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Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee Newsletter

October 2009

Welcome to the Autumn 2009 edition of the IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee's Newsletter.

In this issue we are pleased to provide another installment of brief articles representing a diversity of views and backgrounds. We are delighted to feature articles from 19 guest contributors, and our own 5 staff reporters. We believe the newsletter is an ideal forum for updates, reports, announcements and editorials that do not fit well with traditional journals. We welcome your contributions, as well as calls for papers, job announcements, comments and suggestions. You can reach us at speechnewseds [at] listserv (dot) ieee [dot] org.

Finally, to subscribe the Newsletter, send an email with the command "subscribe speechnewsdist" in the message body to listserv [at] listserv (dot) ieee [dot] org.

Jason Williams, Editor-in-chief
Pino Di Fabbrizio, Editor
Chuck Wooters, Editor

From the SLTC and IEEE

SLTC New Members Election

Geoffrey Chan

The SLTC has elected 18 new members, and expanded to a total of 48 members to handle the growing number of speech and language submissions to ICASSP.

The ICASSP Paper Review Process

Steve Young

One of the main responsibilities of the Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee is to manage the review process for speech and language papers at ICASSP. This article explains how this is done.

IEEE Signal Processing Society Newsletter

The IEEE Signal Processing Society, our parent organization, also produces a monthly newsletter, "Inside Signal Processing".

CFPs, Jobs, and book announcements

Calls for papers, proposals, and participation

Edited by Chuck Wooters

Job advertisements

Edited by Chuck Wooters

Book announcements

Edited by Jason Williams


Young researchers face-to-face on human-machine dialogue

David Pardo, Milica Gašić, Joana Paulo Pardal, Ricardo Ribeiro, Matthew Marge and François Mairesse

The fifth Young Researchers' Roundtable on Spoken Dialogue Systems gathered 41 researchers in academia and industry, from a wide variety of institutions at Queen Mary University in London last month.

Hy Murveit, William Labov, Bruce Millar, and Wolfgang Hess talk to the Saras Intitute

Olga Pustovalova, Antonio Roque, and Tadesse Anberbir

We continue the series of excerpts of interviews from the History of Speech and Language Technology Project. In these segments Hy Murveit, William Labov, Bruce Millar, and Wolfgang Hess discuss how they became involved with the field of speech and language technology.

The INTERSPEECH 2009 Emotion Challenge: Results and Lessons Learned

Bjoern Schuller, Stefan Steidl, Anton Batliner, and Filip Jurcicek

The INTERSPEECH 2009 Emotion Challenge, organised by Bjoern Schuller (TUM, Germany), Stefan Steidl (FAU, Germany), and Anton Batliner (FAU, Germany), was held in conjunction with INTERSPEECH 20009 in Brighton, UK, September 6-10.

Overview of Sigdial 2009 Conference

Svetlana Stoyanchev

September 11 - 12, Queen Mary College hosted Sigdial in London, for the first time, as a conference. This year Sigdial had 125 participants and 104 submissions. There were 24 oral and 24 poster presentations, 3 demos, and two invited speeches. This article gives an overview of the topics, invited talks, and awards presented at the conference.

Report of the Blizzard Challenge 2009 Workshop

Tomoki Toda

This article provides a report of the Blizzard Challenge 2009 Workshop, an annual speech synthesis event, that took place on September 4th 2009 in Edinburgh, UK.

NIST Conducts Rich Transcription Evaluation

Satanjeev "Bano" Banerjee

NIST recently concluded the latest edition of their Rich Transcription evaluation exercise series. The results of the exercise show that automatic transcription of overlapping speakers with distant microphones remains a difficult task, with little improvement over the previous evaluation conducted in 2007.

Gunnar Fant, 1919-2009

Rolf Carlson and Björn Granström

A pioneering giant in speech research has passed away. Professor Emeritus Gunnar Fant died on June 6th at the age of 89 after a long and prominent research career.

Multimodal Voice Search of TV Guide in a Digital World

Harry Chang

This article discusses the interesting characteristics of the language models associated with multimodal search applications in the area of digital TV guides in terms of the linguistic properties associated with their text content and from a user’s perspective with respect to spoken or typed queries.


Filip Jurcicek

10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH 2009), which was held in Brighton, UK, September 6-10 2009, provided researchers with a great opportunity to share recent advances in the area of speech science and technology.

Data-driven Models of Text Structure and their Applications

Annie Louis

Information about text structure is important for computational language processing. For example, in multi-document summarization, such information is necessary to correctly order sentences chosen from multiple documents. Language generation and machine translation systems could be informed by coherence models for better structured output. This article describes some of the empirical models of text structure that have had considerable success in several NLP tasks.

Students and Researchers Come Together for "Dialogs on Dialogs"

Matthew Marge

"Dialogs on Dialogs" offers students and researchers an opportunity to regularly discuss their research on an international scale.

The Association for Voice Interaction Design, or AVIxD

Jenni McKienzie, Peter Krogh

AVIxD (the Association for Voice Interaction Design) recently hosted its 8th workshop on voice interaction design. These workshops are held once or twice a year as an opportunity for voice interaction professionals to come together, put companies and competition aside, and tackle issues facing the industry.

Proposed Closure of Phonetics and CL in Bonn

Bernd Möbius

The University of Bonn, Germany, is proposing to close down the division of Language and Speech, formerly known as the "Institut für Kommunikationsforschung und Phonetik".

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