27 July 2012.