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TAL - platforms 2008 : TAL Journal special Issue on PLATFORMS FOR NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING


When N/A
Where N/A
Submission Deadline Jan 28, 2008
Notification Due Apr 11, 2008
Categories    NLP

Call For Papers




2008 Volume 49 Number 2

Deadline for submission: 28th January 2007

Research in NLP increasingly requires sophisticated software architectures. Because there is no agreed ??integrated?? model of language processing, researchers often produce ad hoc and application-specific solutions, while NLP platforms help by bringing components together and making them interoperable. Due to the complex nature of NLP applications ?? and language itself ?? one needs to mix in the same process different models, resources and algorithms, leading to important problems of interoperability and data exchange. Moreover, the increasing complexity of linguistic models implies sophisticated formalisation tools, and the development of experimental studies on large corpora also brings strong constraints on the software environments.

These various characteristics and requirements raise many questions which will be the focus of the present special issue on platforms for language processing. Two interrelated and complementary aspects are relevant: an architectural and a methodological one.

1) Architectural issues

Bringing together different modules raises many architectural and technical questions, centered around interoperability and data exchange, such as:

- interoperability between representation formats of corpora, linguistic resources, documents and annotations; possible standardisation;

- technical compatibility of heterogeneous algorithms and data: portability, availability, maintainability, etc;

- graphical user interfaces supporting computer scientists and/or linguists to assemble sets of ??components?? and to visualise and debug the results of their application to corpora;

- multimodality and multilinguism;

- software execution models: pipeline, agent-based architectures, distributed web services, etc; techniques for limiting errors from propagating into subsequent modules; efficiency comparisons of the various kinds of architectures; scalability (massive data, simultaneous on-line users?);

2) Methodological issues

The scientific approach which consists in projecting a certain linguistic model ?? or a set of models ?? on the same data or corpora also raises interesting questions:

- formalisation: which formalisms are appropriate for the various levels of linguistic analysis? How can they be made interoperable? What should be considered first: the expressivity of a formalism or the complexity of the associated algorithms?

- descriptive power: how can we ensure the declarative nature of NLP processes, from linguistic rules to the specification of process chaining? Is it possible to have a convergence of descriptive and prescriptive models?

- repeatability: how to ensure that an experiment, based on complex algorithms, can be reproduced? How to share and capitalize on operational models and resources?

- modularity: how to make a complex process independent of the choice of a particular component for a particular task? Reuse and adaptation of resources and components; support for multiple annotations;

- evaluation of composite processes;

- theoretical productivity: by bringing together different ??local?? models can we study new linguistic phenomena, at a higher complexity level?

Presentation of concrete experiments embedding NLP platforms into application-oriented software systems (human-machine interfaces, information retrieval and extraction, terminology/ontology constitution, automated translation?) is warmly encouraged. Description of specific NLP platforms is also welcome, and authors should then clearly explain the underlying principles and hypotheses, in order to contribute to the general discussion.



The journal TAL (Traitement Automatique des Langues) is an international journal published since 1960 by ATALA (Association pour le Traitement Automatique des Langues) with the support of the CNRS. It is now becoming available in electronic form, with print on demand. The reading and selection process remain unchanged.


Manuscripts may be submitted in English or French. French-speaking authors are requested to submit in French.


- as soon as possible : send an email including the title, authors and a ten lines abstract, to (preferred but optional)

- 28/01/2008 Deadline for submission

- 11/04/2008 Notification to authors

- 18/05/2008 Deadline for submission of revised version

- 09/06/2008 Final decision

- September 2008 Publication


Contributions (25 pages maximum, PDF format) will be sent by e-mail at the address below:

Style sheets are available for download at


Kalina BONTCHEVA (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)

Patrice ENJALBERT (University of Caen, France)

Benoît HABERT (ENS LSH & ICAR, France)


Jason BALDRIDGE (University of Texas Austin, USA)

Frédérik BILHAUT (University of Caen, France)

Jean CARLETTA (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom)

Farid CERBAH (Dassault Aviation, France)

Javier COUTO (INCO, Uruguay)

Robert DALE (Macquarie University, Australia)

François DAOUST (UQAM, Quebec, Canada)

Thierry DECLERCK (DFKI, Germany)

Serge HEIDEN (ENS-LSH & ICAR, France)

Nancy IDE (Vassar College, New-York, USA & LORIA/CNRS, France)

Michel JACOBSON (LACITO, France)

Diana MAYNARD (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)

Jean-Luc MINEL (MoDyCo, CNRS, France)

Sylvaine NUGIER (EDF, France)

Sébastien PAUMIER (University of Marne-la-Vallée, France)

Etienne PETITJEAN (ATILF, France)

Thierry POIBEAU (LIPN-CNRS , France)

Laurent ROMARY (INRIA, France & MPG, Germany)

Vera Lucia STRUBE de LIMA (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil)

Valentin TABLAN (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)

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