Proceedings of the Software Demonstrations of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

André Martins, Anselmo Peñas (Editors)

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Valencia, Spain
Association for Computational Linguistics
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Proceedings of the Software Demonstrations of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics
André Martins | Anselmo Peñas

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COVER: Covering the Semantically Tractable Questions
Michael Minock

In semantic parsing, natural language questions map to expressions in a meaning representation language (MRL) over some fixed vocabulary of predicates. To do this reliably, one must guarantee that for a wide class of natural language questions (the so called semantically tractable questions), correct interpretations are always in the mapped set of possibilities. In this demonstration, we introduce the system COVER which significantly clarifies, revises and extends the basic notion of semantic tractability. COVER achieves coverage of 89% while the earlier PRECISE system achieved coverage of 77% on the well known GeoQuery corpus. Like PRECISE, COVER requires only a simple domain lexicon and integrates off-the-shelf syntactic parsers. Beyond PRECISE, COVER also integrates off-the-shelf theorem provers to provide more accurate results. COVER is written in Python and uses the NLTK.

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Common Round: Application of Language Technologies to Large-Scale Web Debates
Hans Uszkoreit | Aleksandra Gabryszak | Leonhard Hennig | Jörg Steffen | Renlong Ai | Stephan Busemann | Jon Dehdari | Josef van Genabith | Georg Heigold | Nils Rethmeier | Raphael Rubino | Sven Schmeier | Philippe Thomas | He Wang | Feiyu Xu

Web debates play an important role in enabling broad participation of constituencies in social, political and economic decision-taking. However, it is challenging to organize, structure, and navigate a vast number of diverse argumentations and comments collected from many participants over a long time period. In this paper we demonstrate Common Round, a next generation platform for large-scale web debates, which provides functions for eliciting the semantic content and structures from the contributions of participants. In particular, Common Round applies language technologies for the extraction of semantic essence from textual input, aggregation of the formulated opinions and arguments. The platform also provides a cross-lingual access to debates using machine translation.

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A Web-Based Interactive Tool for Creating, Inspecting, Editing, and Publishing Etymological Datasets
Johann-Mattis List

The paper presents the Etymological DICtionary ediTOR (EDICTOR), a free, interactive, web-based tool designed to aid historical linguists in creating, editing, analysing, and publishing etymological datasets. The EDICTOR offers interactive solutions for important tasks in historical linguistics, including facilitated input and segmentation of phonetic transcriptions, quantitative and qualitative analyses of phonetic and morphological data, enhanced interfaces for cognate class assignment and multiple word alignment, and automated evaluation of regular sound correspondences. As a web-based tool written in JavaScript, the EDICTOR can be used in standard web browsers across all major platforms.

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WAT-SL: A Customizable Web Annotation Tool for Segment Labeling
Johannes Kiesel | Henning Wachsmuth | Khalid Al-Khatib | Benno Stein

A frequent type of annotations in text corpora are labeled text segments. General-purpose annotation tools tend to be overly comprehensive, often making the annotation process slower and more error-prone. We present WAT-SL, a new web-based tool that is dedicated to segment labeling and highly customizable to the labeling task at hand. We outline its main features and exemplify how we used it for a crowdsourced corpus with labeled argument units.

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TextImager as a Generic Interface to R
Tolga Uslu | Wahed Hemati | Alexander Mehler | Daniel Baumartz

R is a very powerful framework for statistical modeling. Thus, it is of high importance to integrate R with state-of-the-art tools in NLP. In this paper, we present the functionality and architecture of such an integration by means of TextImager. We use the OpenCPU API to integrate R based on our own R-Server. This allows for communicating with R-packages and combining them with TextImager’s NLP-components.

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GraWiTas: a Grammar-based Wikipedia Talk Page Parser
Benjamin Cabrera | Laura Steinert | Björn Ross

Wikipedia offers researchers unique insights into the collaboration and communication patterns of a large self-regulating community of editors. The main medium of direct communication between editors of an article is the article’s talk page. However, a talk page file is unstructured and therefore difficult to analyse automatically. A few parsers exist that enable its transformation into a structured data format. However, they are rarely open source, support only a limited subset of the talk page syntax – resulting in the loss of content – and usually support only one export format. Together with this article we offer a very fast, lightweight, open source parser with support for various output formats. In a preliminary evaluation it achieved a high accuracy. The parser uses a grammar-based approach – offering a transparent implementation and easy extensibility.

