Call for Papers

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International Workshop on Using Linguistic Information for Hybrid Machine Translation

Friday, November 18, 2011. Barcelona, Spain.

In conjunction with Shared Task on Applying Machine Learning techniques to optimising the division of labour in Hybrid MT


Following on the OpenMT Workshop on Mixing Approaches to Machine Translation in 2008 (, the aim of this OpenMT-2 Workshop on Using Linguistic Information for Hybrid Machine Translation (HMT) is to promote corpus-based methods and technologies that combine resources and algorithms from the three general approaches to MT: rule-based (RBMT), example-based (EBMT) and statistical (SMT).

The boundaries between these three approaches have narrowed:

  1. string based SMT models are being augmented with morphological, syntactic or semantic information,
  2. RBMT systems are using parallel corpora to improve results by enriching their lexicons and grammars and applying new methods for disambiguation,
  3. research has shown that benefits can be accrued by combining of MT systems based on different MT approaches.

At the same time, data-driven Machine Translation (EBMT and SMT) is nowadays prevalent within the MT research community and translation results obtained using these approaches have now reached a reasonably useful level of quality, especially when the target language is English. But such data-driven MT systems base their knowledge on bilingual aligned corpora, and the accuracy of their output depends heavily on the quality and the size of that corpora. Large and reliable bilingual corpora are unavailable for many language pairs. In addition, translating into morphologically rich target languages makes the training of data-driven systems rather more difficult.

Workshop Programme

The one-day workshop is being organised as part of the dissemination effort of the OpenMT-2 project, a Spanish government funded, three-year, multisite research effort addressing, on the one hand, approaches to integrating structural information (morphological, syntactic and semantic) into open-source SMT and, on the other, to developing novel automatic MT evaluation using linguistically motivated metrics. Thus, the central issues to be addressed during the workshop include:

  • methods and techniques for integrating structural information (syntactic and semantic) into HMT,
  • methods and techniques for handling morphologically rich languages (e.g. Basque) within HMT,
  • alternative approaches to automatic MT evaluation which rely on linguistic criteria.

The programme will include three invited plenary talks, each addressing one of the central issues above, and the presentation of a number of refereed contributions on related topics. The invited speakers include:

  • Ondřej Bojar (Charles University, Czech Republic)
Topic: Treatment of morphologically rich languages for HMT,
  • Alon Lavie (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Topic: Integrating structural information into HMT,
  • Lucia Specia (University of Wolverhampton, UK)
Linguistic Indicators for Quality Estimation of Machine Translation.

The workshop will conclude with a brief panel discussion summarising the results of the presentations as they impact the central issues.

Topics of Interest

We are particularly interested in papers describing research and development in the following areas:

  • methods to compare and combine translation-outputs obtained from different MT systems,
  • methods for dealing with languages with rich morphology within data-driven approaches,
  • approaches to developing morphologically, syntactically or semantically augmented SMT models,
  • new automatic (or manual) MT evaluation methods based on linguistically motivated metrics,
  • descriptions of open-source or free language resources that are available for developing hybrid MT systems.

All contributions will be published in the workshop proceedings.

Important Dates

Paper submission deadline.... Sept. 16 2011 EXTENDED
Notification of acceptance......... Oct. 7 2011
Final version of paper................ Oct. 21 2011
Workshop................................. Nov. 18 2011


Papers should be in English and up to a maximum of 8 pages long. Please follow the ACL HLT 2011 formatting requirements for long papers found at:

To submit contributions, please follow the instructions at the EasyChair conference management system submission website at:

The deadline for submission is September 9, 2011. The contributions will undergo a double-blind review by three members of the programme committee.

Please address queries to

Programme committee

  • Co-Chair: David Farwell (Technical University of Catalonia, TALP, Barcelona)
  • Co-Chair: Gorka Labaka (University of the Basque Country, Donostia)
  • Iñaki Alegria (University of the Basque Country, Donostia)
  • Ondřej Bojar (Charles University, Czech Republic)
  • Arantza Díaz de Ilarraza (University of the Basque Country, Donostia)
  • Chris Dyer (Carnegie Mellon University, US)
  • Cristina España (Technical University of Catalonia, TALP, Barcelona)
  • Marcello Federico (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy)
  • Mikel Forcada (University of Alacant, Alicante)
  • Adrià de Gispert (University of Cambridge, UK)
  • Kevin Knight (Information Sciences Institute, US)
  • Phillip Koehn (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • José Mariño (Technical University of Catalonia, TALP, Barcelona)
  • Lluís Màrquez (Technical University of Catalonia, TALP, Barcelona)
  • Hermann Ney (RWTH-Aachen, Germany)
  • Daniele Pighin (Technical University of Catalonia, TALP, Barcelona)
  • Aarne Ranta (Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)
  • Marta R. Costa-jussà (Barcelona Media, Spain)
  • Felipe Sánchez-Martínez (University of Alacant, Alicante)
  • Kepa Sarasola (University of the Basque Country, Donostia)
  • Lucia Specia (University of Wolverhampton, UK)
  • Dekai Wu (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China)

Local organization

Centre for Speech and Language Applications and Technologies (TALP), Technical University of Catalonia (UPC).

Committee members: David Farwell (Chair), Amarin Deemagarn, Cristina España, Meritxell González, Lluís Màrquez, Daniele Pighin.

Co-located Shared Task

Co-located to LIHMT, the ML4HMT-2011 workshop will explore alternatives in order to provide optimal support for Hybrid MT design, using sophisticated machine-learning techniques. One further important objective of the workshop is to build bridges from MT to the ML community to systematically and jointly explore the choice space for Hybrid MT.

The "Shared Task on Optimising the Division of Labour in Hybrid MT" is an effort to trigger systematic investigation on improving state-of-the-art Hybrid MT, using advanced machine-learning (ML) methodologies. Participants are requested to build Hybrid/System Combination systems by combining the output of several systems of different types, which is provided by the organizers.

About the OpenMT-2 Project

The main goal of the OpenMT-2 project is the development of Open Source Machine Translation Architectures based on hybrid models and advanced semantic processors. These architectures will be open-source systems combining the three main Machine Translation frameworks – Rule-Based MT (RBMT), Statistical MT (SMT) and Example-Based MT (EBMT) – into hybrid systems. Implemented architectures and systems will be Open Source, so it will allow rapid system adaptation or development of new advanced Machine Translations systems for other languages. We will test system functionality for different languages: English, Spanish, Catalan and Basque; thus evaluating such architectures in different contexts. While there are many corpus resources for English and Spanish, there are not so many for Catalan and Basque. While the structure of some of those languages is very similar (Catalan and Spanish), others are very different (English and Basque). Basque is an agglutinative and highly inflecting language, unlike English, Catalan and Spanish.

In parallel there has been extensive work on developing an automatic Evaluation platform that supports the introduction of linguistically motivated morphological, syntactic and semantic metrics into the design of MT Evaluation methodologies. It also supports the development and testing of concrete, linguistically-based evaluation techniques.

  • The main innovative points of the OpenMT-2 project are:
  • The design of hybrid systems combining traditional linguistic rules, example-based methods and statistical methods.
  • The development of MT evaluation methods based on linguistically motivated metrics.
  • The implementation of Open Source Systems.
  • The use of advanced syntactic and semantic processing in MT.

For further details, see the OpenMT-2 website: