LINGUIST List 15.975

Tue Mar 23 2004

Calls: Computational Ling/Spain; General Ling/USA

Editor for this issue: Andrea Berez <andrealinguistlist.org>


As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text. To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.

Directory

  1. rmalouf, ACL04 Workshop: Tackling the Challenges of Terascale Human Language Problems
  2. fbechter, Deaf Studies' Critical Challenge to Social Theory (AAA meetings)

Message 1: ACL04 Workshop: Tackling the Challenges of Terascale Human Language Problems

Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 23:23:55 -0500 (EST)
From: rmalouf <rmaloufmail.sdsu.edu>
Subject: ACL04 Workshop: Tackling the Challenges of Terascale Human Language Problems

ACL04 Workshop: Tackling the Challenges of Terascale Human Language
Problems
Short Title: Terascale NLP 2004 

Date: 26-Jul-2004 - 26-Jul-2004
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Contact: Rob Malouf
Contact Email: rmaloufmail.sdsu.edu 
Meeting URL: http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~malouf/terascale04.html 

Linguistic Sub-field: Computational Linguistics 

Call Deadline: 18-Apr-2004 


Meeting Description:

Machine learning methods form the core of most modern speech and
language processing technologies. Techniques such as kernel methods,
log-linear models, and graphical models are routinely used to classify
examples (e.g., to identify the topic of a story), rank candidates (to
order a set of parses for some sentence) or assign labels to sequences
(to identify named entities in a sentence). While considerable success
has been achieved using these algorithms, what has become increasingly
clear is that the size and complexity of the problems---in terms of
number of training examples, the size of the feature space, and the
size of the prediction space---are growing at a much faster rate than
our computational resources are, Moore's Law notwithstanding. This
raises real questions as to whether our current crop of algorithms
will scale gracefully when processing such problems. This workshop
will bring researchers together who are interested in meeting the
challenges associated with scaling systems for natural language
processing. Machine learning methods form the core of most modern
speech and language processing technologies. Techniques such as kernel
methods, log-linear models, and graphical models are routinely used to
classify examples (e.g., to identify the topic of a story), rank
candidates (to order a set of parses for some sentence) or assign
labels to sequences (to identify named entities in a sentence). While
considerable success has been achieved using these algorithms, what
has become increasingly clear is that the size and complexity of the
problems---in terms of number of training examples, the size of the
feature space, and the size of the prediction space---are growing at a
much faster rate than our computational resources are, Moore's Law
notwithstanding. This raises real questions as to whether our current
crop of algorithms will scale gracefully when processing such
problems. For example, training Support Vector Machines for relatively
small-scale problems, such as classifying phones in the speech TIMIT
dataset, will take an estimated six years of CPU time (Salomon, et
al. 2002). If we wished to move to a larger domain and harness, say,
all the speech data emerging from a typical call center, then very
clearly enormous computational resources would be needed to be devoted
to the task.

Allocation of such vast amounts of computational resources is beyond
the scope of most current research collaborations, which consist of
small groups of people working on isolated tasks using small networks
of commodity machines. The ability to deal with large-scale speech and
language problems requires a move away from isolated individual groups
of researchers towards co-ordinated `virtual organizations'.

The terascale problems that are now emerging demand an understanding
of how to manage people and resources possibly distributed over many
sites. Evidence of the timely nature of this workshop can be seen at
this year's ''Text Retrieval Conference'' (TREC), which concluded with
the announcement of a new track next year which would be specifically
devoted to scaling information retrieval systems. This clearly
demonstrates the community need for scaling human language
technologies.

In order to address large scale speech and language problems that
arise in realistic tasks, we must address the issue of scalable
machine learning algorithms that can better exploit the structure of
such problems, their computational resource requirements and its
implications on how we carry out research as a community.

This workshop will bring researchers together who are interested in
meeting the challenges associated with scaling systems for natural
language processing. Topics include (but are not limited to):

 + exactly scaling existing techniques

 + applying interesting approximations which drastically reduce the
 amount of required computation yet do not sacrifice much in the way
 of accuracy

 + using on-line learning algorithms to learn from streaming data sources

 + efficiently retraining models as more data becomes available

 + experience with using very large datasets, apply for example Grid
 computing strategies technologies

 + techniques for efficiently manipulating enormous volumes of data

 + human factors associated with managing large virtual organizations

 + adapting methods developed for dealing with large-scale problems
 in other computational sciences, such as physics and biology, to natural
 language processing 
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Deaf Studies' Critical Challenge to Social Theory (AAA meetings)

Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 14:40:23 -0500 (EST)
From: fbechter <fbechteruchicago.edu>
Subject: Deaf Studies' Critical Challenge to Social Theory (AAA meetings)

Deaf Studies' Critical Challenge to Social Theory (AAA meetings)

Date: 17-Nov-2004 - 21-Nov-2004
Location: San Francisco, California, United States of America
Contact: Frank Bechter
Contact Email: fbechteruchicago.edu 
Meeting URL: http://www.aaanet.org/mtgs/mtgs.htm 

Linguistic Sub-field: General Linguistics 
Subject Language: American Sign Language 
Subject Language Family: Deaf Sign Language 

Call Deadline: 29-Mar-2004 


Meeting Description:

Call for papers for a proposed session at the American Anthopological
Association meetings, emphasizing the challenge that Deaf Studies
(including the study of signed languages) poses to social theory and
linguistic theory. Aspects of deaf culture and language which are
unorthodox paradigmatically from the standpoint of basic approaches to
culture and language (including formal linguistic description) are
advanced as particularly worth studying -- as opposed to the general
practice of studying only those aspects of deaf culture and language
which seem consistent with received understandings. The session is
conceived as the first stage in pursuing an edited volume. Please
forward to interested colleagues. DEADLINE VERY SOON.

This is a call for papers for a proposed session at the American
Anthropological Association meetings, November 17-21 in San Francisco.
Since sessions must be submitted by April 1, please indicate interest
as soon as possible to session organizers -- Frank Bechter
(fbechteruchicago.edu) and Peter Graif (pjgraifuchicago.edu). We
will need to have rough descriptions by Monday, March 29, at the
latest (i.e., in one week's time), and participants must submit
completed abstracts (250 words) on-line to the AAA by April 1. Below
is the session abstract, to be supplemented once proposals are
received. The session is conceived as the first stage in pursuing an
edited volume.

For conference information and guidelines, go to
http://www.aaanet.org/mtgs/mtgs.htm. Feel free also to contact Frank
Bechter (fbechteruchicago.edu) with questions.

Deaf Studies' critical challenge to social theory

In the past two decades, anthropological study of deaf signers has
shown that primary categories of social description -- language,
culture, ''ethnicity,'' identity -- can be applied to the deaf. In
this way, and against a long history of systematic disenfranchisement
of deaf signers, the categories of social and linguistic theory are
thus employed to understand deaf signers as a more-or-less ''normal''
linguistic minority, having their own community organizations,
folklore, literary forms, etiquette, internal sociolinguistic
variation, and even typical forms of gender, race and class bias. The
deaf cultural community is thus advanced as an ethnographic domain
wherein already-constituted insights of social and linguistic theory
can be evidenced, albeit with minor adjustments to account for signing
versus speaking. In this way, the study of the deaf not only
legitimates the deaf along particular theoretical dimensions, but,
indeed, functions to legitimate these theoretical dimensions
themselves, with the unstated corollary that any aspect of deaf social
life which violates precepts of these scholarly discourses will be
quietly sidelined.

But what if heretofore sidelined aspects of deaf life are, in fact,
what is most fundamental to the deaf, and to any understanding of
them? Indeed, what are the precepts at issue? Thus, for example, the
study of the deaf has focused on deaf families, where cultural
transmission is in sympathy with a classic perspective -- and yet,
deaf signers come overwhelmingly from non-deaf families. Linguists,
meanwhile, have argued for an SVO structure to ASL, but the highest
aesthetic form of signing (''ASL storytelling'') often contains no SVO
constructions, nor, indeed, any linear syntax whatsoever.

This panel takes the empirical facts of deaf signing populations (in
the US and elsewhere) as its starting points, granting from the outset
the ''cultural'' status of deaf signing communities, and the
''linguistic'' status of deaf signing systems, as essentially obvious
-- not in need of legitimization, but rather standing as daunting
invitations to better theorization of culture and language. Paper
abstracts are thus invited which pursue this aim. On the one hand,
the goal of the panel is simply to understand the deaf community and
its forms. At the same time, however, we maintain that this is not
possible in the absence of real theoretical innovation. Such
innovations should be of value in a range of cultural and ethnographic
contexts, and papers exploring this possibility are encouraged.

Session organizers:

Frank Bechter - fbechteruchicago.edu
Peter Graif - pjgraifuchicago.edu
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue