Dr. Preslav Nakov

Dr. Preslav Nakov - Copy.jpg
Principal Scientist
Arabic Language Technologies
+(974) 4454 1733

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I was excited by the challenge QCRI offered: help build a new world-class institute. I am glad to see it growing as a stimulating international research environment.

Research Focus at QCRI

Preslav Nakov's research interests include computational linguistics, natural language processing (for English, Arabic and other languages), machine translation, question answering, fact-checking, sentiment analysis, lexical semantics, Web as a corpus, and biomedical text processing.

At QCRI, he is involved in two main projects. The Iyas project aims to develop a question answering system that uses rich linguistic structures to provide answers to complex questions interactively, both in English and in Arabic. The second project focuses on using deep learning and rich linguistic information, e.g., discourse-level analysis, to Statistical Machine Translation and its evaluation.

Previous Experience

Dr. Nakov received a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley (supported by a Fulbright grant and a UC Berkeley fellowship), and a MSc degree from the Sofia University. He was a Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore (2008-2011), a honorary lecturer in the Sofia University (2008), research staff at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (2008), and a visiting researcher at the University of Southern California, Information Sciences Institute (2005).

Dr. Nakov co-authored a Morgan & Claypool book on Semantic Relations between Nominals, two books on computer algorithms, and many research papers in top-tier conferences and journals. He received the Young Researcher Award at RANLP'2011. He was also the first to receive the Bulgarian President's John Atanasoff award, named after the inventor of the first automatic electronic digital computer.

He is Secretary of ACL SIGLEX, the Special Interest Group on the Lexicon of the Association for Computational Linguistics. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Natural Language Engineering, an Associate Editor of the AI Communications journal and an editorial board member of the Language Science Press Book Series on Phraseology and Multiword Expressions. Dr. Nakov has served on program committees of major conferences and workshops in computational linguistics, including as a co-organizer and an area/publication/tutorial/shared task chair; Senior PC member, student faculty advisor etc. He co-chaired SemEval 2014-2016 and was an area co-chair of ACL, EMNLP and *SEM and Senior PC member of IJCAI.

Professional Experience

  • QCRI, Senior Scientist, 2011-present
  • National University of Singapore, Research Fellow, 2008-2011
  • Sofia University, Honorary Lecturer, 2008
  • Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Researcher, 2008
  • University of California at Berkeley, Research Assistant, 2003-2007
  • University of Southern California, Information Sciences Institute, summer intern, 2005

Professional Associations and Awards

Associations

  •  Secretary of ACL SIGLEX (2016-present), and SIGLEX board member (2013-2016)

    • Journal/Book Series Editor: Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Natural Language Engineering (JNLE, since 2016), Associate Editor of AI Communications (since 2015), Guest Editor for LRE (2015), Guest Editor for JNLE (2013), Editorial Board member of the Language Science Press Book Series on Phraseology and Multiword Expressions (since 2016)

    • Chair/Organizer: co-chair for SemEval (2014-2016), local co-organizer for EMNLP (2014), co-organizer for RANLP (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017), area co-chair for ACL’2017, EMNLP’2016, and *SEM’2013, Senior PC member for IJCAI’2017, shared task co-chair of IJCNLP’2017, track co-chair for AISB'2011, publication chair for AIRS (2010), faculty advisor for the ACL Student Research Workshop (2013), student mentor for ECIR (2016), for ACL (2015), and for the NAACL student workshop (2015), co-chair of shared tasks at SemEval (2007, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), at DiscoMT (2015), and at LT4VarDial (2015, 2016), co-chair of several workshops, including MWE (2009, 2010, 2016), LT4VarDial (2015, 2016, 2017), RELMS (2011), NLP&LOD (2013), WIEKA (2011), LLMMC (2011)

    • PC member of more than 30 different conferences and workshops (for several years), including ACL, NAACL, EACL, EMNLP, COLING, CoNLL, *SEM, AAAI, IJCAI, IJCNLP, RANLP, CICLING, LREC, KONVENS, AIRS, WMT, MWE

    • Reviewer for more than 20 journals (for several years), among which ACM-TASLP, ACM-TSLP, ACM-TALIP, IEEE-IS, IEEE-TKDE, JAIR, JASIST, AIJ, JNLE, CLJ, DKE, LRE, AI Communications

    • Member of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 2003-present

     

  • Bulgarian President's John Atanasoff award (named after the inventor of the first automatic electronic digital computer)
  • Young Researcher Award at the RANLP'2011 conference

 Competitions           

  • Best metric in the WMT'14 machine translation evaluation competition. 2014. QCRI's Machine Translation evaluation metric DiscoTK performed best in the WMT'14 Metrics task.
  • Best Arabic<->English translation system at IWSLT'13. 2013. QCRI's Arabic-English and English-Arabic systems won the first place at the IWSLT'13 translation tasks according to official metrics.
  • Best unconstrained Spanish->English translation system at WMT'12. 2012. QCRI's Spanish-English system was the best-performing unconstrained system according to human evaluation metrics at WMT'12.

