Computational Linguistics

Workshop on the Evaluation of Natural Language Processing Systems

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In the past few years, the computational linguistics research community has begun to wrestle with the problem of how to evaluate its progress in developing natural language processing systems. With the exception of natural language interfaces, there are few working systems in existence, and they tend to focus on very different tasks using equally different techniques. There has been little agreement in the field about training sets and test sets, or about clearly defined subsets of problems that constitute standards for different levels of performance. Even those groups that have attempted a measure of self-evaluation have often been reduced to discussing a system's performance in isolation--- comparing its current performance to its previous performance rather than to another system. As this technology begins to move slowly into the marketplace, the lack of useful evaluation techniques is becoming more and more painfully obvious.


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evaluation, language understanding, natural language processing, natural language processing

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Revised version of M. Palmer, T. Finin, and S. M. Walter, "Workshop on the Evaluation of Natural Language Processing Systems", TechReport, RADC-TR-89-302, December 1988.

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