(Apologies for multiples postings)

Last Call for Papers

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3rd Workshop on Extra-Propositional Aspects of Meaning in Computational Linguistics (ExProM)
Colocated with  COLING 2016
Osaka, December 12, 2016

***Students travel grants sponsored by NSF available***

***With a Special Session on Negation***

http://www.cse.unt.edu/exprom2016
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During the last decade, semantic representation of text has focused on extracting propositional meaning, i.e., capturing who does what to whom, when and where. Several corpora are available, and existing tools extract this kind of knowledge, e.g., role labelers trained on PropBank or NomBank. But propositional semantic representations disregard significant meaning encoded in human language. For example, while sentences (1-2) below share the same propositional meaning regarding verb carry, they do not convey the same overall meaning. In order to truly capture what these sentences mean, extra-propositional aspects of meaning (ExProM) such as uncertainty, negation and attribution must be taken into account.

1. Thomas Eric Duncan likely contracted the disease when he carried a pregnant woman sick with Ebola. 2. Thomas Eric personally told me that he never carried a pregnant woman with Ebola.

Resources to express Extra-Propositional Aspects of Meaning (ExProM) are pervasive in human language and, while studied from a theoretical perspective, computational models are still scarce. Humans use language to describe events that do not correlate with a real situation in the world. They express desires, intentions and plans, and also discuss events that did not happen or are unlikely to happen. Events are often described hypothetically, and speculation can be used to explain why something is a certain way without a strong commitment. Humans do not always (want to) tell the (whole) truth: they may use deception to hide lies. Devices such as irony and sarcasm are employed to play with words so that what is said is not what is meant. Finally, humans not only describe their personal views or experiences, but also attribute statements to others. These phenomena are not exclusive of opinionated texts. They are ubiquitous in language, including scientific works and news as exemplified below:

  1. A better team might have prevented this infection.
2. Some speculate that this was a failure of the internal communications systems. 3. Infected people typically don't become contagious until they develop symptoms. 4. Medical personnel can be infected if they don't use protective gear, such as surgical masks and gloves. 5. You cannot get it from another person until they start showing symptoms of the disease, like fever. 6. You can only catch Ebola from coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has the disease and is showing symptoms. 7. There is no reason to believe that Ebola virus is any different from any of the viruses that infect humans and have not changed the way that they are spread.

The workshop is organised around two main sessions: a paper presentation session and a special session on negation.

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Regular Paper Presentation Session
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In its 2016 edition, the ExProM workshop aims at bringing together scientists working on ExProM within computational linguistics. The goal is to attract researchers interested in theoretical frameworks, annotation schemas, modeling and implementing real systems, as well as analyzing the impact of ExProM in NLP applications. The workshop also aims at building a bridge between theoretical and computational linguistics. In particular, it will address these topics, although it will also cover related ones:

- Negation: verbal/non-verbal, analytic/synthetic, clausal/subclausal and ordinary/metalinguistic; scope and focus
- Modality: defining and annotating types for computational linguistics
- Factuality:  determining factuality changes within and across documents
- Veridicity and veridicality: measuring author commitment
- Attribution and perspectives: determining whose perspective is being presented
- Irony and sarcasm
- Knowledge transfer from linguistics to computational linguistics: defining models for ExProM
- ExProM and lexical resources
- ExProM at the sentence and discourse level: how much context is necessary?
- ExProM across domains: news, scientific texts, legal documents, economy texts
- ExProM in user-generated content
- ExProM and implicit meaning: what do sentences really mean?
- ExProM in spoken language
- (Automatically) extracting ExProM: strategies, resources and difficulties
- Supervised, unsupervised and rule-based approaches to extract ExProM
- Integrating ExProM in the NLP pipeline
- ExProM for NLP applications: does it help?

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Special Session on Negation
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Besides the presentation of long papers about novel research on the aforementioned topics, the workshop will also include a Special Session on Negation, during which participants will discuss existing and new approaches to annotating and processing negation, and what is needed in order to make NLP applications perform satisfactorily with negated statements.

The goals of the special session are the following:

- To establish the key aspects of negation that need to be addressed in order to improve the performance of NLP applications. - To work towards a standard for annotating and processing negation in order to fulfil the needs of the NLP community.
- To foster an international collaboration network.

