Anna Corazza, Simonetta Montemagni et Giovanni Semeraro

1Our very warm welcome to CLiC-it 2016 (​) the 3rd edition of the Italian Conference on Computational Linguistics, held on December 5th and 6th, in Naples, Italy, co-located with Evalita 2016 (​2016) hosted and locally organized by Università Federico II, one the oldest public and laic universities in the world. The organization of the conference is the result of a fruitful conjoint effort of different research groups (Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale “Antonio Zampolli” del CNR, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro and Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) showing the nationwide spreading of Computational Linguistics in Italy. The CLiC-it conference series is organized by the Italian Association for Computational Linguistics (AILC) and has clearly established itself as the premier national forum for research and development in the fields of Computational Linguistics (CL) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), where leading researchers and practitioners from academia and industry meet to share their challenges, solutions, research results, and experiences.

2CLiC-it covers all aspects of computational linguistics and natural language (both written and spoken) processing, and targets state-of-art theoretical results, experimental methodologies, technologies, as well as application perspectives, which may contribute to advance the field.

3As in the previous editions, CLiC-it 2016 is organized around thematic areas, each chaired by two or more Area Chairs:

  • Cognitive modeling of language processing and psycholinguistics. Area chairs: Davide Crepaldi, (Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati, Trieste), Gianluca Lebani (Università degli Studi di Pisa), Vito Pirrelli (Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale “Antonio Zampolli”, CNR, Pisa)

  • NLP for Digital Humanities. Area chairs: Marco Passarotti (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano), Sara Tonelli (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento)

  • Information Retrieval and Question Answering. Area chairs: Nicola Ferro (Università degli Studi di Padova), Alessandro Moschitti (Università degli Studi di Trento - Qatar Computing Research Institute)

  • Information Extraction, Entity Linking and (Linked) Open Data. Area chairs: Valerio Basile (INRIA Sophia Antipolis Méditerranée), Roberto Navigli (Università degli Studi “La Sapienza” di Roma)

  • Linguistic Resources. Area chairs: Cristina Bosco (Università degli Studi di Torino), Monica Monachini (Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale “Antonio Zampolli” del CNR, Pisa), Simonetta Vietri (Università degli Studi di Salerno)

  • Machine Translation and Multilingual Applications. Area chairs: Mauro Cettolo (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento), Johanna Monti (Università degli Studi di Sassari)

  • Pragmatics, Creativity and Linguistic Games. Area chairs: Marco de Gemmis (Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”), Marco Gori (Università degli Studi di Siena), Massimo Poesio (Sussex University, UK)

  • Semantics and Knowledge Acquisition. Area chairs: Raffaella Bernardi (Università degli Studi di Trento), Aldo Gangemi (Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, CNR, Roma), Fabio Massimo Zanzotto (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata)

  • Spoken language processing and understanding. Area chairs: Piero Cosi (Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, CNR, Padova), Antonio Origlia (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II)

  • Morphology and Syntax Processing. Area chairs: Alberto Lavelli (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento), Alessandro Mazzei (Università degli Studi di Torino)

  • NLP for Web and Social Media. Area chairs: Danilo Croce (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata), Felice Dell’Orletta (Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale “Antonio Zampolli”, CNR, Pisa)

  • Linguistic Issues in CL and NLP. Area chairs: Alessandro Lenci (Università degli Studi di Pisa), Paola Merlo (University of Geneva, CH)

  • Machine Learning for CL and NLP. Area chairs: Giuseppe Attardi (Università degli Studi di Pisa), Roberto Basili (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata)

  • 1 The CLiC-it 2016 proceedings were originally published online by CEUR (, ISSN 1613-0073)

4The maturity of the conference is clearly demonstrated by the high quality of the submitted research work. This year CLiC-it received 69 submissions by 212 authors from 14 countries and the Program Committee worked very hard to ensure that every paper got at least two careful and fair reviews, with the 74% of the papers which received three or even more reviews. This process finally led to the acceptance of 28 papers for oral presentation and 27 papers for poster presentation, with a global acceptance rate of 80% motivated by the inclusive spirit of the conference and which is in line with the previous editions (77% in 2014 and 81% in 2015). Regardless of the format of presentation, all accepted papers were allocated 6 pages in the proceedings, available as “open access” publication on different online platforms1. We are therefore extremely grateful to our 152 Program Committee members and to our 3 additional reviewers for producing more than 206 detailed and insightful reviews, as well as to the Area Chairs, who assisted the Program Chairs in their work.