Education

  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley (supported by a Fulbright grant and a UC Berkeley fellowship), December 2007
  • M.Sc. (diploma) in Informatics, Sofia University "St Kliment Ohridski", July 2001

 

Selected Research

  • Shafiq Joty, Francisco Guzman, Lluis Marquez, and Preslav Nakov;
    Discourse Structure in Machine Translation Evaluation; Computational Linguistics; 2017
  • Francisco Guzman, Shafiq Joty, Lluis Marquez, and Preslav Nakov;
    Machine Translation Evaluation with Neural Networks; Computer Speech & Language; 2017
  • Shafiq Joty, Preslav Nakov, Lluis Marquez, Israa Jaradat;
    Cross-language Learning with Adversarial Neural Networks; CoNLL; 2017
  • Giovanni Da San Martino, Salvatore Romeo, Alberto Barrón-Cedeño, Shafiq Joty, Lluís Màrquez, Alessandro Moschitti, Preslav Nakov;
    Cross-Language Question Re-ranking; CoNLL; 2017
  • Preslav Nakov, Francisco Guzman, Lluis Marques; It Takes Three to Tango:
    Triangulation Approach to Answer Ranking in Community Question Answering; EMNLP; 2016
    Francisco Guzman, Lluis Marques, Preslav Nakov;
    Machine Translation Evaluation Meets Community Question Answering; ACL; 2016
  • Shafiq Joty, Lluis Marquez, Preslav Nakov;
    Joint Learning with Global Inference for Comment Classification in Community Question Answering; HLT-NAACL; 2016
  • Shafiq Joty, Alberto Barrón-Cedeño, Giovanni Da San Martino, Simone Filice, Alessandro Moschitti, Lluís Màrquez, Preslav Nakov;
    Global Thread-level Inference for Comment Classification in Community Question Answering; EMNLP; 2015
  • Preslav Nakov, Francisco Guzmán, Stephan Vogel;
    Analyzing optimization for statistical machine translation: MERT learns verbosity, PRO learns length; CoNLL; 2015
  • Francisco Guzman, Shafiq Joty, Lluis Marquez, Preslav Nakov;
    Pairwise Neural Machine Translation Evaluation; ACL; 2015
  • Alberto Barrón-Cedeno, Simone Filice, Giovanni Da San Martino, Shafiq R Joty, Lluís Màrquez, Preslav Nakov, Alessandro Moschitti;
    Thread-Level Information for Comment Classification in Community Question Answering; ACL; 2015
  • Francisco Guzmán, Shafiq Joty, Lluís Màrquez, Preslav Nakov. Pairwise Neural Machine Translation Evaluation. In Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (ACL-IJCNLP'15), pp. 805-814, Beijing, China, 2015
    http://www.aclweb.org/anthology/P/P15/P15-1078.pdf
  • Shafiq Joty, Alberto Barrón-Cedeño, Giovanni Da San Martino, Simone Filice, Lluís Màrquez, Alessandro Moschitti, Preslav Nakov. Global Thread-level Inference for Comment Classification in Community Question Answering. In Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP'15), pp. 573-578, Lisbon, Portugal, 2015. http://aclweb.org/anthology/D/D15/D15-1068.pdf
  • Francisco Guzmán, Shafiq Joty, Lluís Màrquez, Preslav Nakov. Using Discourse Structure Improves Machine Translation Evaluation. In Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL'14), pp. 687-698, Baltimore, MD, 2014. https://aclweb.org/anthology/P/P14/P14-1065.pdf
  • Iman Saleh, Scott Cyphers, James R. Glass, Shafiq Joty, Lluís Màrquez, Alessandro Moschitti, Preslav Nakov. A Study of using Syntactic and Semantic Structures for Concept Segmentation and Labeling.
  • In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING'14), pp. 193-202, Dublin, Ireland, 2014.
  • Vivi Nastase, Preslav Nakov, Diarmuid Ó Séaghdha, Stan Szpakowicz. Semantic Relations Between Nominals. Synthesis Lectures on Human Language Technologies, Morgan & Claypool Publishers 2013, ISBN 9781608459797. http://www.morganclaypool.com/doi/abs/10.2200/S00489ED1V01Y201303HLT019
  • Preslav Nakov, Francisco Guzmán, Stephan Vogel. Optimizing for Sentence-Level BLEU+1 Yields Short Translations. In Proceedimngs of the 24th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING'12), pp. 1979-1994, Mumbai, India, 2012.http://aclweb.org/anthology/C/C12/C12-1121.pdf

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