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TWINE: A real-time system for TWeet analysis via INformation Extraction
Debora Nozza | Fausto Ristagno | Matteo Palmonari | Elisabetta Fersini | Pikakshi Manchanda | Enza Messina

In the recent years, the amount of user generated contents shared on the Web has significantly increased, especially in social media environment, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google+. This large quantity of data has generated the need of reactive and sophisticated systems for capturing and understanding the underlying information enclosed in them. In this paper we present TWINE, a real-time system for the big data analysis and exploration of information extracted from Twitter streams. The proposed system based on a Named Entity Recognition and Linking pipeline and a multi-dimensional spatial geo-localization is managed by a scalable and flexible architecture for an interactive visualization of micropost streams insights. The demo is available at

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Alto: Rapid Prototyping for Parsing and Translation
Johannes Gontrum | Jonas Groschwitz | Alexander Koller | Christoph Teichmann

We present Alto, a rapid prototyping tool for new grammar formalisms. Alto implements generic but efficient algorithms for parsing, translation, and training for a range of monolingual and synchronous grammar formalisms. It can easily be extended to new formalisms, which makes all of these algorithms immediately available for the new formalism.

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CASSANDRA: A multipurpose configurable voice-enabled human-computer-interface
Tiberiu Boros | Stefan Daniel Dumitrescu | Sonia Pipa

Voice enabled human computer interfaces (HCI) that integrate automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech synthesis and natural language understanding have become a commodity, introduced by the immersion of smart phones and other gadgets in our daily lives. Smart assistants are able to respond to simple queries (similar to text-based question-answering systems), perform simple tasks (call a number, reject a call etc.) and help organizing appointments. With this paper we introduce a newly created process automation platform that enables the user to control applications and home appliances and to query the system for information using a natural voice interface. We offer an overview of the technologies that enabled us to construct our system and we present different usage scenarios in home and office environments.

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An Extensible Framework for Verification of Numerical Claims
James Thorne | Andreas Vlachos

In this paper we present our automated fact checking system demonstration which we developed in order to participate in the Fast and Furious Fact Check challenge. We focused on simple numerical claims such as “population of Germany in 2015 was 80 million” which comprised a quarter of the test instances in the challenge, achieving 68% accuracy. Our system extends previous work on semantic parsing and claim identification to handle temporal expressions and knowledge bases consisting of multiple tables, while relying solely on automatically generated training data. We demonstrate the extensible nature of our system by evaluating it on relations used in previous work. We make our system publicly available so that it can be used and extended by the community.

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ADoCS: Automatic Designer of Conference Schedules
Diego Fernando Vallejo Huanga | Paulina Adriana Morillo Alcívar | Cèsar Ferri Ramírez

Distributing papers into sessions in scientific conferences is a task consisting in grouping papers with common topics and considering the size restrictions imposed by the conference schedule. This problem can be seen as a semi-supervised clustering of scientific papers based on their features. This paper presents a web tool called ADoCS that solves the problem of configuring conference schedules by an automatic clustering of articles by similarity using a new algorithm considering size constraints.

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A Web Interface for Diachronic Semantic Search in Spanish
Pablo Gamallo | Iván Rodríguez-Torres | Marcos Garcia

This article describes a semantic system which is based on distributional models obtained from a chronologically structured language resource, namely Google Books Syntactic Ngrams.The models were created using dependency-based contexts and a strategy for reducing the vector space, which consists in selecting the more informative and relevant word contexts. The system allowslinguists to analize meaning change of Spanish words in the written language across time.

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Multilingual CALL Framework for Automatic Language Exercise Generation from Free Text
Naiara Perez | Montse Cuadros

This paper describes a web-based application to design and answer exercises for language learning. It is available in Basque, Spanish, English, and French. Based on open-source Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology such as word embedding models and word sense disambiguation, the application enables users to automatic create easily and in real time three types of exercises, namely, Fill-in-the-Gaps, Multiple Choice, and Shuffled Sentences questionnaires. These are generated from texts of the users’ own choice, so they can train their language skills with content of their particular interest.

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Audience Segmentation in Social Media
Verena Henrich | Alexander Lang

Understanding the social media audience is becoming increasingly important for social media analysis. This paper presents an approach that detects various audience attributes, including author location, demographics, behavior and interests. It works both for a variety of social media sources and for multiple languages. The approach has been implemented within IBM Watson Analytics for Social Media and creates author profiles for more than 300 different analysis domains every day.

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The arText prototype: An automatic system for writing specialized texts
Iria da Cunha | M. Amor Montané | Luis Hysa

This article describes an automatic system for writing specialized texts in Spanish. The arText prototype is a free online text editor that includes different types of linguistic information. It is designed for a variety of end users and domains, including specialists and university students working in the fields of medicine and tourism, and laypersons writing to the public administration. ArText provides guidance on how to structure a text, prompts users to include all necessary contents in each section, and detects lexical and discourse problems in the text.

