ERCIM News No.26 - July 1996 - CNR

The Expert Advisory Group on Language Engineering Standards

by Nicoletta Calzolari, John McNaught and Antonio Zampolli

The Expert Advisory Group on Language Engineering Standards (EAGLES) was launched in 1993 within the EC Linguistic Research and Engineering programme. The aim of EAGLES is to accelerate the provision of standards for: (i) very large-scale language resources; (ii) means to manipulate such knowledge, via computational linguistic formalisms, mark-up languages and various software tools; (iii) means to assess and evaluate resources, tools and products.

The areas of concern to EAGLES are: text corpora, computational lexicons1, grammar formalisms, evaluation and assessment, and spoken language. For each area a core Working Group has been established, where leading experts from both research and industry are represented, combining their efforts towards the development of a common basic European infrastructure and agreed linguistic specifications.

EAGLES has been conceived as a catalyst to pool concrete results coming from current major European projects. Relevant common practices or upcoming standards are being used as input.

The major efforts in EAGLES concentrate on the following activities: By its very nature, EAGLES must interact closely with the scientific and industrial R&D community. Since EAGLES involves many bodies active in European NLP and speech projects, close collaboration with them is assured and, significantly, in many cases, free manpower has been contributed, a sign of both the commitment of these groups and the crucial importance they place on reusability issues.

The structure of EAGLES results from recommendations made by leading industrial and academic centres, and by EC Language Engineering strategy committees. A very large number of EU research centres, industrial organisations, professional associations and networks are providing labour, for free, towards the common effort: more than 100 sites are involved in the different EAGLES groups or subgroups of which approximately 40% from industry distributed throughout all the Working Groups. In human terms, there is now a large community that has learned to work together towards standardisation objectives, is highly motivated and has good industrial participation in key areas of spoken and written LR.

EAGLES has engendered a broad sense of cooperation, and offers a forum in which users and developers can arrive at workable recommendations in LE; they can contact EAGLES to get early information on guidelines, to offer advice and collaboration.

The EAGLES Guidelines and the Editors' Introduction can be accessed, from August 1996, at the EAGLES Web site: As any harmonisation effort is based on broad consensus, EAGLES actively invites critical feedback from the community.

Please contact:
EAGLES Secretariat
Tel: +39 50 560481

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