Paper: Towards a Computational History of the ACL: 1980-2008

ACL ID W12-3202
Title Towards a Computational History of the ACL: 1980-2008
Venue ACL-2012 Special Workshop on Rediscovering 50 Years of Discoveries
Year 2012

We develop a people-centered computational history of science that tracks authors over top- ics and apply it to the history of computa- tional linguistics. We present four findings in this paper. First, we identify the topical subfields authors work on by assigning auto- matically generated topics to each paper in the ACL Anthology from 1980 to 2008. Next, we identify four distinct research epochs where the pattern of topical overlaps are stable and different from other eras: an early NLP pe- riod from 1980 to 1988, the period of US government-sponsored MUC and ATIS eval- uations from 1989 to 1994, a transitory period until 2001, and a modern integration period from 2002 onwards. Third, we analyze the flow of authors across topics to discern how some subfields flow into the next, forming d...