Barbara Plank

Barbara Plank

Assistant professor
(Universitair Docent)
Computational Linguistics, CLCG University of Groningen

Researcher in Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Ultimately, NLP should be able to handle any language and any domain. However, there is still a long way to go! My research focuses on bringing NLP one step closer to this goal, by combining fortuitous data with proper algorithm to enable robust language technology.
I am interested in learning under sample selection bias (domain adaptation, transfer learning), annotation bias (embracing annotator disagreements in learning) and generally, semi-supervised and weakly-supervised machine learning applied to cross-domain and cross-language natural language processing.

Recent publications (more)

  • Barbara Plank. What to do about non-standard (or non-canonical) language in NLP. In KONVENS 2016. [pdf]
  • Željko Agić, Anders Johannsen, Barbara Plank, Héctor Martínez Alonso, Natalie Schluter and Anders Søgaard. Multilingual Projection for Parsing Truly Low-Resource Languages. In [TACL].
  • Barbara Plank, Anders Søgaard and Yoav Goldberg. Multilingual Part-of-Speech Tagging with Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory Models and Auxiliary Loss. In ACL (short), 2016. [arXiv]
  • Ben Verhoeven, Walter Daelemans and Barbara Plank. TwiSty: a Multilingual Twitter Stylometry Corpus for Gender and Personality Profiling. To appear in LREC 2016.
  • Raffaella Bernardi, Ruket Cakici, Desmond Elliott, Aykut Erdem, Erkut Erdem, Nazli Ikizler-Cinbis, Frank Keller, Adrian Muscat and Barbara Plank. Automatic Description Generation from Images: A Survey of Models, Datasets, and Evaluation Measures. To appear in JAIR. [JAIR]
  • Barbara Plank and Dirk Hovy. Personality Traits on Twitter---or---How to Get 1,500 Personality Tests in a Week. In WASSA 2015, EMNLP 2015 workshop. [pdf]
  • Barbara Plank, Héctor Martínez Alonso, Željko Agić, Danijela Merkler, Anders Søgaard. Do dependency parsing measures correlate with human judgements? In CoNLL 2015. [pdf]

Professional service

  • EACL 2017 Student research workshop faculty advisor
  • ACL 2016 publicity chair
  • EMNLP 2015 publicity chair
  • Program committee for conferences: AAAI 2016; NIPS 2016; ACL 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013; EMNLP 2016, 2015, 2014; NAACL 2016; CoNLL 2016, 2015; COLING 2016, 2014; KONVENS 2016; IJCNLP 2014; *SEM 2015;
  • Program committee for workshops: NAACL SRW 2016; CL4LC 2016; DADA 2016; MWE 2016,2015; LAW 2016; L&V 2016; NoDaLiDa 2013, 2015; NLPIT 2016, 2015; IWPT 2015; SemEval 2015; IJCAI 2013; CLIN 20;
  • Journal reviewer: PLOS ONE, 2016; Information Processing and Management Journal 2013; Journal of Logic and Computation special issue, 2012; IMIX project book chapter 2011; JIS 2016;


  • Summer 2016: ESSLLI 2016 summer school on Fortuitous data, Bozen-Bolzano
  • Spring 2016: Language Technology Project, RUG
  • Spring 2016: Language Processing 2, UCPH (initial lectures before departure)
  • Autumn 2015: Cognitive Science 1, UCPH
  • Spring 2015: Language Processing 2, UCPH
  • Autumn 2014: Cognitive Science 1, UCPH


Short Bio

  • April 2016 - : Assistant Professor, University of Groningen
  • Sep 2014-Mar 2016: Assistant Professor, CST, University of Copenhagen
  • Aug 2013-Aug 2014: Postdoc, CST, Copenhagen LOWLANDS
  • Nov 2011-Jun 2013: Postdoc, DISI, Trento LiMoSiNe project
  • 2007-2011: Ph.D., Alfa-informatica, University of Groningen
  • MSc European Masters Program in Language and Communication Technologies (EM-LCT). University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy) and University of Amsterdam (UvA, The Netherlands) (2007).
  • BSc, Computer Science, University of Bozen-Bolzano (2005).

