Appel: CogALex-4, pre-COLING workshop with a shared task devoted to the 'lexical access-problem'

Thierry Hamon hamon at LIMSI.FR
Fri Mar 14 13:31:55 UTC 2014

Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 23:25:29 +0800
From: Michael Zock <Michael.Zock at>
Message-ID: <53207C69.9090109 at>

Apologies for multiple postings
Please distribute to colleagues


1st Call for Papers

together with a shared task concerning the ‘lexical access-problem’

Pre-conference workshop at COLING 2014 (August 23d, Dublin, Ireland)

Submission deadline: May 25, 2014

Invited speaker: Roberto Navigli (Sapienza University of Rome)

For more information, see :
(Beware though that this page is still under construction)


The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers involved in the
construction and application of electronic dictionaries to discuss
modifications of existing resources in line with the users' needs,
thereby fully exploiting the advantages of the digital form. Given the
breadth of the questions, we welcome reports on work from many
perspectives, including but not limited to: computational lexicography,
psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, language learning and


The way we look at dictionaries (their creation and use) has changed
dramatically over the past 30 years. While being considered as an
appendix to grammar in the past, by now they have moved to centre
stage. Indeed, there is hardly any task in NLP which can be conducted
without them. Also, rather than being static entities (data-base view),
dictionaries are now viewed as dynamic networks, i.e. graphs, whose
nodes and links (connection strengths) may change over
time. Interestingly, properties concerning topology, clustering and
evolution known from other disciplines (society, economy, human brain)
also apply to dictionaries: everything is linked, hence accessible, and
everything is evolving. Given these similarities, one may wonder what we
can learn from these disciplines.

In this 4th edition of the CogALex workshop we therefore also invite
scientists working in these fields, with the goal to broaden the
picture, i.e. to gain a better understanding concerning the mental
lexicon and to integrate these findings into our dictionaries in order
to support navigation. Given recent advances in neurosciences, it
appears timely to seek inspiration from neuroscientists studying the
human brain. There is also a lot to be learned from other fields
studying graphs and networks, even if their object of study is something
else than language, for example biology, economy or society.


This workshop is about possible enhancements of lexical resources and
electronic dictionaries. To perform the groundwork for the next
generation of such resources we invite researchers involved in the
building of such tools.  The idea is to discuss modifications of
existing resources by taking the users’ needs and knowledge states into
account, and to capitalize on the advantages of the digital media. For
this workshop we solicit papers including but not limited to the
following topics, each of which can be considered from various points of
view: linguistics, neuro- or psycholinguistics (tip of the tongue
problem, associations), network related sciences (sociology, economy,
biology), mathematics (vector-based approaches, graph theory,
small-world problem), etc.

1) Analysis of the conceptual input of a dictionary user

  - What does a language producer start from (bag of words)?

  - What is in the authors' minds when they are generating a message and
    looking for a word?

  - What does it take to bridge the gap between this input and the
    desired output (target word)?

2) The meaning of words

  - Lexical representation (holistic, decomposed)
  - Meaning representation (concept based, primitives)
  - Revelation of hidden information (distributional semantics, latent
    semantics, vector-based approaches: LSA/HAL)
  - Neural models, neurosemantics, neurocomputational theories of
    content representation.

3) Structure of the lexicon

  - Discovering structures in the lexicon: formal and semantic point of
    view (clustering, topical structure)
  - Creative ways of getting access to and using word associations
    (reading between the lines, subliminal communication);
  - Evolution, i.e. dynamic aspects of the lexicon (changes of weights)
  - Neural models of the mental lexicon (distribution of information
    concerning words, organisation of words)

4) Methods for crafting dictionaries or indexes

  - Manual, automatic or collaborative building of dictionaries and
    indexes (crowd-sourcing, serious games, etc.)
  - Impact and use of social networks (Facebook, Twitter) for building
    dictionaries, for organizing and indexing the data (clustering of
    words), and for allowing to track navigational strategies, etc.
  - (Semi-) automatic induction of the link type (e.g. synonym,
    hypernym, meronym, association, collocation, ...)
  - Use of corpora and patterns (data-mining) for getting access to
    words, their uses, combinations and associations

5) Dictionary access (navigation and search strategies, interface issues,...)

  - Search based on sound, meaning or associations
  - Search (simple query vs multiple words)
  - Context-dependent search (modification of users’ goals during search)
  - Recovery
  - Navigation (frequent navigational patterns or search strategies used
    by people)
  - Interface problems, data-visualisation

6) Dictionary applications

  - Methods supporting vocabulary learning (for example, creation of
    data-bases showing words in various contexts)
  - Tools for supporting Human translation


Deadline for paper submissions: May 25, 2014
Notification of acceptance: June 15, 2014
Camera-ready papers due: July 7, 2014
Workshop date: August 23, 2014


Papers should follow the COLING main conference formatting details
(http:// and should be
submitted as a PDF-file via the START workshop manager at (you must register first).

Contributions can be short or long papers. Short paper submission must
describe original and unpublished work without exceeding six (6) pages
(references included). Characteristics of short papers include: a small,
focused contribution; work in progress; a negative result; a piece of
opinion; an interesting application nugget. Long paper submissions must
describe substantial, original, completed and unpublished work without
exceeding twelve (12) pages (references included).

Reviewing will be double blind, so the papers should not reveal the
authors' identity. Accepted papers will be published in the workshop

For further details see:


We invite participation in a shared task devoted to the problem of
lexical access in language production, with the aim of providing a
quantitative comparison between different systems.

