Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Language Technology Platforms

Georg Rehm, Kalina Bontcheva, Khalid Choukri, Jan Hajič, Stelios Piperidis, Andrejs Vasiļjevs (Editors)

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Marseille, France
European Language Resources Association
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Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Language Technology Platforms
Georg Rehm | Kalina Bontcheva | Khalid Choukri | Jan Hajič | Stelios Piperidis | Andrejs Vasiļjevs

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Infrastructure for the Science and Technology of Language PORTULAN CLARIN
António Branco | Amália Mendes | Paulo Quaresma | Luís Gomes | João Silva | Andrea Teixeira

This paper presents the PORTULAN CLARIN Research Infrastructure for the Science and Technology of Language, which is part of the European research infrastructure CLARIN ERIC as its Portuguese national node, and belongs to the Portuguese National Roadmap of Research Infrastructures of Strategic Relevance. It encompasses a repository, where resources and metadata are deposited for long-term archiving and access, and a workbench, where Language Technology tools and applications are made available through different modes of interaction, among many other services. It is an asset of utmost importance for the technological development of natural languages and for their preparation for the digital age, contributing to ensure the citizenship of their speakers in the information society.

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On the Linguistic Linked Open Data Infrastructure
Christian Chiarcos | Bettina Klimek | Christian Fäth | Thierry Declerck | John Philip McCrae

In this paper we describe the current state of development of the Linguistic Linked Open Data (LLOD) infrastructure, an LOD(sub-)cloud of linguistic resources, which covers various linguistic data bases, lexicons, corpora, terminology and metadata repositories. We give in some details an overview of the contributions made by the European H2020 projects “Prêt-à-LLOD” (‘Ready-to-useMultilingual Linked Language Data for Knowledge Services across Sectors’) and “ELEXIS” (‘European Lexicographic Infrastructure’) to the further development of the LLOD.

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Architecture of a Scalable, Secure and Resilient Translation Platform for Multilingual News Media
Susie Coleman | Andrew Secker | Rachel Bawden | Barry Haddow | Alexandra Birch

This paper presents an example architecture for a scalable, secure and resilient Machine Translation (MT) platform, using components available via Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is increasingly common for a single news organisation to publish and monitor news sources in multiple languages. A growth in news sources makes this increasingly challenging and time-consuming but MT can help automate some aspects of this process. Building a translation service provides a single integration point for news room tools that use translation technology allowing MT models to be integrated into a system once, rather than each time the translation technology is needed. By using a range of services provided by AWS, it is possible to architect a platform where multiple pre-existing technologies are combined to build a solution, as opposed to developing software from scratch for deployment on a single virtual machine. This increases the speed at which a platform can be developed and allows the use of well-maintained services. However, a single service also provides challenges. It is key to consider how the platform will scale when handling many users and how to ensure the platform is resilient.

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CoBiLiRo: A Research Platform for Bimodal Corpora
Dan Cristea | Ionuț Pistol | Șerban Boghiu | Anca-Diana Bibiri | Daniela Gîfu | Andrei Scutelnicu | Mihaela Onofrei | Diana Trandabăț | George Bugeag

This paper describes the on-going work carried out within the CoBiLiRo (Bimodal Corpus for Romanian Language) research project, part of ReTeRom (Resources and Technologies for Developing Human-Machine Interfaces in Romanian). Data annotation finds increasing use in speech recognition and synthesis with the goal to support learning processes. In this context, a variety of different annotation systems for application to Speech and Text Processing environments have been presented. Even if many designs for the data annotations workflow have emerged, the process of handling metadata, to manage complex user-defined annotations, is not covered enough. We propose a design of the format aimed to serve as an annotation standard for bimodal resources, which facilitates searching, editing and statistical analysis operations over it. The design and implementation of an infrastructure that houses the resources are also presented. The goal is widening the dissemination of bimodal corpora for research valorisation and use in applications. Also, this study reports on the main operations of the web Platform which hosts the corpus and the automatic conversion flows that brings the submitted files at the format accepted by the Platform.

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CLARIN: Distributed Language Resources and Technology in a European Infrastructure
Maria Eskevich | Franciska de Jong | Alexander König | Darja Fišer | Dieter Van Uytvanck | Tero Aalto | Lars Borin | Olga Gerassimenko | Jan Hajic | Henk van den Heuvel | Neeme Kahusk | Krista Liin | Martin Matthiesen | Stelios Piperidis | Kadri Vider

CLARIN is a European Research Infrastructure providing access to digital language resources and tools from across Europe and beyond to researchers in the humanities and social sciences. This paper focuses on CLARIN as a platform for the sharing of language resources. It zooms in on the service offer for the aggregation of language repositories and the value proposition for a number of communities that benefit from the enhanced visibility of their data and services as a result of integration in CLARIN. The enhanced findability of language resources is serving the social sciences and humanities (SSH) community at large and supports research communities that aim to collaborate based on virtual collections for a specific domain. The paper also addresses the wider landscape of service platforms based on language technologies which has the potential of becoming a powerful set of interoperable facilities to a variety of communities of use.

