Gold Sponsor: CMIC_logo Medar Conference

Silver Sponsor: ITIDA_LOGO

Media Sponsor: MI logo

The conference is held under the auspices of the
Egyptian minister of CIT, His Excellence, Dr. Tarek Kamel

2nd International Conference on
Arabic Language Resources and Tools

22-23 April 2009, Cairo, Egypt

Second Call for Papers

The second international conference on Arabic Language Resources and Tools is organised by the MEDAR consortium in Cairo, Egypt. MEDAR (Mediterranean Arabic Language and Speech Technology) is a follow-up of NEMLAR, and is supported by the European Commission.

22-23 April 2009.

Conference web site:

Conference aims
Language Resources (LRs) are a central component of the linguistic infrastructure, necessary for the development of HLT applications and products, and therefore for industrial development. In this conference we will focus on Arabic language technology and on the necessary language resources and tools for both research and commercial development of language technology for Arabic. Multilingual language technology is a particular focus, as well as general methodologies. The other important aspect for the promotion of Arabic language technology is cooperation: Cooperation is extremely important for the advancement of the field, be it cooperation between European, Arabic and American partners, cooperation between Arabic partners, cooperation between research and industry etc. MEDAR will present its first proposal for a Cooperation Roadmap, and will seek discussion and collaboration for its final version.

The aim of this conference is to provide a forum for the discussion of the state-of-the-art for Arabic resources and tools, in particular for machine translation and multilingual information retrieval, discuss problems and opportunities, exchange information regarding LRs and tools, their applications, ongoing and planned activities, industrial uses and needs, requirements coming from the new e-society, both with respect to policy issues and to technological and organisational ones. The roadmap discussions will in particular bring in policy issues and collaboration and organisation issues.

Conference topics
Examples of the topics which may be addressed by papers submitted to the conference are given below. The conference programme will have a particular focus on the multilinguality issues mentioned above, but will not be restricted to these.

    Issues in the design, construction and use of Arabic Language Resources (LRs) and tools
  • Guidelines, standards, specifications, models and best practices for Arabic LRs;
  • Methods, tools and procedures for the acquisition, creation, management, access, distribution and use of Arabic LRs;
  • Methods for the extraction and acquisition of knowledge (e.g. terms, lexical information, language modelling) from LRs;
  • Organisational and legal issues in the construction, distribution, access and use of LRs;
  • Availability and use of generic vs. task/domain specific LRs;
  • Definition and requirements for a Basic LAnguage Resource Kit (BLARK) for Arabic;
  • Monolingual and multilingual LRs;
  • Multimedia and multimodal LRs. - Integration of various media and modalities in LRs (speech, vision, language);
  • Documentation and archiving, including minority and endangered languages;
  • Ontologies and knowledge representation;
  • Terminology, term extraction, domain-specific dictionaries;
  • LRs for linguistic research in human-machine communication;
  • Exploitation of LRs in different types of applications (information extraction, information retrieval, speech dictation, translation, summarisation, web services, semantic web, etc.);
  • Exploitation of LRs in different types of interfaces (dialog systems, natural language and multimodal/multisensorial interactions, etc.);
  • Industrial LRs requirements, user needs and community's response;
  • Industrial use of LRs;
  • Metadata descriptions of LRs.
  • Taggers
  • Parsers
  • Alignment tools
  • etc.

    Issues in multilingual Arabic language technology
  • Machine translation to or from Arabic
  • Multilingual information retrieval
  • Multilingual document retrieval
  • Spoken translation
  • Multilingual spoken document retrieval
  • etc.

    Issues in Human Language Technologies (HLT) evaluation
  • Evaluation, validation, quality assurance of Arabic LRs,
  • Evaluation methodologies, protocols and measures,
  • Usability and user experience evaluation, qualitative and perceptive evaluation,
  • Evaluation in multilingual Arabic language processing (machine translation, multilingual information retrieval, cross-lingual information retrieval etc.)
  • From evaluation to standardisation.

    General issues
  • National and international activities and projects on Arabic
  • Roadmapping for Arabic language technology
  • Needs, possibilities, forms, initiatives of/for international cooperation, and their organisational and technological implications
  • Open architectures for LRs and tools
  • Arabic LRs and the needs/opportunities of the emerging industries
  • Arabic LRs and contributions to societal needs (e.g. e-society)

The Scientific Programme will include invited talks, oral and poster presentations, referenced demonstrations and panels.

Abstract submission
The conference will be using an electronic submission tool. It is available at the conference website.
Abstracts should be 800-1000 words. Please read the guidelines.

Due to the difficult situation in the Middle-East, the deadline for submission of abstracts has been extended to 4 February.

    Important dates:
  • Submission of proposals for papers, posters, referenced demos: 4 February 2009
  • Notification of acceptance: 9 March 2009
  • Final versions for the proceedings: 6 April 2009

The proceedings of the conference will include both normal papers, poster papers and papers that go with a demonstration. Proceedings will be electronic, but the abstracts will be printed.

Internet connections and various computer platforms and facilities will be available at the conference site. In addition to referenced demos concerning LRs and related tools, it will be possible to run unreferenced demos of language processing products, systems and tools. You should contact us (details posted on if this opportunity interests you.

Tutorials Tutorials will be organised before the conference. Please check the conference website.

    Conference programme committee
  • Bente Maegaard, CST, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (co-chair)
  • Khalid Choukri, ELDA, Paris, France (co-chair)
  • Mansour Al-Ghamdi, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
  • Ibrahim Al-Kharashi, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
  • Chris Cieri, LDC, USA
  • Mona Diab, Columbia University, USA
  • Ossama Emam, IBM Egypt
  • Nizar Habash, Columbia University, USA
  • Steven Krauwer, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • Chafik Mokbel, University of Balamand, Tripoli, Lebanon
  • Abdelhak Mouradi, ENSIAS, University of Mohammed V Soussi, Rabat, Morocco
  • Mohsen Rashwan, Cairo University, Egypt
  • Mustafa Yaseen, Amman University, Jordan

    Organising Committee
  • Mohsen Rashwan, Cairo University, Egypt
  • Mohamed Attia, RDI, Cairo, Egypt
  • Hélène Mazo, ELDA, France
  • Dorte Haltrup Hansen, CST, University of Copenhagen

For more information about MEDAR and NEMLAR, please check our website or contact:

Bente Maegaard (co-ordinator)
Tel: + 45 35 32 90 90
Fax: + 45 35 32 90 89