LREC 2012 Workshops: CfP Workshop on Language Technology for Patent Data: Language Resources and Evaluation

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Workshop on Language Technology for Patent Data: Language Resources and 
To be held in conjunction with the 8th International Language Resources 
and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2012)

27 May 2012 (afternoon)

Lütfi Kirdar Istanbul Exhibition and Congress Centre, Istanbul, Turkey

*Workshop Description*
In the last few years, the use of patents in automatic processing has 
shown a growing interest in the
NLP community. This has been particularly the case in the context of 
Machine Translation (MT) or
Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval (CLIR). Nowadays this has become a 
major topic and besides
the development of the technology itself, some key points remain 
regarding the resources available
and the way of evaluating the quality of the technology.
A large number of language resources is already available for the 
community, but the development
of systems, in particular the statistical ones, always requires more and 
more data. As there is a
growing interest for patents and their processing, a workshop on the 
topic which gathers all those
involved in the different aspects concerned is a good opportunity to 
move forward.
The domain of patents itself is increasing and the amount of potential 
material does not cease to
increase. It is this potential material that gives hope to the community 
for improving the systems.
For instance, in China, the number of patents have been multiplied by 3 
in 5 years and they exceed
1 million published documents per year by now. EPO (the European Patent 
Office) uses more than
150 translation pairs per day. Every patent office receives more and 
more patents every day, needs a
daily use of automatic tools to translate the documents, looks for 
existing patents and their
translation, manages complex content, etc. As we can see, this is a 
domain in considerable demand
and since the content of the patents is technical and needs high skills 
in a specific domain, providing
documents that are sufficiently understandable to the end users is very 
complex. This is a real
challenge for all NLP developers.
Above all, this challenge is about corpora and their management. The 
main topic concerns their
acquisition and how to collect useful data. For most of the researchers, 
this consists in harvesting
web pages, cleaning them, getting the useful content according to a 
specific task, aligning the
sentences, etc. The acquisition task may also be done using OCR tools on 
PDF. Monolingual
corpora are easier to retrieve (e.g. from databases) compared to 
parallel corpora. However, parallel
translations exist and aligned corpora as well, or corpora that could be 
easily aligned. Following the
question of the acquisition of such documents, there is that of database 
management. One could say
that all these questions are not only related to patent data, however 
this workshop would like focus
on this particular domain and make some effort to improve things.
Currently, the corpora are mainly used for MT. For a technical end-user 
in a patent office, the end
goal is to manage to understand the content of a document. This may not 
require a very high quality
translation since this person only needs to grasp the relevance of the 
document. However, in MT,
we still need to measure quantitatively the performance of the systems. 
This is basically made using
automatic and/or human measures, while most of the system developers are 
using typical automatic
metrics such as BLEU to get their results. Even if the drawbacks of such 
metrics are well-known, it
could be still relevant, for instance, to compare different versions of 
a system. However, even when
using BLEU, the content of patent documents is very particular, which 
implies that different kinds
of linguistic specificity need to be tackled: these include the already 
expected terminological level,
but also a syntactic level, a semantic one, and even the structure of 
the documents may be different
from that of other documents (for instance, patents typically comprise 
of a title, an abstract, a
technical description of the invention, and a list of novel claims). 
Human measures may be also
difficult to apply as patent documents are written in a way which makes 
them difficult to read for
the layman. Furthermore, both automatic and human evaluations should 
have the chance to realise a
deep analysis of the results, which is not trivial working with patents. 
However, given the often
formulaic nature of the text found in patents -- which is enforced on 
the author due to legal
constraints -- there may be opportunities to exploit this for 
evaluation. For instance, claims are
constructed as a single sentence with an introductory phrase and a body 
linked by frequently
occurring terms such as "in a certain embodiment", "consisting 
essentially of", and clauses and lists
introduced using colons, e.g. "comprising: ..."
The use of patents in CLIR suffers from the same kind of issues, either 
for the evaluation of systems
or for the collection of corpora. Sentence alignment may also have 
specific issues related to the
content of the documents, and many other types of tools may have their 
own thoughts using patents.
Through all those technologies, one can see their usage implies several 
challenges, such as the
integration of tools into patent information applications. The different 
tools should help end-users to
search, examine or classify patent documents, most of the time from 
translations and not available
in English. Web services should also be an extension of the tools and 
web services should be
connected through workflows, helping end-users in their daily work.
Among all the topics previously mentioned, we would like to contribute 
to the improvement of the
challenging patent field, by sharing the knowledge from the whole community.

The different topics addressed during the workshop will be (but are not 
limited to):
- Corpora aspects: collecting data, cleaning, alignment, parallel 
corpora, etc.;
- Evaluation of technologies: definition of metrics, patent specificity;
- Integration of patent applications: web services, end-user applications;
- IPR issues and licensing.

*Organising committee*
Heidi Depraetere (Crosslang, Belgium)
Olivier Hamon (ELDA -- Evaluations and Language resources Distribution 
Agency, France)
John Tinsley (PLUTO -- Patent Language Translations Online, Ireland)

*Programme committee*
Victoria Arranz (ELDA -- Evaluations and Language resources Distribution 
Agency, France)
Alexandru Ceasusu (PLUTO - Patent Language Translations Online, Ireland)
Khalid Choukri (ELDA, France)
Terumasa Ehara (Yamanashi Eiwa College, Japan)
Cristina España-Bonet (UPC, Spain)
Mihai Lupu (IRF and ESTeam, Austria)
Bertrand Le Chapelain (EPO, Netherlands)
Bente Maegaard (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Bruno Pouliquen (World Intellectual Property Organization, Switzerland)
Lucia Specia (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)
Gregor Thurmair (Linguatec, Germany)
Dan Wang (China Patent Information Center, China)
Shoichi Yokoyama (Yamagata University, Japan)
More to follow...

*Important dates*
Deadline for submission: Friday 24 February 2010
Notification of acceptance: Friday 23 March 2010
Final version due: Friday 30 March 2010
Workshop : 27 May 2010 (afternoon)

*Submission Format*
Full papers up to 8 pages should be formatted according to LREC 2012 
guidelines and be submitted
through the online submission form 
( on
START. For further queries, please contact Olivier Hamon at 
When submitting a paper from the START page, authors will be asked to 
provide essential
information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e. also technologies, 
standards, evaluation kits, etc.)
that have been used for the work described in the paper or are a new 
result of your research. For
further information on this new initiative, please refer to
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