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TAC 2009 : Text Analysis Conference


When Nov 16, 2009 - Nov 17, 2009
Where Gaithersburg MD USA
Submission Deadline TBD
Categories    computational linguistics   artificial intelligence   machine learning

Call For Papers


The Text Analysis Conference (TAC) is a series of evaluation workshops organized to encourage research in Natural Language Processing and related applications, by providing a large test collection, common evaluation procedures, and a forum for organizations to share their results. TAC comprises sets of tasks known as "tracks," each of which focuses on a particular subproblem of NLP. TAC tracks focus on end-user tasks, but also include component evaluations situated within the context of end-user tasks. In the first Text Analysis Conference (TAC 2008), 65 teams participated in one or more tracks, representing 20 different countries and six continents.

You are invited to participate in TAC 2009. NIST will provide test data for each track, and track participants will run their NLP systems on the data and return their results to NIST for evaluation. Organizations may choose to participate in any or all of the tracks. The annual conference culminates in a November workshop at NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. All results submitted to NIST are archived on the TAC web site, and all evaluations of submitted results are included in the conference proceedings. Dissemination of TAC work and results other than in the conference proceedings is welcomed, but the conditions of participation specifically preclude any advertising claims based on TAC results.

TAC 2009 has three tracks. A new Knowledge Base Population track (KBP) joins the Recognizing Textual Entailment track (RTE-5) and the Summarization track, which are both returning from TAC 2008.

What's NEW in 2009:

* The goal of the new Knowledge Base Population track is to augment an existing knowledge representation with information about entities that is discovered from a collection of documents. A snapshot of Wikipedia infoboxes will be used as the original knowledge source, and participants will be expected to fill in empty slots for entities that do exist, add missing entities and their learnable attributes, and provide links between entities and references to text supporting extracted information. The KBP task lies at the intersection of Question Answering and Information Extraction and is expected to be of particular interest to groups that have participated in ACE or TREC QA.
* RTE-5 will extend the task of recognizing whether a Text entails a given Hypothesis. The Texts will be longer (to promote discourse analysis) and will not be edited from their source documents; thus, systems will be asked to handle real text that may include typographical errors and ungrammatical sentences.
* The Summarization track brings back the update summarization task and adds the task of Automatically Evaluating Summaries Of Peers (AESOP) for a given metric. AESOP complements the basic summarization task by building a collection of automatic evaluation tools that support development of summarization systems.

The exact definition of the tasks to be performed in each TAC 2009 track is formulated and discussed on the track mailing list. To be added to a track mailing list, follow the instructions given in the track web page for contacting the mailing list. For questions about the track, send mail to the track coordinator (or post the question to the track mailing list once you join).

* Knowledge Base Population (KBP)
Track Coordinator: Paul McNamee (
Web page:
Mailing list:

* Recognizing Textual Entailment (RTE)
Track Coordinators: Danilo Giampiccolo ( and Luisa Bentivogli (
Web page:
Mailing list:

* Summarization
Track Coordinator: Hoa Trang Dang (
Web page:
Mailing list:


Organizations wishing to participate in any of the TAC 2009 tracks are invited to register online by May 31, 2009. Registration for a track does not commit you to participating in the track, but is helpful to know for planning. Late registration will be permitted only if resources allow. Any questions about conference participation may be sent to the TAC project manager:

* Track Registration Form


The TAC 2009 workshop will be held November 16-17, 2009, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, and is co-located with the meeting of the Eighteenth Text REtrieval Conference (TREC 2009). The TAC workshop is a forum both for presentation of results (including failure analyses and system comparisons), and for more lengthy system presentations describing techniques used, experiments run on the data, and other issues of interest to researchers in NLP. Track participants who want to give a presentation during the workshop will submit a 500-word abstract in September describing the experiments they performed. As there is a limited amount of time for oral presentations, the TAC advisory committee will use the abstracts to determine which participants are asked to speak and which will present in a poster session.

Preliminary Schedule
Beginning March 3 Submit signed User Agreements to NIST
May 31 Deadline for track registration
July - early September Deadlines for results submission
September 25 (estimated) Deadline for workshop presentation proposals
September 25 (estimated) Deadline for proposals for future tracks/tasks
By early October Release of individual evaluated results to participants
mid October Deadline for participants' notebook papers
November 16-17 TAC 2009 workshop in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA
early February, 2010 Deadline for participants' final proceedings papers


John Conroy, IDA/CCS
Ido Dagan, Bar Ilan University
Hoa Trang Dang, NIST (chair)
Maarten de Rijke, University of Amsterdam
Bill Dolan, Microsoft Research
Bonnie Dorr, University of Maryland
Donna Harman, NIST
Andy Hickl, Language Computer Corporation
Ed Hovy, ISI/USC
Bernardo Magnini, FBK
Ani Nenkova, University of Pennsylvania
Drago Radev, University of Michigan
Lucy Vanderwende, Microsoft Research
Ellen Voorhees, NIST
Ralph Weischedel, BBN

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