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GRLL 2009 : NIPS Workshop on Grammar Induction, Representation of Language and Language Learning


When Dec 11, 2009 - Dec 12, 2009
Where Whistler, Canada
Submission Deadline Oct 25, 2009
Notification Due Nov 2, 2009
Categories    NLP

Call For Papers


NIPS Workshop on Grammar Induction, Representation of Language
and Language Learning
NIPS*2009 Workshop
December 11th or 12th, 2009, Whistler, Canada


Deadline for submission: 25th October 2009

Workshop Description


Now is the time to revisit some of the fundamental grammar/language
learning tasks such as grammar acquisition, language acquisition,
language change, and the general problem of automatically inferring
generic representations of language structure in a data driven manner.

Though the underlying problems have been known to be computationally
intractable for the standard representations of the Chomsky hierarchy,
such as regular grammars and context free grammars, progress has been
made by modifying or restricting these classes to make them more
observable. Generalisations of distributional learning have shown
promise in unsupervised learning of linguistic structure using tree
based representations, or using non-parametric approaches to
inference. More radically, significant advances in this domain have
been made by switching to different representations such as the work
in Clark, Eyrand & Habrard (2008) that addresses the issue of language
acquisition, but has the potential to cross-fertilise a wide range of
problems that require data driven representations of language. Such
approaches are starting to make inroads into one of the fundamental
problems of cognitive science: that of learning complex
representations that encode meaning. This adds a further motivation
for returning to this topic at this point.

Grammar induction was the subject of an intense study in the early
days of Computational Learning Theory, with the theory of query
learning largely developing out of this research. More recently the
study of new methods of representing language and grammars through
complex kernels and probabilistic modelling together with algorithms
such as structured output learning has enabled machine learning
methods to be applied successfully to a range of language related
tasks from simple topic classification through parts of speech tagging
to statistical machine translation. These methods typically rely on
more fluid structures than those derived from formal grammars and yet
are able to compete favourably with classical grammatical approaches
that require significant input from domain experts, often in the form
of annotated data.

Call for Papers


Target Audience The target audience of the workshop is machine
learners with an interest in text modelling and processing who are
interested in extending their work to more complex language tasks,
cognitive systems and knowledge representation, moving beyond models
that are implicitly or explicitly based on variants of finite state
automata/Hidden Markov Models.

Format The workshop will be single-day, comprising of a tutorial
introduction, invited talks (30 mins each + 30 mins for discussion),
and presentations of contributed work, with time for discussions.
Depending on quality and compatibility with workshop aims, slots for
brief talks and posters will be allocated.

Contributions should be communicated to the program committee (the
organizers) in form of an extended abstract (from 4 to 8 pages in the
NIPS conference paper style), sent to: d.glowacka (at)

Important Dates

25 October 2009 Deadline for abstract submission 2 November 2009
Notification of Acceptance 11/12 December 2009 Workshop taking place
at Whistler, Canada

Invited Speakers

Partha Niyogi University of Chicago

Mark Johnson Brown University

Dan Klein University of California at Berkeley

Workshop Organisers

Alex Clark Royal Holloway, University of London Dorota Glowacka
University College London John Shawe-Taylor University College London
Yee Whye Teh University College London Chris Watkins Royal Holloway,
University of London

Point of Contact

Dorota Glowacka, Workshop Organiser d.glowacka (at) John
Shawe-Taylor, Workshop Organiser jst (at)

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