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HLTC Special Seminar Series

Department of Computer Science
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Human Language Technology Center

Textual Entailment as a Framework for Applied Semantics

Bar Ilan University, Israel

Date :     27 July 2006 (Thursday)
Time :     17:30-18:30
Venue :   Rm 3311 (Lifts 25-26)


We have recently proposed Recognizing Textual Entailment (RTE) as a generic task that captures major semantic inferences across different natural language processing applications. In the first part of the talk I will review the motivation and definition of the textual entailment task and the PASCAL RTE-1&2 Challenges benchmarks. I'll then suggest a more general perspective, by which textual entailment modeling may become a comprehensive framework for applied semantics research. Such framework introduces novel appealing variants for known semantic problems and also highlights important new problems which were hardly investigated so far within computational linguistics. The second part of the talk will focus on the huge goal of semantic knowledge acquisition, reviewing recent work on acquiring lexical and lexical-syntactic ("paraphrasing") entailment relationships.


Dr. Dagan is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science at Bar Ilan University, Israel. He is a scientist and an industrial expert in natural language processing, who specializes in empirical learning approaches and applied semantic processing. He conducted his Ph.D. research at the Technion in collaboration with the IBM Haifa Scientific Center, where he was a research fellow in 1991, working within the international machine translation project and developing statistical disambiguation methods. During 1992-1994 Dagan was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, developing algorithms for multilingual alignment and terminology extraction, and similarity-based smoothing for language modeling and disambiguation. During 1994-1998 he has been at Bar Ilan University, to which he returned in 2003. During 1998-2003 Dagan was co-founder and CTO of FocusEngine, and VP of Technology at LingoMotors, where he led the development of a taxonomy-based platform and bootstrapping algorithms for text categorization. Dr. Dagan holds B.Sc. (Summa Cum Laude) and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technion, Israel.

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Last updated: 2006.07.26 Dekai Wu