MT Evaluation Workshop
MT Evaluation: An invitation to get your hands dirty!

Maghi King, ISSCO and Flo Reeder, Mitre
(in conjunction with the MT Evaluation Working Group of the ISLE project)


A workshop on MT evaluation organised during the AMTA conference in Cuernavaca in 2000 included a series of practical exercises on machine translation evalauation. Carrying out the exercises provided insights into the difficulties and subtleties of MT evaluation, thus inspiring several of those present to suggest the organisation of a longer workshop whose primary focus would be to design and carry out portions of a thorough evaluation.

At the same time, the Evaluation Working Group of the ISLE project (funded by the EU, the NSF in the USA and by the Swiss and Danish governments) has been working on the provision of support material for those involved in MT evaluation. This material takes the form of classification schemes intended to be helpful in the definition of user needs, the choice of system characteristics of importance to the specific evaluation and the choice of metrics to be applied to system characteristics. The current version of the ISLE proposals can be seen at .

Date and Place

We invite you to a practical workshop to be held in Geneva between April 19th and 24th 2001.

Here are some directions on how to reach our building.
The workshop will be take place on the 6th floor, welcoming and general sessions in room 6032, and the practical work in the computing rooms. Please follow the ``ISLE MT Evaluation Workshop'' signs.


The programme of the workshop is available at:

Organisation and activities

Participants in the workshop will be provided with a scenario describing a practical situation in which an evaluation of an MT system or systems might be undertaken. The organisers will ensure that the scenario(s) reflect real life situations. Particpants will then spend two days designing an evaluation which is appropriate to their scenario, using a unified framework (ISLE) described in the introductory talks. They may choose to work alone or in small groups. Participants will have free access to the machine translation systems available on the web, and to the considerable computing support available at the University of Geneva School of Translation and Interpretation. As much as possible, the evaluations will be carried out. Results and experience will be pooled and discussed in the final day of the workshop. This workshop can be seen as one in an-going series (LREC 2000, AMTA 2000, NAACL 2001, MT Summit VIII 2001), where each workshop builds on the experience and the results of previous workshops. Potential participants need not however have participated in earlier workshops, although we would of course like to encourage them to participate in later ones. More information about the conferences where workshops have been held or will be held can be found at
NAACL 2001:
MT Summit VIII:

Week outline timetable

April 19th, morning:
Introduction of the ISLE proposals.
Distribution and discussion of scenarios, formation of working groups.
April 19th afternoon, April 20th:
Design of evaluations.
April 21st, morning:
Execution of evaluations.
April 21st, afternoon:
Free time.
April 22nd:
Free time.
April 23rd:
Interpretation of evaluation scores and metrics.
April 24th:
Reports and discussion of results.

Major themes of interest


Participation in the workshop is free of charge, although particpants must pay their own travel and living expenses. Because of the nature of the exercise, participation is limited to a maximum of 20 persons, and will be on a first come first served basis. Note, though, that if there is a team which would like to participate as a team, these restrictions may be relaxed in order to accomodate them.

Further information can be obtained from Maghi King at or from Florence Reeder at

How to register

Send your registration request to Gisella Anspach at as soon as possible and at the absolute latest by March 15th. Gisella will also be able to help you if necessary with finding accomodation in Geneva, as will the Geneva Tourist Office whose site at will provide you with much information about the city.

Important dates and Deadlines

WORKSHOP -- APRIL 19-24 2001

Sandra Manzi
Last modified: Mon Apr 30 10:47:35 MET DST 2001