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QCRI Live Speech Translation System
Fahim Dalvi | Yifan Zhang | Sameer Khurana | Nadir Durrani | Hassan Sajjad | Ahmed Abdelali | Hamdy Mubarak | Ahmed Ali | Stephan Vogel

This paper presents QCRI’s Arabic-to-English live speech translation system. It features modern web technologies to capture live audio, and broadcasts Arabic transcriptions and English translations simultaneously. Our Kaldi-based ASR system uses the Time Delay Neural Network (TDNN) architecture, while our Machine Translation (MT) system uses both phrase-based and neural frameworks. Although our neural MT system is slower than the phrase-based system, it produces significantly better translations and is memory efficient. The demo is available at

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Nematus: a Toolkit for Neural Machine Translation
Rico Sennrich | Orhan Firat | Kyunghyun Cho | Alexandra Birch | Barry Haddow | Julian Hitschler | Marcin Junczys-Dowmunt | Samuel Läubli | Antonio Valerio Miceli Barone | Jozef Mokry | Maria Nădejde

We present Nematus, a toolkit for Neural Machine Translation. The toolkit prioritizes high translation accuracy, usability, and extensibility. Nematus has been used to build top-performing submissions to shared translation tasks at WMT and IWSLT, and has been used to train systems for production environments.

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A tool for extracting sense-disambiguated example sentences through user feedback
Beto Boullosa | Richard Eckart de Castilho | Alexander Geyken | Lothar Lemnitzer | Iryna Gurevych

This paper describes an application system aimed to help lexicographers in the extraction of example sentences for a given headword based on its different senses. The tool uses classification and clustering methods and incorporates user feedback to refine its results.

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Lingmotif: Sentiment Analysis for the Digital Humanities
Antonio Moreno-Ortiz

Lingmotif is a lexicon-based, linguistically-motivated, user-friendly, GUI-enabled, multi-platform, Sentiment Analysis desktop application. Lingmotif can perform SA on any type of input texts, regardless of their length and topic. The analysis is based on the identification of sentiment-laden words and phrases contained in the application’s rich core lexicons, and employs context rules to account for sentiment shifters. It offers easy-to-interpret visual representations of quantitative data (text polarity, sentiment intensity, sentiment profile), as well as a detailed, qualitative analysis of the text in terms of its sentiment. Lingmotif can also take user-provided plugin lexicons in order to account for domain-specific sentiment expression. Lingmotif currently analyzes English and Spanish texts.

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RAMBLE ON: Tracing Movements of Popular Historical Figures
Stefano Menini | Rachele Sprugnoli | Giovanni Moretti | Enrico Bignotti | Sara Tonelli | Bruno Lepri

We present RAMBLE ON, an application integrating a pipeline for frame-based information extraction and an interface to track and display movement trajectories. The code of the extraction pipeline and a navigator are freely available; moreover we display in a demonstrator the outcome of a case study carried out on trajectories of notable persons of the XX Century.

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Autobank: a semi-automatic annotation tool for developing deep Minimalist Grammar treebanks
John Torr

This paper presents Autobank, a prototype tool for constructing a wide-coverage Minimalist Grammar (MG) (Stabler 1997), and semi-automatically converting the Penn Treebank (PTB) into a deep Minimalist treebank. The front end of the tool is a graphical user interface which facilitates the rapid development of a seed set of MG trees via manual reannotation of PTB preterminals with MG lexical categories. The system then extracts various dependency mappings between the source and target trees, and uses these in concert with a non-statistical MG parser to automatically reannotate the rest of the corpus. Autobank thus enables deep treebank conversions (and subsequent modifications) without the need for complex transduction algorithms accompanied by cascades of ad hoc rules; instead, the locus of human effort falls directly on the task of grammar construction itself.

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Chatbot with a Discourse Structure-Driven Dialogue Management
Boris Galitsky | Dmitry Ilvovsky

We build a chat bot with iterative content exploration that leads a user through a personalized knowledge acquisition session. The chat bot is designed as an automated customer support or product recommendation agent assisting a user in learning product features, product usability, suitability, troubleshooting and other related tasks. To control the user navigation through content, we extend the notion of a linguistic discourse tree (DT) towards a set of documents with multiple sections covering a topic. For a given paragraph, a DT is built by DT parsers. We then combine DTs for the paragraphs of documents to form what we call extended DT, which is a basis for interactive content exploration facilitated by the chat bot. To provide cohesive answers, we use a measure of rhetoric agreement between a question and an answer by tree kernel learning of their DTs.

