Team Alpage

Overall Objectives
Scientific Foundations
Application Domains
New Results
Contracts and Grants with Industry
Other Grants and Activities

Section: Overall Objectives

Overall Objectives

The Alpage team is specialized in Language modeling, Computational linguistics and Natural Language Processing (NLP). These fields are considered central in the new Inria strategic plan, and are indeed of crucial importance for the new information society. Applications of this domain of research include the numerous technologies grouped under the term of “language engineering” (information retrieval, information extraction, spelling, grammatical and semantic correction, automatic summarizing, machine translation, man machine communication, etc).

NLP, the domain of Alpage, is a subfield of both artificial intelligence, linguistics, and cognition. It studies the problems of automated understanding and generation of natural human languages. Natural language understanding systems convert samples of human language into more formal representations that are easier for computer programs to manipulate. Natural language generation systems convert information from computer databases into human language. Alpage focuses on text understanding and text generation (by opposition to speech processing and generation).

NLP applications are numerous, and include machine translation, question answering, information retrieval, information extraction, text simplification, automatic or computer-aided translation, automatic symmetrization, foreign language reading and writing aid, and others.

NLP is a multidisciplinary domain. Indeed, it requires an expertise in formal and descriptive linguistics (to develop linguistic models of human languages), in computer science and algorithmics (to design and develop efficient programs that can deal with such models), in applied mathematics (to acquire automatically linguistic or general knowledge) and in other related fields. It is one of the specificities of Alpage to put together NLP specialists with a strong background in all these fields (in particular, linguistics for Paris 7 Alpage members, previously in the Lattice UMR, computer science and algorithmics for Inria members).

One specificity of NLP is the diversity of human languages it has to deal with. Alpage focuses on French and English, but does not ignore other languages, through collaborations, in particular with those that are already studied by its members or by long-standing collaborators (e.g., Spanish Polish, Slovak, Persian, Galician, and others). This is of course of high relevance, among others, for language-independant modeling and multi-lingual tools and applications.

Alpage's overall objective is to develop linguistically relevant and computationally efficient tools and resources for natural language processing and its applications. More specifically, Alpage focuses on the following topics:


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