Motivation of shared task

The quality of a dictionary depends not only on coverage, but also on
the accessibility of the information. That is, a crucial point is
dictionary access. Access strategies vary with the task (text
understanding vs. text production) and the knowledge available at the
very moment of consultation (words, concepts, speech sounds). Unlike
readers who look for meanings, writers start from them, searching for
the corresponding words. While paper dictionaries are static, permitting
only limited strategies for accessing information, their electronic
counterparts promise dynamic, proactive search via multiple criteria
(meaning, sound, related words) and via diverse access
routes. Navigation takes place in a huge conceptual lexical space, and
the results are displayable in a multitude of forms (e.g. as trees, as
lists, as graphs, or sorted alphabetically, by topic, by frequency).

To bring some structure into this multitude of possibilities, the shared
task will concentrate on a crucial subtask, namely multiword
association.  we will organize a novel type of shared task which will
allow quantitative comparisons between different systems. The task
chosen is multiword association.

What we mean by this in the context of this workshop is the
following. Suppose, we were looking for a word expressing the following
ideas: ísuperior dark coffee made of beans from Arabiaí, but could not
remember the intended word mocha. Since people always remember something
concerning the elusive word, it would be nice to have a system accepting
this kind of input, to propose then a number of candidates for the
target word. Given the above example, we might enter dark, coffee,
beans, and Arabia, and the system would be supposed to come up with
lists of associated words such as mocha, espresso, or cappuccino.


The participants will receive lists of five given words (primes) such as
'circus', 'funny', 'nose', 'fool', and 'fun' and are supposed to compute
the word which is most closely associated to all of them. In this case,
the word 'clown' would be the expected answer. Here are some more

given words: gin, drink, scotch, bottle, soda
expected answer: whisky

given words: wheel, driver, bus, drive, lorry
expected answer: car

given words: neck, animal, zoo, long, tall
expected answer: giraffe

given words: holiday, work, sun, summer, abroad
expected answer: vacation

given words: home, garden, door, boat, chimney
expected answer: house

given words: blue, cloud, stars, night, high
expected answer: sky

We will provide a training set of 2000 sets of five input words
(multiword stimuli), together with the expected target words
(associative response). The participants will have several weeks to
train their systems on this data. After the the training phase, we will
release a test set containing another 2000 sets of five input words, but
without providing the expected target words.

Participants will have five days to run their systems on the test data,
thereby predicting the target words. For each system, we will compare
the results to the expected target words and compute an accuracy. The
participants will be invited to submit a paper describing their approach
and the results.

For the participating systems, we will distinguish two categories: (1)
Unrestricted systems. They can use any kind of data to compute their
results.  (2) Restricted systems: These systems are only allowed to draw
on the freely available ukWaC corpus (comprising 2 billion words) in
order to extract information on word associations. Participants are
allowed to compete in either category or in both.

Schedule for Shared Task

  - Training Data Release: March 25, 2014
  - Test Data Release: May 5, 2014
  - Final Results: May 9, 2014
  - Deadline for Paper Submission: May 25, 2014
  - Reviewers' feedback: June, 15, 2014
  - Camera-Ready Version: July 7, 2014
  - Workshop date: August 23, 2014

All data releases to be found on the workshop website.


  - Bel Enguix, Gemma(LIF-CNRS, France) and (GRLMC, Tarragona, Spain)
  - Chang, Jason(National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan)
  - Cook, Paul(University of Melbourne, Australia)
  - Cristea, Dan(University A.I.Cuza, Iasi, Romania)
  - De Deyne, Simon(Experimental Psychology, Leuven, Belgium) and
    (Adelaide, Australia)
  - De Melo, Gerard(IIIS, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
  - Ferret, Olivier(CEA LIST, Gif sur Yvette, France)
  - Fontenelle, Thierry(CDT, Luxemburg)
  - Gala, Nuria(LIF-CNRS, Aix Marseille University, Marseille, France)
  - Granger, Sylviane(Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
  - Grefenstette, Gregory (Inria, Saclay, France)
  - Hirst, Graeme(University of Toronto, Canada)
  - Hovy, Eduard(CMU, Pittsburgh, USA)
  - Hsieh, Shu-Kai(National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)
  - Huang, Chu-Ren(Hongkong Polytechnic University, China)
  - Joyce, Terry(Tama University, Kanagawa-ken, Japan)
  - Lapalme, Guy(RALI, University of Montreal, Canada)
  - Lenci, Alessandro(CNR, university of Pisa, Italy)
  - L'Homme, Marie Claude(University of Montreal, Canada)
  - Mihalcea, Rada(University of Texas, USA)
  - Navigli, Roberto(Sapienza, University of Rome, Italy)
  - Pirrelli, Vito(ILC, Pisa, Italy)
  - Polguère, Alain(ATILF-CNRS, Nancy, France)
  - Rapp, Reinhard(LIF-CNRS, France) and (Mainz, Germany)
  - Rosso, Paolo(NLEL, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain)
  - Schwab, Didier(LIG-GETALP, Grenoble, France)
  - Serasset, Gilles(IMAG, Grenoble, France)
  - Sharoff, Serge(University of Leeds, UK)
  - Su, Jun-Ming(University of Tainan, Taiwan)
  - Tiberius, Carole(Institute for Dutch Lexicology, The Netherlands)
  - Tokunaga, Takenobu(TITECH, Tokyo, Japan)
  - Tufis, Dan(RACAI, Bucharest, Romania)
  - Valitutti, Alessandro(Helsinki Institute of Information Technology,
  - Wandmacher, Tonio(IRT SystemX, Saclay, France)
  - Zock, Michael(LIF-CNRS, Marseille, France), currently (University of
    Tainan, Taiwan)


  - Michael Zock (LIF-CNRS, Marseille, France), michael.zock AT
  - Reinhard Rapp (University of Aix Marseille (France) and Mainz
    (Germany), reinhardrapp AT
  - Chu-Ren Huang (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong),
    churen.huang AT

For more details see:
(again, this page is still under construction)

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