Appel: ELRA Workshop on Evaluation at LREC 2008 - 1st Call for Papers

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at LIPN.UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Tue Jan 8 16:06:18 UTC 2008

Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2008 11:52:21 +0100
From: ELDA <info at>
Message-ID: <478355E5.4050500 at>

[Apologies for multiple postings]

ELRA Workshop on Evaluation
Looking into the Future of Evaluation: when automatic metrics meet
task-based and performance-based approaches

To be held in conjunction with the 6th International Language
Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2008)
27 May 2008, Palais des Congrès Mansour Eddahbi, Marrakech


Automatic methods to evaluate system performance play an important
role in the development of a language technology system. They speed up
research and development by allowing fast feedback, and the idea is
also to make results comparable while aiming to match human evaluation
in terms of output evaluation. However, after several years of study
and exploitation of such metrics we still face problems like the
following ones:

* they only evaluate part of what should be evaluated
* they produce measurements that are hard to understand/explain,
  and/or hard to relate to the concept of quality
* they fail to match human evaluation
* they require resources that are expensive to create

etc. Therefore, an effort to integrate knowledge from a multitude of
evaluation activities and methodologies should help us solve some of
these immediate problems and avoid creating new metrics that reproduce
such problems.

Looking at MT as a sample case, problems to be immediately pointed out
are twofold: reference translations and distance measurement. The
former are difficult and expensive to produce, they do not cover the
usually wide spectrum of translation possibilities and what is even
more discouraging, worse results are obtained when reference
translations are of higher quality (more spontaneous and natural, and
thus, sometimes more lexically and syntactically distant from the
source text).  Regarding the latter, the measurement of the distance
between the source text and the output text is carried out by means of
automatic metrics that do not match human intuition as well as
claimed. Furthermore, different metrics perform differently, which has
already led researchers to study metric/approach combinations which
integrate automatic methods into a deeper linguistically oriented
evaluation. Hopefully, this should help soften the unfair treatment
received by some rule-based systems, clearly punished by certain
system-approach sensitive metrics.

On the other hand, there is the key issue of « what needs to be
measured », so as to draw the conclusion that « something is of good
quality », or probably rather « something is useful for a particular
purpose ». In this regard, works like those done within the FEMTI
framework have shown that aspects such as usability, reliability,
efficiency, portability, etc. should also be considered. However, the
measuring of such quality characteristics cannot always be automated,
and there may be many other aspects that could be usefully measured.

This workshop follows the evolution of a series of workshops where
methodological problems, not only for MT but for evaluation in
general, have been approached. Along the lines of these discussions
and aiming to go one step further, the current workshop, while taking
into account the advantages of automatic methods and the shortcomings
of current methods, should focus on task-based and performance-based
approaches for evaluation of natural language applications, with key
questions such as:

- How can it be determined how useful a given system is for a given

- How can focusing on such issues and combining these approaches with
  our already acquired experience on automatic evaluation help us
  develop new metrics and methodologies which do not feature the
  shortcomings of current automatic metrics?

- Should we work on hybrid methodologies of automatic and human
  evaluation for certain technologies and not for others?

- Can we already envisage the integration of these approaches?

- Can we already plan for some immediate collaborations/experiments?

- What would it mean for the FEMTI framework to be extended to other
  HLT applications, such as summarization, IE, or QA? Which new
  aspects would it need to cover?

We solicit papers that address these questions and other related
issues relevant to the workshop.

Workshop Programme and Audience Addressed

This full-day workshop is intended for researchers and developers on
different evaluation technologies, with experience on the various
issues concerned in the call, and interested in defining a methodology
to move forward.

The workshop feature invited talks, submitted papers, and will
conclude with a discussion on future developments and collaboration.

Workshop Chairing Team
Gregor Thurmair (Linguatec Sprachtechnologien GmbH, Germany) - chair
Khalid Choukri (ELDA - Evaluations and Language resources Distribution 
Agency, France) - co-chair
Bente Maegaard (CST, University of Copenhagen, Denmark) - co-chair

Organising Committee

Victoria Arranz (ELDA - Evaluations and Language resources
Distribution Agency, France)
Khalid Choukri (ELDA - Evaluations and Language resources Distribution
Agency, France)
Christopher Cieri (LDC - Linguistic Data Consortium, USA)
Eduard Hovy (Information Sciences Institute of the University of
Southern California, USA)
Bente Maegaard (CST, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Keith J. Miller (The MITRE Corporation, USA)
Satoshi Nakamura (National Institute of Information and Communications
Technology, Japan)
Andrei Popescu-Belis (IDIAP Research Institute, Switzerland)
Gregor Thurmair (Linguatec Sprachtechnologien GmbH, Germany)

Important dates

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 28 January 2008
Notification to Authors: Monday 3 March 2008
Submission of Final Version: Tuesday 25 March 2008
Workshop: Tuesday 27 May 2008

Submission Format
Abstracts should be no longer than 1500 words and should be submitted
in PDF format to Gregor Thurmair at g.thurmair at

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