flKeynote Speakers

           First keynote speaker

Dr Ali Farhaly

CELL: (650) 704 - 8350


DataFlux A SAS Company, United States.

 Abstract of speech

"Challenges and Future Directions in  Arabic NLP"


 Statistical approaches to natural language processing has been dominating the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) since the nineties (Manning and Schuetze 1999; Jusrafsky, 2000; Baldi and Brunak 2001; Joachims 2002; Abe 2005; Bishop 2007; Cherkassky and Mulier 2007). However, prominent computational linguists (Zaenen 2006; Reiter 2007; Jones 2007) have recently expressed misgivings about the exclusive reliance on machine learning approaches and the neglect of the contribution of the symbolic approaches.  Naturally, research in Arabic Computational Linguistics has been influenced by the prevailing paradigms in the main stream natural language processing. In this presentation we present the strengths and weakness of both approaches giving examples from the Arabic language. As a natural language, Arabic has a lot in common with other languages like English. However, it also has its specificity in terms of its history, diglossic nature, internal structure, inseparable tie to Islam and the Arabic culture and identity. Any Arabic NLP system that does not take the specificity of the Arabic language into consideration is doomed to be inadequate. In the second part of the paper, we will give examples of the many issues in the Arabic language that have not been resolved and that have important bearings on future work in Arabic computational Linguistics.


 Brief CV



·       Ph.D. in Linguistics, The University of  Texas at Austin, 1981.

·       MA in Linguistics & English Language Teaching, University of  Leeds, UK, 1975.

·       Diploma in Linguistics & English Language Teaching,, Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh, UK, 1974.

·       BA in English Language & Literature, University of Alexandria, Egypt, 1966.


Technical Skills


Perl, Regular Expressions,  UNIX,  Information Retrievel, sentiment analysis, Information Extraction,   Ontologies,  parsing  and standardization of addresses, names, products  in different locales, Knowledge Bases, Symbolic and statistical Machine Translation, Stemming (Porter)


Current  Positions


  Senior Knowledge Engineer

6 month contract at DataFlux Corporation, 940 NW Cary Parkway,. Suite 201, Cary, NC 28301, USA, September 2011 - present develop, enhance and test knowledge bases, maintain existing software and address technical requests raised by customers, provide technical support for DataFlux developers, design, develop and ensure quality of prototype and demonstration systems. 


  Consulting  Professor of   Computational Linguistics,

Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Computers and Information, Cairo University. March 2008 – present.

Initiate and supervise research in NLP  and teach a graduate seminar in NLP  once a year.

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