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ICON 2016 : 13th International Conference on Natural Language Processing


When Dec 16, 2016 - Dec 19, 2016
Where Varanasi, India
Submission Deadline Aug 19, 2016
Notification Due Oct 21, 2016
Final Version Due Nov 15, 2016
Categories    natural language processing   NLP   computational linguistics   information retrieval

Call For Papers


Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University)
Varanasi, India
December 16-19, 2016

Organized by
NLP Association, India
International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad
Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi
Linguistic Data Consortium for Indian Languages, CIIL, Mysore


The Thirteenth International Conference on Natural Language Processing (ICON-2016) will be held at IIT (BHU), Varanasi during December 16-19, 2016. The ICON Conference series is a forum for promoting interaction among researchers in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Computational Linguistics (CL) in India and abroad. The main conference is on December 17-18, 2016. This will be preceded by one day of pre-conference tutorials/workshops on December 16, 2016 and post conference tutorials/workshops on December 19, 2016.

ICON proceedings will be indexed in ACL Anthology. ACL Anthology is a digital archive of research papers in Computational Linguistics for major international conferences under the control of Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), which is the most well known association for NLP and CL.


Papers are invited on substantial, original and unpublished research on all aspects of Natural Language Processing, with a particular focus on South Asian languages and other less resourced languages, issues, and applications relevant to South Asia. The areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

POS Tagging
Word Sense Disambiguation
Machine Translation/Statistical Machine Translation
Computational or Quantitative Psycholinguistics
Statistical Methods
Knowledge-based Methods
Annotation and Annotated Corpora
Lexical Resources
Sentiment Analysis
Machine Learning in NLP
NLP-based Recommendation Systems
Performance Evaluation of NLP Systems
Information Retrieval
Information Extraction
Automatic Text Summarization
Question Answering
Dialog Systems
Speech Corpora
Speech Recognition
Speech Synthesis
NLP for Language Documentation and Preservation
NLP for Educational Purposes
NLP for Digital Humanities

The authors may submit papers under any of the areas mentioned above, but must mark the area of their paper at the time of submission.


Papers in English, not exceeding 10 pages, should be submitted on the ONLINE PORTAL at Papers should include an abstract of about 100-200 words. Please see the style file at


Papers in electronic form in the PDF format, anonymous for blind review, should be submitted. Kindly ensure that authors' names and affiliations are given only on a separate cover sheet. If your paper contains text of languages other than English, please attach relevant font files along with your submission.


Proposals are invited for pre-conference tutorials/workshops. Tutorials/Workshops can be of half-day or full-day duration. The proposal should be presented in the form of a 200-word abstract, one page topical outline of the content, description of the proposers and their qualifications relating to the tutorial content.

Workshops on linguistic aspects of South Asian languages are also welcome.

Send tutorial/workshop proposals to the ICON-2016 Secretariat by email ( For further information, please refer to the Conference URL or contact the ICON-2016 Secretariat.
Please see for Tutorial/Workshop proposal format on the webpage.



Machine translation (MT) is the process of encoding the syntactic and semantic information of a source language text into a target language. In the past two decades, MT has shown very promising results particularly using Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) especially for English and other European Languages.

However, its effectiveness in translating sentences within Indian Languages (IL) and between English and Indian languages needs to be explored further. The NLP tools contest in ICON 2016 aims to collectively explore the effectiveness of word alignment techniques for ILs. Better word aligned data can be useful not only for computational (such as SMT) purposes but also for obtaining linguistic insights.


In the contest, training data will be provided to the contestants. It will consist of word aligned parallel corpus for different ILs and English. The contestants will have to train their systems on the data and build systems that can perform word alignment given sentence aligned parallel corpus. They will be free to use statistical, rule-based or hybrid methods. A development corpus will also be provided to refine and improve their system. The final contest will be held in November, 2016 with the test data. A workshop will be held as a part of ICON to allow the short listed candidates to present their techniques and results.

The details about the language pairs will be announced shortly. We are likely to test word alignment in both directions for all given language pairs.

The details of the evaluation procedure and the use policy of additional resources/tools will also be announced shortly.

