Appel: Journal TAL, special issue on NLP Platforms, New submission deadline

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at LIPN.UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Fri Jan 25 21:06:23 UTC 2008

Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 13:07:31 +0100
From: Patrice Enjalbert <patrice.enjalbert at>
Message-Id: <66AD15AE-C451-459D-A40D-2BE818C0617E at>


NEW SUBMISSION DEADLINE :  February 11th, 2008



2008 Volume 49 Number 2

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

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

- 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

- evaluation of composite processes;

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

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 tal-plateformes at (preferred
  but optional)
- 11/02/2008 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:
tal-plateformes at
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)
John TAIT (IRF, Austria)

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