of the ACL Special Interest Group
on Arabic Natural Language Processing
I. Statement of Purpose
Arabic Natural Language Processing (Arabic NLP) is challenging: Arabic has a complex and rich morphology, a high degree of ambiguity, as well as many dialects that vary quite widely. Arabic is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, the national language of over 400 million people from 23 states, and the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims around the world. The opportunities that are made possible by working on Arabic NLP cannot be underestimated in their consequence on the Arab world, the Mediterranean region, and the rest of the world.
The purpose of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) Special Interest Group on Arabic NLP (SIGARAB) shall be:
To promote interest in all aspects of Arabic NLP, including but not limited to morphological analysis and generation, orthographic normalization, syntactic parsing, corpus annotation, semantic and pragmatic analysis, optical character recognition, machine translation, information retrieval, information extraction, and text analytics, on all forms of Arabic (Modern Standard, Classical, and Dialectal).
To promote coordination between organizations in academia and industry throughout the world performing research in Arabic NLP or using Arabic NLP;
To provide ACL members with interest in Arabic NLP with a means of exchanging news of recent research developments and other matters of interest in Arabic NLP;
To sponsor regular, timely and worthwhile meetings and workshops on Arabic NLP.
SIGARAB will operate within the framework of the ACL's general guidelines for SIGs.
II. Membership & Dues
Joining Membership is open to anyone who professes an interest in Arabic NLP. It does not require ACL membership. The membership can be obtained either through provided electronic means or by filling a membership form in conjunction with a SIG meeting.
Termination Membership will be terminated on request, or automatically if no reply is received within 2 months of a yearly membership renewal request. Termination requests are to be communicated by email to the SIGARAB Secretary. Automatically terminated memberships will be reinstated on request.
Dues SIGARAB does not charge dues to its members.
III. Elected Officers
The elected officers of the SIG shall consist of a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. These shall be members in good standing of the ACL. The term of all elected officers of the SIG shall be 2 years or shorter if the elected officers organize the elections earlier.
President The duties of the President shall be:
To have primary executive authority over actions and activities of the SIG.
To prepare a written report on the activities of the SIG for the Executive Committee of the ACL, for presentation to the ACL at its Annual Business Meeting.
To designate a Liaison Representative and a Resource Manager.
Secretary The duties of the Secretary shall be:
Communication with members of the SIG.
Answering inquiries about the SIG.
To maintain a membership roster of the SIG.
To conduct elections as mandated below.
Treasurer The duties of the Treasurer shall be:
To be responsible for any moneys awarded to the SIG by the ACL.
To collect and manage any dues that may be required by the organization.
To present a written annual report on the SIG finances to the Executive Committee of the ACL.
IV. Other Representatives
The President designates a Liaison Representative and a Resource Manager.
The SIGARAB will be supported by an Advisory Committee of leading researchers of Arabic NLP from across the world. The committee members will consist of the Advisory Committee of the Workshop of Arabic NLP who represent a wide variety of regions, dialects, and research interest.
Liaison Representative The duties of the Liaison Representative shall be:
To be primarily responsible for communication with the Executive Committee of the ACL.
To be responsible for relations to other ACL SIGs.
To request the approval of the ACL Executive Committee for any activities jointly sponsored with any other non-ACL organizations.
Resource Manager The duties of the Resource Manager shall be:
To create a webpage with the statement of purpose, constitution, current officer information.
To handle resources that are made available through the web.
Advisory Committee The duties of the Advisory Committee shall be:
To advise on planning and coordination of SIGARAB activities with other ACL SIGS and non-ACL organizations.
To support the election processes of the SIG through volunteering to serve on the Election Committee.
V. Election of Officers
Voters All elected officers of SIGARAB shall be elected by a vote of the current SIGARAB members.
Election Timeline The timeline of the elections is based on the expiration of the current terms of the officers (time n).
n-4 months - Selection of the Election Committee.
n-3 months - Nominations open for 1 month.
n-2 months - Voting opens for 1 month.
n-1 months - Winners are announced.
Election Committee The election process shall be managed by a three-member Election Committee formed by the SIG Secretary and two volunteer members from the Advisory Committee. Members of the Election Committee cannot run for elected positions in the elections they manage. If the SIG Secretary is running for election, a third volunteer from the Advisory Committee will take the place of the SIG Secretary.
Nominations All SIG members will be given notice to submit nominations for SIG officers at the time nominations open and 2 weeks before their closing. Candidates must be nominated by two members, and must accept the nomination. Candidates must be current members in good standing in SIGARAB and in good standing in ACL. Candidates need to provide a CV and short biography to be shared with all the voting member on a the SIGARB website.
Voting All SIG members will be given notice to vote on SIG officers at the time voting opens and 2 weeks before its closing. Votes will be entered by electronic means. Votes arriving by the notified closing date will be counted. The Election Committee will use Single Transferable Vote (aka Multi-winner Ranked-choice Voting) for determining the winners.
Announcing the Results The results shall be notified to the active members within 2 weeks immediately after the closing of the votes. The previous officers will remain active for 2 months into the next term to ease the transition.
Unexpected Vacancy If a vacancy occurs among the officers of the SIG, the remaining two elected officers will each nominate a replacement officer from among the Advisory Committee members to serve out up to the remainder of the previous office holder's term. The Advisory Committee will vote on the nominees to identify the replacement officer.