IndoTimex for Indonesian Temporal Expressions

One question that got me thinking during the interviews with Google was, “Do you have any experience in building an NLP tool, like a tagger or a parser, for Indonesian language?”, and my answer was, “Well, ehem, not yet.”  I wonder why…

That’s why, during the last Christmas/New Year break *while waiting for the result of the interviews*, I decided to do something for Indonesian language :”>. Actually, almost the same thing I already did for Italian… building an automatic extraction system for Indonesian temporal expressions!

Extraction means recognizing time expressions given a text, then normalize their values. For example, if today’s date is March 25, 2015 (2015-03-25), then when the system found dua hari yang lalu [two days ago] the value will be normalized as 2015-03-23. I called the system: IndoTimex!

The online demo of IndoTimex is available here.

The complete system, implemented in Python, is available (for download) here.

And… since there was a conference deadline around that time, PACLING 2015 *which will be held in Bali! :D*, I submitted a paper about it and got accepted. So, to know more about the technology behind the system, please read the paper here.

If everything works fine, soon I will visit Bali (and definitely, also home) for a vacation with my family, oh, and also for the conference ;). This is what we call as an Indonesian proverb “sambil menyelam minum air”, hohoho…

Of A Very Shiny Crystal Ball Called Google (Part 2)


Zürichsee, from Arboretum, a small park at the very top of the lake

Exactly one day after I published this blog post here, a recruiter from Google contacted me, saying that there is an open position fitting my profile:

Analytical Linguist, NLU in Machine Intelligence (Thai and Indonesian)

Understanding natural language is at the core of Google’s technologies. The Natural Language Understanding (NLU) team in Google Research guides, builds, and innovates methodologies around semantic analysis and representation, syntactic parsing and realization, morphology and lexicon development. Our work directly impacts Conversational Search in Google Now, the Knowledge Graph, and Google Translate, as well as other Machine Intelligence research.

As an Analytical Linguist, you will collaborate with Researchers and Engineers in NLU/Machine Intelligence to achieve high quality data that improves our ability to understand and generate natural language systems. To this end, you will also be managing a team of junior linguists and vendors to derive linguistic databases as well as propose direction for approaches to language specific problems.

Target languages: Thai and Indonesian

My first reaction was… amazed. How come, just right after I posted a writing about my epic failure at the previous interview?? :D What amazed me even more was that this opportunity answered my question back then, quoted exactly as it is: “what else could be the reason to work at Google other than having something ‘shiny’ in your CV? :p”

Read more »

Main NLP/CL 2015 Conference Deadlines

It’s a bit late, I know *I was caught up with some of these deadlines*, but here is the list of deadlines for main Natural Language Processing (NLP) or Computational Linguistics (CL) conferences in 2015. I also put the conferences’ important dates in Google Calendar, and make it publicly available at the following URLs:

The calendar’s timezone is GMT+01:00, since I’m in Italy. I couldn’t find a way to make the timezone adjustable according to your own calendar. If you have an idea please let me know.

How to subscribe to Google public calendar? here.

Conference Submission Date Notification Date Conference Date Location
NAACL 2015 Dec 5, 2014 Feb 20, 2015 Jun 1-3, 2015 Denver, Colorado
SIGIR 2015 (long paper) Jan 28, 2015 (Jan 21, 2015) Apr 20, 2015 Aug 9-13, 2015 Santiago, Chile
CICLing 2015 Feb 1, 2015 (Jan 25, 2015) Apr 14-20, 2015 Cairo, Egypt
IJCAI 2015 Feb 12, 2015 (Feb 8, 2015) Apr 16, 2015 Jul 25-31, 2015 Buenos Aires, Argentina
SIGIR 2015 (short paper) Feb 18, 2015 Apr 20, 2015 Aug 9-13, 2015 Santiago, Chile
ACL-IJCNLP 2015 (long paper) Feb 27, 2015 Apr 23, 2015 Jul 26-31, 2015 Beijing, China
*SEM 2015 Mar 6, 2015 Mar 30, 2015 Jun 4-5, 2015 Denver, Colorado
EAMT 2015 Mar 7, 2015 Mar 31, 2014 May 11-13, 2015 Antalya, Turkey
Interspeech 2015 Mar 20, 2015 Jun 1, 2015 Sep 6-10, 2015 Dresden, Germany
ACL-IJCNLP 2015 (short paper) Apr 30, 2015 Jun 8, 2015 Jul 26-31, 2015 Beijing, China
SIGDIAL 2015 Apr 30, 2015 Jun 12, 2015 Sep 2-4, 2015 Prague, Czech Republic
RANLP 2015 May 4, 2015 (Apr 27, 2015) Jun 22, 2015 Sep 7-9, 2015 Hissar, Bulgaria
CoNLL 2015 May 4, 2015 Jun 15, 2015 Jul 30-31, 2015 Beijing, China
EMNLP 2015 (long paper) May 31, 2015 Jul 24, 2015 Sep 19-21, 2015 Lisbon, Portugal
EMNLP 2015 (short paper) Jun 15, 2015 Jul 24, 2015 Sep 19-21, 2015 Lisbon, Portugal

Hi there, 2015!

Picture is taken from here

I was trying to find my ‘new-year-blog-post’ for 2014, to reflect on my last year resolutions. It turns out that… I have none! :D Hmmm… well, I will revive the tradition again this year.

Welcome, 2015! I hope you’ll be wonderful like last year… or even better ;)

At the end of 2012, I started two ‘big projects’ of my life. The first one is supposed to be a three-year project, so I hope I can finish it this year. The second one.. ehem.. is supposed to be a lifetime project :”>, so I hope it will never be finished.

At the end of 2013, I passed the qualifying exam for the three-year project mentioned above, which includes presenting my plans for the project. Thankfully, in terms of publications, I was quite productive last year, all are almost according to the plans :). Hopefully, this year I can be as productive as last year.

Also at the end of 2013, I started learning German with Duolingo. The progress was not as I expected ^^;. I hope this year it will be different, and I can finally master the language.

At the end of 2014, I failed at the early stage of establishing another ‘project’ *or you can call it a dream* of my life. But believe it or not, one day after I posted the story here, I got contacted again. Now, I’m still waiting for the result, so let’s hope for the best.

Also at the end of 2014, I learned that family should also be in my priority lists. I hope I can dedicate more time to my family this year. It’s been a while since we’re traveling together somewhere. The idea has been around for quite some time now. I know that this is difficult given the time and circumstances, but I’ll try my best to make it happen.

I want to reconnect with old friends. Sometimes I think I don’t put enough effort on maintaining a friendship.

I really want to spend less time on social media. I installed StayFocusd in my browser. For now it’s working when I’m in front of my laptop. However… when my 15 minutes quota per day is finished, sometimes I still turn to my smartphone to browse there. Let’s hope I can cure my addiction :p.

“Getting a driver license.” This item has been in my list of new year resolutions since forever. I don’t know if I will ever cross this out, since I never urgently need one. So instead, I hope… the public transportation system of the world will get better and better, or I will never have to travel alone by car :”>, so that I don’t need a driver license, hahaha.

Scuba diving is checked. So now, only bungee jumping, skydiving/paragliding, and via ferrata left. But someone *my personal trainer a.k.a the Bear* said that I cannot do via ferrata with my current state of stamina. So yeah… this year, will do more sport and more hikes!

Travel destinations: Bali *I’m ashamed when I said I’m from Indonesia but have never been to Bali -.-* or Lombok, Lake Toba, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru volcanic complex, Mexico and around, Kenya *visiting Kithaka* and around, Southeastern Europe, Australia or New Zealand. I hope this year I can go to at least one of them ;).

Those are my wishes for 2015… What’s yours? ;)

Workation in Gran Canaria

this picture was taken from here

A workation is a trip or vacation where you must perform some task for your regular work. Although you may be in a new or exotic locale, you may have to attend meetings, telecommute, or complete projects for your job. — www.wisegeek.com

I think companies should really consider to do this once in a while *grin*, this is what it looks like… Luckily, as a PhD student I have the flexibility to do this kind of stuff. The bear is actually Dr. Bear now, but as a Postdoc who hasn’t started his teaching activity yet, he has the same flexibility. So yeah, we decided to give it a shot. And the destination for our first workation is… Gran Canaria, in Canary Islands!

Why there? Because… it’s November, autumn was gradually changing into winter in Italy, Trento/Bolzano was showering most of the time, and we want a warm place, with sun! Our first option was Egypt, but I need to get a visa to go there, while Canary Islands are still in the Schengen area (Spanish islands), hence no visa is needed, my residence permit is sufficient.

The first thing that we need is a good place to stay for a week, with a fast and reliable internet connection (first priority), and a reasonable price (second priority). For location, we don’t really need the shortest access to a beach, because this is usually monopolized by expensive luxurious resorts. We were looking for such a place through airbnb.com and tripadvisor.com, until we finally found a place that we wanted: Villa la Bella (Bungalow) in Maspalomas. Read more »