The contest will have three prizes:
FIRST PRIZE: Rs.10,000/-
SECOND PRIZE: Rs.7,500/-
THIRD PRIZE: Rs.5,000/-


The evolution of social media texts such as blogs, micro-blogs (e.g., Twitter), and chats (e.g., Facebook messages) has created many new opportunities for information access and language technology, but also many new challenges, making it one of the prime present-day research areas. Non-English speakers, especially Indians, do not always use Unicode to write something in social media in ILs. Instead, they use phonetic typing/ roman script/ transliteration and frequently insert English words or phrases through code-mixing and anglicisms (see the following example [1]), and often mix multiple languages to express their thoughts.

While it is clear that English still is the principal language for social media communications, there is a growing need to develop technologies for other languages, including Indian languages. India is home to several hundred languages. Language diversity and dialect changes instigate frequent code-mixing in India. Hence, Indians are multi-lingual by adaptation and necessity, and frequently change and mix languages in social media contexts, which poses additional difficulties for automatic Indian social media text processing. Part-of-speech (POS) tagging is an essential prerequisite for any kind of NLP applications.

This year we will continue the last year.s POS tagging shared-task on three widely spoken Indian languages (Hindi, Bengali, and Telugu), mixed with English.

Example 1: ICON 2016 Varanasi me hold hoga! Great chance to see the pracheen nagari!


Participants will be provided training, development and test data to report the efficiency of their POS tagging system. English-Hindi, English-Bengali, and English-Telugu language mixing will be explored. The datasets may be provided with some additional information like the languages of each word. Efficiency will be measured in terms of Precision, Recall, and F-measure. Shortlisted candidates will present their techniques and results in a special session at ICON 2016.

The contest will have three prizes:
FIRST PRIZE: Rs.10,000/-
SECOND PRIZE: Rs.7,500/-
THIRD PRIZE: Rs.5,000/-


ICON-2016 announces STUDENT PAPER COMPETITION in two tracks:
Track I : NLP (All areas)
Track II : Linguistics (Morphology, Syntax and Semantics)

Papers may be submitted under the link on the web page. Prizes will be awarded in each track for up to two papers based on original work carried out. The prizes are::

FIRST PRIZE: Rs.10,000/-
SECOND PRIZE: Rs.7,500/-
THIRD PRIZE: Rs.5,000/-

The short-listed papers in each track will be invited for presentation in a special session in the conference. Registration, domestic travel and subsistence expenses will be provided by the conference organizers for one author of each paper. Up to two winners will be offered summer fellowships at major NLP Centres in India. For any clarifications, contact Student Paper Competition Chair on (


Paper Submission Deadline Aug 19, 2016
Paper Acceptance Notification Oct 21, 2016
Camera Ready Copy Submission Nov 15, 2016
Tutorial/Workshop Proposals Aug 20, 2016
Tutorial/Workshop Acceptance
Notification Sep 10, 2016

NLP Tools Contest Registration Deadline Aug 7, 2016
Student Paper Competition Submission Deadline Aug 17, 2016


Advisory Committee Chair
Aravind K Joshi, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Conference General Chair
Rajeev Sangal, IIT (BHU), India

Programme Committee
Dipti Misra Sharma, IIIT Hyderabad, India (Chair)
Anil Kumar Singh, IIT (BHU), India (Co-Chair)
(List of more members to be announced)

Tools Contest Chairs

Word Alignment from English/IL TO IL Using Parallel Corpora
Sriram Venkatapathy, Amazon, Bengaluru, India (Chair)
Manish Shrivastava, IIIT Hyderabad, India (Co-Chair)

POS Tagging for Code-Mixed Indian Social Media Text Rationale
Amitav Das, IIIT, Sri City, India

Student Paper Competition Chair
Asif Ekbal, IIT-Patna, India

Organizing Committee
Sukomal Pal, IIT (BHU), Varanasi, India
Swasti Mishra, IIT (BHU), Varanasi, India


ICON-2016 Secretariat
Language Technologies Research Centre
International Institute of Information Technology
Gachibowli, Hyderabad - 500 032, India
Ph: +91-40-6653 1333, Fax: +91-400-6653 1413

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