5In 2016, the submissions were articulated into 13 thematic areas, some of which shared with the previous year(s), others which were introduced for the first time. The area of was confirmed as the track attracting the higher number of submissions: the papers in this area cover 32% of the submissions, against 29% in 2014 and 25% in 2015. In line with international computational linguistics conferences such as COLING 2014, this year two new tracks were introduced tackling transversal issues: namely, CL and NLP and Machine Learning for CL and NLP, which attracted - together - almost 12% of the submitted papers. The track respect to 2015 but already present in CLiC- it 2014, represents more than 8% of the submissions: interestingly, they originate also from research groups working in the area of cognitive psychology and neuroscience, thus complying with the conference goal of bridging the gap between the results emerging in different areas of computational linguistics and other related disciplines.

6The remaining tracks represent, with minor adjustments, a continuation of the thematic areas of 2015 and 2014 editions. Here, the main difference lies at the level of the number of attracted submissions with respect to the total, which range from the 69% and 75% of 2014 and 2015 respectively, to the 48% of this year. This significant reduction of submissions can mainly be explained by the co- location of the conference with the Evalita final Workshop, whose challenges coincide with central topics of these areas: see, for instance, the track for Web and Social Media and the SENTIPOLC (SEN TIment POLarity Classification) Evalita shared task, or the track and the PoSTWITA (POS tagging for Italian Social Media Texts) task. The complementarity of the contributions of the two conferences emerges clearly by comparing the author keywords associated with individual CLiC- it and Evalita papers. It is interesting to note that key hot topics of these areas, such as Deep Learning, Named Entity Linking and Recognition, Part-of-speech tagging or Question Answering to mention just a few, are more frequently associated to papers in Evalita’s rather than CLiC- it’s proceedings: in some cases, they do not appear at all, as in the case of Deep Learning which is not among the author keywords associated with CLiC - it papers.

7The rich and articulated picture emerging from the wide variety of contributions to CLiC-it 2016 creates the prerequisites for a fruitful and stimulating conference. Therefore, we would like to thank the authors of all papers for submitting their work to the conference. Among them, many are young authors (PhD students and Postdocs). As in the previous editions, Young Author Best Paper Awards will be assigned to meritorious papers involving PhD students and Postdocs.

8Besides the technical paper program consisting of oral presentations and two poster sessions, the core conference program also includes two keynote speeches, by Mirella Lapata (University of Edinburgh) and Joakim Nivre (Uppsala University). We are honoured they accepted to contribute to CLiC-it 2016 and thank them for agreeing to share their knowledge and expertise on key computational linguistics topics with the Italian community. Last but not least, the program also includes two panels, focusing on the impact to research results on the economy and society at large and aimed at creating a national and international network around the Italian computational linguistics community. Our thanks also go to the panelists who accepted to be involved in the event.

9We also would like to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues, who volunteered their time to contribute to the success of this conference, as well as to acknowledge the support from endorsing organizations and institutions and from our sponsors, who generously provided funds and services that are crucial for the organization of this event. At the time of writing this preface, CLiC- it was generously sponsored by the following companies and associations: Interactive Media s.p.a. (Gold Sponsor); CELI Language Technology and GruppoMeta (Silver Sponsors); the European Linguistic Resources Association (ELRA) and NTT DATA (Bronze Sponsors). We also would like to thank the following organizations for endorsing CLiC- it 2016: Associazione Italiana per l’Intelligenza Artificiale (AI*IA); Associazione Italiana Scienze della Voce (AISV); Associazione Italiana di Linguistica Applicata (AItLA); Associazione per l’Informatica Umanistica e la Cultura Digitale (AIUCD); Società Italiana di Glottologia (SIG); Società di Linguistica Italiana (SLI). Last but not least, special thanks are also due to Università di Napoli Federico II and to the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica e delle Tecnologie dell’Informazione of this university for the support in the organization of the event and hosting the conference.

10This conference would also not be possible without the dedication, devotion and hard work of the members of our local organizing committee. Our special thanks extend to all of them. Finally, we want to acknowledge the EasyC hair infrastructure for the management of the review process.

11Please join us at CLiC- it 2016 to interact with experts from academia and industry on topics related to Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing and to experience and share new research findings, best practices, state-of-the-art systems and applications.

12CLiC-it 2016 Conference Co-Chairs


13November 2016


1 The CLiC-it 2016 proceedings were originally published online by CEUR (, ISSN 1613-0073).


Anna Corazza

Simonetta Montemagni

Giovanni Semeraro