The Special Session will be a hands-on and discussion session. We solicit two types of papers, that will be the basis for the discussion session:

(i) Position papers from researchers working on negation per se, as well as on NLP applications that need to be sensitive to this level of information, such as machine translation, textual entailment, opinion mining, biomedical information extraction, summarization or language generation. Ideally, these short papers should be written from the perspective of a specific NLP application. As for the content, they should describe the negation phenomena that hinder the application performance, with examples that can be used in a discussion session aimed at finding solutions.

(ii) Position papers where an annotation task related to negation is defined. The paper should describe an (original) annotation task and motivate why it is useful. Ideally, authors should report on a pilot annotation experiment where the task has been tested. The pilot experiment can be done on a few samples of text.

The papers of the Special Session will not be presented in a traditional session, but their content will be discussed. In order to guarantee a productive working session, workshop participants will be provided one month before the conference with all papers accepted for the Special Session, as well as with the annotation samples reported in these papers and a list of discussion items. The organisers will lead a discussion based on this content.

For the annotation task, participants can use their own datasets or the samples of text provided by the organisers. Samples from different genres and domains will be provided: news reports, opinionated texts, image captions, and biomedical abstracts. Participants who do not use the samples provided by the organisers will be asked to release the annotation sample so that the other participants can prepare for the discussion session.

As a result of the Special Session, the organisers will invite interested participants to participate in a collaboration network enabling further development of the concepts and conclusions resulting from the discussion.

Some annotation tasks that can be addressed are the following:

- Focus of negation
- Implicit positive meanings of negated statements
- Negation in modelling perspectives
- Categories of negated statements that are meaningful for NLP applications
- Affixal negation
- Indirect negation
- Lexical negation
- Quantifiers and negation
- Paraphrasing negated propositions

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Submissions
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For the Regular Paper Presentation Session authors are invited to submit papers describing original, unpublished work in the topic areas listed above. Full papers should not exceed eight pages. Additionally, authors are invited to submit short papers not exceeding 4 pages. Short papers usually describe: a small, focused contribution; work in progress; a negative result; an opinion piece; or an interesting application nugget.

For the Special Session on Negation authors are invited to submit papers from 4 to 8 pages. Authors should include in the papers links to any (annotation) material the paper is based on, if is it different from the material provided by the organisers.

All papers can have up to 2 pages of references. All papers will be peer reviewed and all accepted papers will be published in the workshop proceedings. Authors need to follow the style guidelines of the main conference, which are to be found at http://coling2016.anlp.jp/#instructions.

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Student Travel Grants
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Funding is available to assist students both with travel to Osaka, Japan and workshop expenses (hotel, transportation to and from the airport, registration fee, reasonable meal costs, etc.). Funding is limited, and student travel grants are intended to partially cover the expenses of student participants in the workshop.

Eligibility:

- Current student from the United States or a developing country
- Author or coauthor of an accepted paper in the workshop

Deails about the application process will be announced soon in the workshop website.

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Important Dates
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       September 25   Submission deadline
       October 16       Author notification
       October 30       Camera ready due by Authors

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Program committee
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Cosmin Adrian Bejan - Vanderbilt University
Emily M. Bender - University of Washington
Tommaso Caselli - VU University Amsterdam
Marie-Catherine de Marneffe - The Ohio State University
Jacob Eisenstein - Georgia Tech
Iris Hendrickx - Radboud University
Lori Levin - Carnegie Mellon University
Erwin Marsi - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Malvina Nissim - University of Groningen
Christopher Potts - Stanford University
Sampo Pyysalo - NaCTeM
German Rigau - UPV/EHU
Ellen Riloff - University of Utah
Paolo Rosso - Universidad Politècnica de Valencia
Caroline Sporleder - Georg-Augus-Universität Göttingen
Erik Velldal - University of Oslo
Byron C. Wallace - University of Texas Austin
Bonnie Webber - University of Edinburgh

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Organisers
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Eduardo Blanco - University of North Texas
Roser Morante - VU Amsterdam
Roser Saurí - Oxford University Press


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Contact
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Contact details are available at the workshop website.


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