Call for papers

Background and motivation

Many NLP researchers, especially those not working in the area of discourse processing, tend to equate coreference resolution with the sort of coreference that people did in MUC, ACE, and OntoNotes, having the impression that coreference is a well-worn task owing in part to the large number of coreference papers reporting results on the MUC/ACE/OntoNotes coreference corpora. This is an unfortunate misconception: the previous shared tasks on coreference resolution have largely focused on entity coreference, which constitutes only one of the many kinds of coreference relations that were discussed in theoretical and computational linguistics in the past few decades. In fact, by focusing on entity coreference resolution, NLP researchers have only scratched the surface of the wealth of interesting problems in coreference resolution.

The decision to focus on entity coreference resolution was initially made by information extraction (IE) researchers when coreference was selected as one of the tasks in the MUC-6 coreference in 1995. Many interesting kinds of coreference relations, such as bridging and reference to abstract entities, were left out not because they were not important, but because “it was felt that the menu was simply too ambitious”. It turns out that this decision has an important consequence: the progress made in coreference research in the past two decades was largely driven by the availability of coreference-annotated corpora such as MUC, ACE, and OntoNotes, where entity coreference was the focus.

Given the plethora of work on entity coreference, we believe that time is ripe for a workshop on coreference resolution that would bring together researchers who are interested in under-investigated coreference phenomena. These include, but are not limited to, the resolution of (1) bridging references, (2) references to abstract entities, (3) pronouns whose resolution require world knowledge (e.g., those in the Winograd Schema Challenge), (4) zero anaphora and ellipsis, and (5) event anaphora, as well as the identification of near-identity and partial coreference relations. Since progress in these under-explored coreference tasks is currently limited in part by the scarcity of annotated corpora, we encourage work that describes the creation and annotation of corpora, especially those with less-investigated coreference phenomena and those involving less-researched languages.


The workshop welcomes submissions describing both theoretical and applied computational work on coreference resolution, especially for languages other than English, less-researched forms of coreference and new applications of coreference resolution. The submissions are expected to discuss theories, evaluation, limitations, system development and techniques relevant to the workshop topics.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Coreference resolution for less-researched languages (e.g., annotation strategies, resolution modules and formal evaluation)
  • Evaluation of influence of language-specific properties such as lack of articles, quasi-anaphora, ellipsis or complexity of reflexive pronouns to coreference resolution
  • Representation of coreferential relations other than identity coreference (e.g., bridging references, reference to abstract entities, etc.)
  • Investigation of difficult cases of anaphora and coreference and their resolution by resorting to e.g. discourse-based and pragmatic levels
  • Coreference resolution in noisy data (e.g. in speech and social networks)
  • New applications of coreference resolution

As mentioned above, papers that provide new resources (software or data) are particularly welcome.

Relation to previous events

While several previously organised events, such as the SemEval 2010 and CoNLL 2012 shared tasks, are related to coreference resolution, their focus was largely on developing coreference algorithms for extracting identity coreference relations for selected non-English languages. This workshop tackles a much broader set of issues related to coreference resolution and provides a common forum for presenting work on anaphora and coreference for non-English languages.

Coreference-related topics seem to be dispersed over various workshops related to named entity disambiguation, bridging or linking events and their participants in discourse. We believe that bringing coreference researchers together in this workshop and gathering papers on coreference currently being submitted to workshops such as LAW or DiscoMT will help the community better assess the state-of-the-art in coreference resolution and its use in high-level applications.

The workshop has a different focus than the recent series of workshops on EVENTS: Definition, Detection, Coreference, and Representation. The EVENTS workshops, which encompass event coreference, are centered on events and is targeted at information extraction researchers. Our workshop, on the other hand, aims to explore under-investigated coreference phenomena, which subsumes event anaphora, and is targeted at researchers interested in discourse, coreference, and pragmatics.

Submission instructions

We solicit previously unpublished work, presented either as long or short papers, following the NAACL 2016 formatting guidelines. Submissions should be anonymous and not disclose in any way the identity of the author(s).

Camera-ready version of long papers should have at most 9 pages of content plus 2 additional pages for references. Short papers are limited to 5 pages of content plus 2 pages for references.