Code & Data

News & Events

  • August 2016: ACL 2016 was a big success with over 1600 participants!
  • We are organizing a COLING 2016 workshop: PEOPLES
  • Juni 2016: Got an Nvidia academic hardware grant!
  • Juni 2016: LAW-X 2016 paper accepted
  • May 2016: TACL paper accepted!
  • April 2016: ACL short paper accepted on bi-LSTM tagging with auxiliary loss!
  • April 2016: I'm EACL 2017 SRW (student research workshop) Faculty Advisor
  • March 2016: our LREC 2016 paper on personality and gender profiling on Twitter is ready!
  • Jan 2016: I'm ACL 2016 publicity chair
  • Jan 2016: LREC paper accepted
  • December 2015: Invited talk in Heidelberg
  • December 2015: JAIR survey paper accepted
  • November 2015: TLT paper accepted
  • October 2015: Keynote speaker at Atila 2015, Antwerp; Guest lecture in Gothenburg.
  • September 2015: Publicity chair EMNLP 2015, Lisbon
  • Juli 2015: WASSA 2015 paper on personality traits accepted
  • June 2015: CoNLL paper accepted on correlating dependency parsing measures with human judgements
  • April 2015: Two ACL long papers accepted!
  • Feb 2015: Two NAACL papers accepted!
  • Jan 2015: I'm EMNLP 2015 publicity chair
  • Dec 2014: AAAI paper accepted
  • Nov 28, 2014: Visiting Uppsala
  • November 2014: I love the command line and gave a tiny introduction to it for text processing recently, you can find it here: No black magic: Text processing using the UNIX command line
  • Our paper on super-sense tagging received the *SEM best paper award!
  • Our Coling tutorial slides on part II: sample selection bias - more on the Lowlands site
  • July 2014: EMNLP paper accepted
  • May 2014: Our paper "Adapting taggers to Twitter with not-so-distant supervision" is accepted at COLING
  • April 2014: Our paper on "What's in a p-value in NLP" is accepted at CoNLL 2014, two Lowlands papers accepted at ACL 2014 short, and one ACL workshop paper (WAASA 2014)
  • Paper on Opinion Mining on YouTube to appear at ACL 2014
  • Our EACL 2014 paper received the best long paper award!
  • Jan 2014: Four accepted LREC papers by people from Lowlands
  • December 20, 2013: Lowlands EACL 2014 paper accepted on Learning POS taggers with inter-annotator agreement loss
  • December 12, 2013: Going to Gothenburg to give a talk on tagging Twitter, CLT Seminar series
  • Attending PhD defense and Workshop in Groningen, April 2013
  • Splet 2012 Shared task: Dependency Parsing of Legal Texts
  • December 8, 2011: My PhD thesis defense in Groningen.
  • Going to ACL 2011 in Portland, Orlando -- Second paper with Daniel de Kok and Gertjan van Noord got accepted!
  • Autumn 2010: List of genre-annotated WSJ files (updated) (cf. Webber, 2009: "Genre distinctions for discourse in the Penn Treebank")
  • July 2010: We organized an ACL 2010 workshop on Domain Adaptation for NLP (DANLP)
  • June 19, 2009: Khalil Sima'an in Groningen, CLCG colloqium
  • January 12-16, 2009 at RUG: MaxEnt tutorial by Rob Malouf
  • The 19th edition of CLIN (Computational Linguistics in the Netherlands) will be held in Groningen on Thursday, January 22, 2009, in conjunction with the 7th edition of TLT
  • International Workshop TLT 7 (Treebank and Linguistic Theories), Groningen January 23 and 24, 2009.
  • May 15, 2008: LCT PhD student's day in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy


b <mylastname> (at) gmail (dot) com
b (dot) mylastname (at) rug (dot) nl

Barbara Plank
University of Groningen

Tel. +31 (0)50 303 4921


At last, a computer that understands you like your mother.
--1985, McDonnell-Douglas ad (Lee, 2004)