Saturday, October 1, 2011

First international publication


Had my first international publication shown on the DBLP. Somehow it was something I wanted to achieve as an intermediate goal in the academic career. In a way this gives some visibility to what I have been doing for around 4 years. I mean NLP (Natural Language Processing) and Machine Translation more precisely. Before going international, I've had 5 publications in the Russian scientific journals and conferences.

On the same ICSOFT'11 conference where this publication has been presented in a form of poster, I had an honor to serve as knowledge-based systems track chair. Both presenting my work and leading the session were exciting. I wanted also to say thanks to the ICSOFT's organizing committee for giving me the participant's grant, that made my participation possible. Special thanks to Sergio Brissos.

ICSOFT 2011 Conference

ICSOFT is strictly not an NLP conference. However, it has a knowledge-based track, where rather relevant NLP related topics are listed:

Ontology Engineering
Decision Support Systems
Intelligent Problem Solving
Expert Systems
Reasoning Techniques
Knowledge Acquisition
Knowledge Mining
Machine Learning
Natural Language Processing
Human-Machine Cooperation

Two publications I remembered

From these, ontology engineering articles were strong. One of them (Barbara Furletti, Franco Turini: Mining Influence Rules out of Ontologies, see here) was about mining ontology and reasoning rules from the oldest Italian bank's data. This sounds exceptional to me, when some (even old) commercial data is given away to researchers.

Another, non-directly related to NLP, article I remembered was by Manolya Kavakli et al (Manolya Kavakli, Tarashankar Rudra, Manning Li: An Embodied Conversational Agent for Counselling Aborigines - Mr. Warnanggal.), where one of the challenges is providing health assistance to the Australlian aborigines via a computer based system, not very motivated people, poor, stealing food and other things. Another challenge is dealing with about 500 languages, that these aborigines speak. Here is a potential for interesting NLP problems.

Why would I recommend going to a conference not directly related to your research topic?

As a pre-word, I should mention, that in a way whatever we do in the NLP is materialized in the form of programming code. Therefore our work qualifies to a software engineering conference as well as to an NLP one.

Going to a strictly SW conference can give you the following benefits:
* concrete questions of you work in the light of software development practices. Some NLP researchers may think it is not very important to make their SW configurable, re-usable or performant. In the end of the day, this matters a lot, especially if you plan to implement you work into industrial level solution

* if you do a poster presentation, people can give you good insights into the quality of your poster and what can be improved. There were two extreme cases on the conference: one with the entire article text being pasted into the poster and another one with a couple of boxes and an arrow between them. The audience has reacted in an expected way: the first poster did not draw almost any attention, while the second had gathered the majority of the audience.

* you can pause and reflect a little bit: are you doing something valuable? Do you like what you do?

A couple of words about Spain, where ICSOFT'11 happened. +45 is something I have experienced for the first time; visiting royal palace Alcázar of Seville was extremely interesting and of course partying with conference peers over Spanish wine and tapas made the event memorable.

Enjoy you research life and publish your work as soon as possible.