10.717, Calls: Us/Them Across Cultures, Info Retrieval

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LINGUIST List:  Vol-10-717. Tue May 11 1999. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Subject: 10.717, Calls: Us/Them Across Cultures, Info Retrieval

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Date:  Tue, 11 May 1999 00:15:48 +0200
From:  "[** iso-8859-2 charset **] Ryszard Glego\179a" <rysiek at conecta.com.pl>
Subject:  Us/Them A Cross-cultural View

Date:  Mon, 10 May 1999 12:02:04 -0400 (EDT)
From:  Zhongfei Zhang <zhongfei at cedar.buffalo.edu>
Subject: Multimedia Indexing and Retrieval

-------------------------------- Message 1 -------------------------------

Date:  Tue, 11 May 1999 00:15:48 +0200
From:  "[** iso-8859-2 charset **] Ryszard Glego\179a" <rysiek at conecta.com.pl>
Subject:  Us/Them A Cross-cultural View

(Budapest, July 10-15, 2000)

Dear Colleagues

I would like to invite contributions to a PANEL on the topic:

US and THEM: 'in-group' and 'out-group' meanings in language and
communication (a cross-cultural view)

The us and them perspective is an inherent part of human social life. People
form groups that are based on nationality, family relationships, political
party affiliations, race or hobby. Group membership fulfils the human desire
for solidarity, consensus and co-operation. However, the unity of some
entails the exclusion of others. Non-members are seen as outsiders.
Alienation often gives rise to confrontational positions or conflict.
The us and them perspective is ingrained in language and communication. By
means of language we express our social identities and our attitudes to
others. We create the sense of 'togetherness' and that of 'otherness'. We
strengthen alignments and make divisions.

Questions arise: How, in particular, do we as individuals and as groups
linguistically project ourselves and our identities? What means do we have
for incorporating others in our linguistic and cultural spaces? How in our
languages do we embed devices and strategies with which we create distance
and confrontation? Can some linguistic or cultural realities ease the
solidarity perspective? What is the role of cross-cultural contacts in how
the speaker's sense of identity, attitude, and affiliation is reinforced or
redefined? How relevant is the awareness of the us and them perspective in
socialisation and enculturation processes?

I am interested in contributions that address a wide spectrum of problems
relevant to the US and THEM distinction: cognitive, social and cultural
aspects of the phenomenon, global and language (discourse) specific
accounts, descriptive and critical approaches. Below I supply a sample list
of topics:

- phonological, morphological and syntactic devices that mark the we/they
(self/other) distinction - cross-cultural variation;
- devices and strategies specific to the discourse level to achieve the
self-other effect;
- variation in the nature of and the use of such devices/strategies across
discourse types and genres;
- genre specific illustrations of how the us/them distinction is managed or
- cultural variation and globalisation tendencies in the light of such
devices and strategies;
- creation of stereotypes through manipulation of self/other devices;
- use of expressions such as substandard, error, deviation as devices
excluding others;
- systemic diachronic evidence for changes in the inventories of devices and
strategies serving the task of discriminating between us and them;
- what evidence is available regarding the acquisition of the concept of
self and other;
- what is the role of translation and language teaching in the understanding
of how such devices and strategies are used;
- the us and them perspective in multicultural work environments;
- gender and 'othering' devices in language;
- evidence from immigrant assimilation processes.

Those who are interested in the topic, but may not come to Budapest, are
also encouraged to contact me. Plans are being made to publish a volume
addressing the linguistic, cognitive, social and cultural aspects of the US
and THEM distinction in language and communication.

Anna Duszak
Institute of Applied Linguistics
Warsaw University
PL- 00-311 WARSAW
Browarna 8/10

e-mail address: duszak at plearn.edu.pl

In case of problems with delivery of your response e-mail at the above
address, please try sending it at usthem at kki.net.pl.

This document is also posted on the Web at http://www.kki.net.pl/~usthem
in a more readable form.

-------------------------------- Message 2 -------------------------------

Date:  Mon, 10 May 1999 12:02:04 -0400 (EDT)
From:  Zhongfei Zhang <zhongfei at cedar.buffalo.edu>
Subject: Multimedia Indexing and Retrieval

                ACM SIGIR'99 Post-Conference Workshop on
                   Multimedia Indexing and Retrieval

                   Berkeley, CA, August 15 - 19, 1999

                         Call For Participation


- --------

This workshop is a follow-up to last year's very successful workshop on the
same topic. Since the field is advancing so rapidly, it was felt that an
annual workshop would be worthwhile.

The focus is on the required functionality, techniques, and evaluation
criteria for multimedia information retrieval systems. Researchers have been
investigating content-based retrieval from non-text sources such as images,
audio and video. Initially, the focus of these efforts were on content
analysis and retrieval techniques tailored to a specific media; more recently,
researchers have started to combine attributes from various media. The goal of
multimedia IR systems is to handle general queries such as "find outdoor
pictures or video of Clinton and Gore discussing environmental issues".
Answering such queries requires intelligent exploitation of both text/speech
and visual content. Multimedia IR is a very broad area covering both
infrastructure issues (e.g. efficient storage criteria, networking,
client-server models) and intelligent content analysis and retrieval.
Since this is a one-day workshop, we have chosen three focus areas in
the intelligent analysis and retrieval area.

