LINGUIST List 9.238

Tue Feb 17 1998

Calls: Multiple Media, Computational Linguistics

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>

Please do not use abbreviations or acronyms for your conference unless you explain them in your text. Many people outside your area of specialization will not recognize them. Also, if you are posting a second call for the same event, please keep the message short. Thank you for your cooperation.


  1. witbrock, Deadline Extension (April 5th) for CALD Workshop on Mixed Media Databases
  2. Ted Briscoe, Evolutionary Computational Linguistics

Message 1: Deadline Extension (April 5th) for CALD Workshop on Mixed Media Databases

Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 17:17:15 -0500
From: witbrock <>
Subject: Deadline Extension (April 5th) for CALD Workshop on Mixed Media Databases

Dear Colleague,

This message contains a substantial deadline extension which should
give many more of you an opportunity to participate. Please read on.

You are invited to participate in the Center for Automated Learning
and Discovery workshop on Mixed Media databases. This workshop will
be held in conjunction with the Conference on Automated Learning and
Discovery, being held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh from 
June the 11th to the 13th 1998.

This workshop is intended for researchers with an interest in learning
from multiple media. The workshop will emphasize both algorithms and
applications of learning with mixed media databases. Papers that
describe algorithms should cover either novel approaches designed to
benefit from mixed-media data, or modifications of standard algorithms
that utilize multiple media data sources. Application papers should
clearly demonstrate the benefits of learning from two or more types of

Different media areas to be addressed include: 

 Vision: Image, Video, and VRML 
 Speech and Audio 
 Text, including OCR, Closed-Captioning,
 handwriting, and web-documents 
 Olfactory perception 
 Haptic and Touch sensing 

If you would like to present at this workshop, please submit a paper
describing original research work and results. Four copies of the
paper should be submitted in hardcopy by April the 5th, 1998.

Because of the deadline extension, submissions should be sent, in
quadruplicate, to:

 CALD Workshop on Mixed Media Databases
 Attn: Michael Witbrock
 4616 Henry St,
 Pittsburgh PA 15213

The ideal paper should cover two or more topics listed above and apply
some aspect of learning to the multiple media data. The learning may
involve, but is not limited to neural networks, as well as statistical
and probabilistic models. All statistical, probabilistic, and learning
approaches are welcome.

Papers submitted to this workshop may also be submitted to other
conferences or to journals.

If you plan to submit a paper or attend, please contact the organizers
(listed below).

Detailed submission instructions can be found at the following URL,
but you should remember the altered deadline and submission address
given above: 

Selected papers from the workshop will be considered for publication
in an upcoming special issue of IEEE Expert journal.


 Shumeet Baluja (
 Christos Faloutsos (
 Alex Hauptmann (
 Michael Witbrock (

The conference main site is at
Please visit it soon. And please forward this Call to any colleagues
who may be interested.
- -------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Witbrock Justresearch
Research Scientist 4616 Henry St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: +1 412 683 9486 Fax: +1 412 683 4175
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Message 2: Evolutionary Computational Linguistics

Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 09:39:40 +0000
From: Ted Briscoe <>
Subject: Evolutionary Computational Linguistics




 16th August 1998
 University of Montreal


There has been a recent resurgence of interest in the application of
evolutionary theory to the understanding of language development,
typology, acquisition and change, and to the development of NLP
systems. Two significant developments potentially distinguish this new
work from that undertaken 100 years or so ago (and ultimately banned
by the French Philological Society). Firstly, a rich body of
mathematical work in population genetics, (non-linear) dynamic
systems, game-theoretic models of evolution, and so forth has since
been developed by theoretical biologists, complexity theorists and
others. Secondly, the study of evolutionary processes has been further
enhanced by the use of computational modelling techniques (in the
simulation of adaptive behaviour, artificial life, etc.) which have
enabled researchers to gain insight into processes too complex for
full mathematical analysis. Evolutionary computation (in the form of
genetic algorithms, genetic programming, hybrids of GAs and neural
networks, etc.) has also been studied and deployed for practical
engineering purposes, including tasks such as grammar induction,
disambiguation, and so forth.

The evolutionary approach is of direct relevance to NLP, and
computational linguists are in a strong position to make a significant
contribution to the development of this research. Synchronic
generative linguistics models a language as a static well-formed
(grammatical) set of strings (sentences) focussing on the (ideal)
individual speaker and her idiolect at a single moment in time. Much
of current NLP technology is based on implementation of generative
models of idiolects and is consequently brittle when it comes into
contact with the reality of language variation and language change
across idiolects and across time. The crucial shift in perspective
provided by the evolutionary approach is to study *changing
populations* of (ideal, generative) speakers. Once this step has been
taken, language is naturally modelled as a dynamic system emergent from
individual idiolects: variation between idiolects interacts with the
process of language learning, leading to `imperfect' or selective
transmission (inheritance) between generations of speakers. This
changes the distribution and composition of idiolects in the
population and thus causes some forms of language change. Once it is
recognised that `bias' in language learning, production and
interpretation creates selection pressure for more learnable,
producible and interpretable variants, then it becomes natural to
treat language as a (complex) adaptive system responding dynamically
to such (often conflicting) pressures.

We are soliciting papers on any aspect of evolutionary computation and
language for this one-day workshop. We hope that the workshop will
stimulate further interest amongst computational linguists and will
provide a forum for cross-fertilisation of ideas between those
applying evolutionary computation to practical NLP tasks and those
using similar techniques to address issues in language acquisition,
change and variation.


Bob Berwick (MIT, USA) 
Ted Briscoe (Cambridge Univ, UK) 


Steve Abney ATT Research
Jim Hurford Edinburgh University
Bill Keller Sussex University
Partha Niyogi Bell Labs
Luc Steels Sony, Paris


Submissions should be full length papers between 3500--5000 words 
on A4/US letter in 11/12pt Times Roman or similar font. Preferably, email
self-contained latex source to the co-chairs using, or send 5
hardcopies to the address below.

 Ted Briscoe
 Computer Laboratory
 University of Cambridge
 Pembroke St.
 CB2 3QG, UK


 Submission Deadline: April 20, 1998 
 Notification Date: June 1, 1998 
 Camera ready copy due: June 22, 1998 


Registration is open only to those registered for the main COLING-ACL
'98 conference (see 
There will be an additional fee for the workshop (yet to be determined).

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