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ELRI: A Decentralised Network of National Relay Stations to Collect, Prepare and Share Language Resources
Thierry Etchegoyhen | Borja Anza Porras | Andoni Azpeitia | Eva Martínez Garcia | José Luis Fonseca | Patricia Fonseca | Paulo Vale | Jane Dunne | Federico Gaspari | Teresa Lynn | Helen McHugh | Andy Way | Victoria Arranz | Khalid Choukri | Hervé Pusset | Alexandre Sicard | Rui Neto | Maite Melero | David Perez | António Branco | Ruben Branco | Luís Gomes

We describe the European Language Resource Infrastructure (ELRI), a decentralised network to help collect, prepare and share language resources. The infrastructure was developed within a project co-funded by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, and has been deployed in the four Member States participating in the project, namely France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. ELRI provides sustainable and flexible means to collect and share language resources via National Relay Stations, to which members of public institutions can freely subscribe. The infrastructure includes fully automated data processing engines to facilitate the preparation, sharing and wider reuse of useful language resources that can help optimise human and automated translation services in the European Union.

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Removing European Language Barriers with Innovative Machine Translation Technology
Dario Franceschini | Chiara Canton | Ivan Simonini | Armin Schweinfurth | Adelheid Glott | Sebastian Stüker | Thai-Son Nguyen | Felix Schneider | Thanh-Le Ha | Alex Waibel | Barry Haddow | Philip Williams | Rico Sennrich | Ondřej Bojar | Sangeet Sagar | Dominik Macháček | Otakar Smrž

This paper presents our progress towards deploying a versatile communication platform in the task of highly multilingual live speech translation for conferences and remote meetings live subtitling. The platform has been designed with a focus on very low latency and high flexibility while allowing research prototypes of speech and text processing tools to be easily connected, regardless of where they physically run. We outline our architecture solution and also briefly compare it with the ELG platform. Technical details are provided on the most important components and we summarize the test deployment events we ran so far.

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Eco.pangeamt: Industrializing Neural MT
Mercedes García-Martínez | Manuel Herranz | Amando Estela | Ángela Franco | Laurent Bié

Eco is Pangeanic’s customer portal for generic or specialized translation services (machine translation and post-editing, generic API MT and custom API MT). Users can request the processing (translation) of files in different formats. Moreover, a client user can manage the engines and models allowing their cloning and retraining.

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The Kairntech Sherpa – An ML Platform and API for the Enrichment of (not only) Scientific Content
Stefan Geißler

We present an software platform and API that combines various ML and NLP approaches for the analysis and enrichment of textual content. The platform’s design and implementation is guided by the goal to allow non-technical users to conduct their own experiments and training runs on their respective data, allowing to test, tune and deploy analysis models for production. Dedicated specific packages for subtasks such as document structure processing, document categorization, annotation with existing thesauri, disambiguation and linking, annotation with newly created entity recognizers and summarization – available as open source components in isolation – are combined into an end-user-facing, collaborative, scalable platform to support large-scale industrial document analysis document analysis. We see the Sherpa’s setup as an answer to the observation that ML has reached a level of maturity that allows to attain useful results in many analysis scenarios today, but that in-depth technical competencies in the required fields of NLP and AI is often scarce; a setup that focusses on non-technical domain-expert end-users can help to bring required analysis functionalities closer to the day-to-day reality in business contexts.

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Towards Standardization of Web Service Protocols for NLPaaS
Jin-Dong Kim | Nancy Ide | Keith Suderman

Several web services for various natural language processing (NLP) tasks (‘‘NLP-as-a-service” or NLPaaS) have recently been made publicly available. However, despite their similar functionality these services often differ in the protocols they use, thus complicating the development of clients accessing them. A survey of currently available NLPaaS services suggests that it may be possible to identify a minimal application layer protocol that can be shared by NLPaaS services without sacrificing functionality or convenience, while at the same time simplifying the development of clients for these services. In this paper, we hope to raise awareness of the interoperability problems caused by the variety of existing web service protocols, and describe an effort to identify a set of best practices for NLPaaS protocol design. To that end, we survey and compare protocols used by NLPaaS services and suggest how these protocols may be further aligned to reduce variation.

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NTeALan Dictionaries Platforms: An Example Of Collaboration-Based Model
Elvis Mboning | Daniel Baleba | Jean Marc Bassahak | Ornella Wandji | Jules Assoumou

Nowadays the scarcity and dispersion of open-source NLP resources and tools in and for African languages make it difficult for researchers to truly fit these languages into current algorithms of artificial intelligence, resulting in the stagnation of these numerous languages, as far as technological progress is concerned. Created in 2017, with the aim of building communities of voluntary contributors around African native and/or national languages, cultures, NLP technologies and artificial intelligence, the NTeALan association has set up a series of web collaborative platforms intended to allow the aforementioned communities to create and manage their own lexicographic and linguistic resources. This paper aims at presenting the first versions of three lexicographic platforms that we developed in and for African languages: the REST/GraphQL API for saving lexicographic resources, the dictionary management platform and the collaborative dictionary platform. We also describe the data representation format used for these resources. After experimenting with a few dictionaries and looking at users feedback, we are convinced that only collaboration-based approaches and platforms can effectively respond to challenges of producing quality resources in and for African native and/or national languages.

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A Workflow Manager for Complex NLP and Content Curation Workflows
Julian Moreno-Schneider | Peter Bourgonje | Florian Kintzel | Georg Rehm

We present a workflow manager for the flexible creation and customisation of NLP processing pipelines. The workflow manager addresses challenges in interoperability across various different NLP tasks and hardware-based resource usage. Based on the four key principles of generality, flexibility, scalability and efficiency, we present the first version of the workflow manager by providing details on its custom definition language, explaining the communication components and the general system architecture and setup. We currently implement the system, which is grounded and motivated by real-world industry use cases in several innovation and transfer projects.

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A Processing Platform Relating Data and Tools for Romanian Language
Vasile Păiș | Radu Ion | Dan Tufiș

This paper presents RELATE (, a high-performance natural language platform designed for Romanian language. It is meant both for demonstration of available services, from text-span annotations to syntactic dependency trees as well as playing or automatically synthesizing Romanian words, and for the development of new annotated corpora. It also incorporates the search engines for the large COROLA reference corpus of contemporary Romanian and the Romanian wordnet. It integrates multiple text and speech processing modules and exposes their functionality through a web interface designed for the linguist researcher. It makes use of a scheduler-runner architecture, allowing processing to be distributed across multiple computing nodes. A series of input/output converters allows large corpora to be loaded, processed and exported according to user preferences.

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LinTO Platform: A Smart Open Voice Assistant for Business Environments
Ilyes Rebai | Sami Benhamiche | Kate Thompson | Zied Sellami | Damien Laine | Jean-Pierre Lorré

In this paper, we present LinTO, an intelligent voice platform and smart room assistant for improving efficiency and productivity in business. Our objective is to build a Spoken Language Understanding system that maintains high performance in both Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Natural Language Processing while being portable and scalable. In this paper we describe the LinTO architecture and our approach to ASR engine training which takes advantage of recent advances in deep learning while guaranteeing high-performance real-time processing. Unlike the existing solutions, the LinTO platform is open source for commercial and non-commercial use

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Towards an Interoperable Ecosystem of AI and LT Platforms: A Roadmap for the Implementation of Different Levels of Interoperability
Georg Rehm | Dimitris Galanis | Penny Labropoulou | Stelios Piperidis | Martin Welß | Ricardo Usbeck | Joachim Köhler | Miltos Deligiannis | Katerina Gkirtzou | Johannes Fischer | Christian Chiarcos | Nils Feldhus | Julian Moreno-Schneider | Florian Kintzel | Elena Montiel | Víctor Rodríguez Doncel | John Philip McCrae | David Laqua | Irina Patricia Theile | Christian Dittmar | Kalina Bontcheva | Ian Roberts | Andrejs Vasiļjevs | Andis Lagzdiņš

With regard to the wider area of AI/LT platform interoperability, we concentrate on two core aspects: (1) cross-platform search and discovery of resources and services; (2) composition of cross-platform service workflows. We devise five different levels (of increasing complexity) of platform interoperability that we suggest to implement in a wider federation of AI/LT platforms. We illustrate the approach using the five emerging AI/LT platforms AI4EU, ELG, Lynx, QURATOR and SPEAKER.

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The COMPRISE Cloud Platform
Raivis Skadiņš | Askars Salimbajevs

This paper presents the COMPRISE cloud platform that is developed in the H2020 project. We present an overview of the COMPRISE project, its main goals, components, and how the cloud platform fits in the context of the overall project. The COMPRISE cloud platform is presented in more detail – main users, use scenarios, functions, implementation details, and how it will be used by both COMPRISE’s targeted audience and the broader language-technology community.

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From Linguistic Research Projects to Language Technology Platforms: A Case Study in Learner Data
Annanda Sousa | Nicolas Ballier | Thomas Gaillat | Bernardo Stearns | Manel Zarrouk | Andrew Simpkin | Manon Bouyé

This paper describes the workflow and architecture adopted by a linguistic research project. We report our experience and present the research outputs turned into resources that we wish to share with the community. We discuss the current limitations and the next steps that could be taken for the scaling and development of our research project. Allying NLP and language-centric AI, we discuss similar projects and possible ways to start collaborating towards potential platform interoperability.