The Second International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation has been initiated by ELRA and is organised in cooperation with other Associations and Consortia, including ACL, ALLC, COCOSDA, ORIENTAL COCOSDA, EAFT, EAGLES, EDR, ELSNET, ESCA, EURALEX, FRANCIL, LDC, PAROLE, TELRI, etc., and with major national and international organisations, including the European Commission - DG XIII, ARPA, NSF, the IC/863 HTRDP Project (China), the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the ICSP Permanent Committee (Korea), The Natural Language Technical committee of JEIDA (Japan), and the Japanese Project for International Coordination in Corpora, Assessment and Labelling. Cooperation and support from other institutions is currently being sought.
In the framework of the Information Society, the pervasive character of Human Language Technologies (HLT) and their relevance to practically all the fields of Information Society Technologies (IST) has been widely recognised.
Two issues are currently considered particularly relevant: 1) the availability of language resources and 2) the methods for the evaluation of resources, technologies and products. Substantial mutual benefits can be expected from addressing these issues through international cooperation.
The term language resources (LR) refers to sets of language data and descriptions in machine readable form, used specifically for building and evaluating natural language and speech algorithms or systems, for software localisation industries and language services, for language enabled information and communication services, for electronic commerce, electronic publishing, language studies, subject-area specialists and end users.
Examples of language resources are written and spoken corpora, computational lexica, grammars, terminology databases, and basic software tools for the acquisition, preparation, collection, management, customisation and use of these and other resources.
The relevance of evaluation for Language Engineering is increasingly recognised. This involves assessment of the state of the art for a given technology, measuring the progress achieved within a programme, comparing different approaches to a given problem and choosing the best solution, knowing its advantages and drawbacks, assessment of the availability of technologies for a given application, product benchmarking, and assessment of user satisfaction.
Language engineering and R&D in language technologies have made important advances in the recent past in various aspects of both written and spoken language processing. Although the evaluation paradigm has been studied and used in large national and international programmes, including the US ARPA HLT programme, the EU LE programme under R&D framework programmes, the Francophone Aupelf-Uref programme and others, and in the localisation industry (LISA and LRC), it is still subject to substantial unresolved basic research problems.
The aim of this conference is to provide an overview of the state of the art, to discuss problems and opportunities, and to exchange information regarding ongoing and planned activities, language resources and their applications. We also intend to discuss evaluation methodologies and demonstrate evaluation tools, and explore possibilities and promote initiatives for international cooperation in the areas mentioned above.
The following non-exhaustive list gives some examples of topics which could be addressed by papers submitted to the Conference:
Issues in the design, construction and use of Language Resources (LR) (theoretical & best practices)