About the workshop
- ----------------

The first focus of this workshop is on integrating information from various
media sources in order to handle multimodal queries on large, diverse
databases. An example of such a collection would be the WWW. In such cases,
a query may be decomposed into a set of media queries, each involving a
different indexing scheme. The interaction of various media sources that
occur in the same context (e.g., text accompanying pictures, audio
accompanying video) is of special interest; such interaction can be exploited
in both the content analysis and retrieval phases.

The second focus deals with examples of research using content and
organization of multimedia information into semantic classes. Users pose and
expect a retrieval to provide answers to semantic questions. In practice
this is difficult to achieve. Building structures that encode semantic
information in a fairly domain independent and robust manner is extremely
difficult. A quick review of computer vision research over the last few years
points to this difficulty. In many cases, image content can be used in
conjunction with user interaction and domain specificity to retrieve
semantically meaningful information. However, it is clear that retrieval
by similarity of visual attributes when used arbitrarily cannot provide
semantically meaningful information. For example, a search for a red flower by
color red on a very heterogeneous database cannot be expected to yield
meaningful results. On the other hand retrieval of red flowers in a database
of flowers can be achieved using color. In context therefore, examples of
research using content and organization of multimedia information into
semantic classes will be discussed.

Many systems, particularly image and video based ones require an example
picture which can be used as a query (alternatively, the user may be
required to draw a picture). It may be unrealistic to expect an example
image to be always available. Thus, it would be useful to find ways of
generating new queries. Can NLP techniques be combined with computer vision
techniques to generate such queries? Or can multimodal retrieval techniques
be combined to create queries suitable for image, video and audio retrieval?
In general, a question is how can we create realistic queries for realistic

The third focus of this workshop is on evaluation techniques for multimedia
retrieval. Currently, most researchers are using the standard evaluation
measures defined for text documents; these need to be extended/modified
for multimedia documents. There is also a high degree of subjectivity
involved that needs to be addressed.

Finally, we will also devote one session to discussing MPEG-7 standards and
content. By the time of the workshop, the selection committee would have made
their choices for standards.

We will focus on the following specific topics:

  - content analysis and retrieval from various media (text, images, video,
  - interaction of modalities (e.g. text, images) in indexing, retrieval
  - effective user interfaces (permitting query refinement etc.)
  - evaluation methodologies for multimedia information. We have found that
    researchers pay insufficient attention to it.
  - techniques for relevance ranking
  - multimodal query formation/decomposition
  - logic formalisms for multimodal queries
  - indexing and retrieval from scanned documents - e.g extracting text from
    images, word spotting - as a retrieval technique for both handwritten and
    printed documents.
  - testbeds for evaluating multimodal retrieval: it would be nice to have
    some resource sharing here since annotating these, and coming up with a
    good query set are difficult

- -----------

Two types of participation are expected. Those interested in making a
presentation at this workshop should submit their full papers either in
online postscript version or in hardcopy by regular mail to the address
given below. The papers should not exceed 5,000 words, including figures,
tables, and references. Those interested in participating, but not presenting
papers, should submit a statement of interest, not to exceed 500 words.
This should clearly state what aspect(s) of the workshop reflect their
research interest. These will be used to select panelists. Both types of
submissions are due on Friday, June 18th. Decisions will be made no later
than Friday, July 2nd. In the case of paper submission, the final camera-ready
papers are due on July 23rd. Working notes will be made available
to all participants at the workshop. All the submissions should be sent to:

Dr. Rohini K. Srihari
CEDAR/SUNY at Buffalo
UB Commons
520 Lee Entrance, Suite 202
Amherst, NY 14228 - 2583
Email: rohini at cedar.buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 645-6164 ext. 102 Fax: (716) 645-6176

- ----------

Workshop chairs (also program chairs):

 Rohini K. Srihari
                CEDAR, SUNY at Buffalo
                Amherst, NY 14228 - 2583
                rohini at cedar.buffalo.edu
 Zhongfei Zhang
                CEDAR, SUNY at Buffalo
                Amherst, NY 14228 - 2583
                zhongfei at cedar.buffalo.edu
 R. Manmatha
                Computer Science Dept., Univ. of Massachusetts
                Amherst, MA 01003
                manmatha at cs.umass.edu
 S. Ravela
                Computer Science Dept., Univ. of Massachusetts
                Amherst, MA 01003
                ravela at cs.umass.edu

- -------

 Paper or statement of interest submission:
                                      June 18th, 1999.
                                      July 2nd, 1999.
 Camera-Ready Paper Due:
                                      July 23rd, 1999
 SIGIR Conference:
                                      August 15 - 19, 1999
 Workshop Date:
                                      to be announced.

Further information
- -----------------

Further questions may be directed to the address above, or go to the Web
page of this workshop at


or the SIGIR Conference main Web Page at


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