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Marine Variable Linker: Exploring Relations between Changing Variables in Marine Science Literature
Erwin Marsi | Pinar Pinar Øzturk | Murat V. Ardelan

We report on a demonstration system for text mining of literature in marine science and related disciplines. It automatically extracts variables (“CO2”) involved in events of change/increase/decrease (“increasing CO2”), as well as co-occurrence and causal relations among these events (“increasing CO2 causes a decrease in pH in seawater”), resulting in a big knowledge graph. A web-based graphical user interface targeted at marine scientists facilitates searching, browsing and visualising events and their relations in an interactive way.

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Neoveille, a Web Platform for Neologism Tracking
Emmanuel Cartier

This paper details a software designed to track neologisms in seven languages through newspapers monitor corpora. The platform combines state-of-the-art processes to track linguistic changes and a web platform for linguists to create and manage their corpora, accept or reject automatically identified neologisms, describe linguistically the accepted neologisms and follow their lifecycle on the monitor corpora. In the following, after a short state-of-the-art in Neologism Retrieval, Analysis and Life-tracking, we describe the overall architecture of the system. The platform can be freely browsed at where detailed presentation is given. Access to the editing modules is available upon request.

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Building Web-Interfaces for Vector Semantic Models with the WebVectors Toolkit
Andrey Kutuzov | Elizaveta Kuzmenko

In this demo we present WebVectors, a free and open-source toolkit helping to deploy web services which demonstrate and visualize distributional semantic models (widely known as word embeddings). WebVectors can be useful in a very common situation when one has trained a distributional semantics model for one’s particular corpus or language (tools for this are now widespread and simple to use), but then there is a need to demonstrate the results to general public over the Web. We show its abilities on the example of the living web services featuring distributional models for English, Norwegian and Russian.

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InToEventS: An Interactive Toolkit for Discovering and Building Event Schemas
Germán Ferrero | Audi Primadhanty | Ariadna Quattoni

Event Schema Induction is the task of learning a representation of events (e.g., bombing) and the roles involved in them (e.g, victim and perpetrator). This paper presents InToEventS, an interactive tool for learning these schemas. InToEventS allows users to explore a corpus and discover which kind of events are present. We show how users can create useful event schemas using two interactive clustering steps.

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ICE: Idiom and Collocation Extractor for Research and Education
Vasanthi Vuppuluri | Shahryar Baki | An Nguyen | Rakesh Verma

Collocation and idiom extraction are well-known challenges with many potential applications in Natural Language Processing (NLP). Our experimental, open-source software system, called ICE, is a python package for flexibly extracting collocations and idioms, currently in English. It also has a competitive POS tagger that can be used alone or as part of collocation/idiom extraction. ICE is available free of cost for research and educational uses in two user-friendly formats. This paper gives an overview of ICE and its performance, and briefly describes the research underlying the extraction algorithms.

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Bib2vec: Embedding-based Search System for Bibliographic Information
Takuma Yoneda | Koki Mori | Makoto Miwa | Yutaka Sasaki

We propose a novel embedding model that represents relationships among several elements in bibliographic information with high representation ability and flexibility. Based on this model, we present a novel search system that shows the relationships among the elements in the ACL Anthology Reference Corpus. The evaluation results show that our model can achieve a high prediction ability and produce reasonable search results.

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The SUMMA Platform Prototype
Renars Liepins | Ulrich Germann | Guntis Barzdins | Alexandra Birch | Steve Renals | Susanne Weber | Peggy van der Kreeft | Hervé Bourlard | João Prieto | Ondřej Klejch | Peter Bell | Alexandros Lazaridis | Alfonso Mendes | Sebastian Riedel | Mariana S. C. Almeida | Pedro Balage | Shay B. Cohen | Tomasz Dwojak | Philip N. Garner | Andreas Giefer | Marcin Junczys-Dowmunt | Hina Imran | David Nogueira | Ahmed Ali | Sebastião Miranda | Andrei Popescu-Belis | Lesly Miculicich Werlen | Nikos Papasarantopoulos | Abiola Obamuyide | Clive Jones | Fahim Dalvi | Andreas Vlachos | Yang Wang | Sibo Tong | Rico Sennrich | Nikolaos Pappas | Shashi Narayan | Marco Damonte | Nadir Durrani | Sameer Khurana | Ahmed Abdelali | Hassan Sajjad | Stephan Vogel | David Sheppey | Chris Hernon | Jeff Mitchell

We present the first prototype of the SUMMA Platform: an integrated platform for multilingual media monitoring. The platform contains a rich suite of low-level and high-level natural language processing technologies: automatic speech recognition of broadcast media, machine translation, automated tagging and classification of named entities, semantic parsing to detect relationships between entities, and automatic construction / augmentation of factual knowledge bases. Implemented on the Docker platform, it can easily be deployed, customised, and scaled to large volumes of incoming media streams.