5th SwissText & 16th KONVENS
Joint Conference 2020

Joint Online Conference SwissText & KONVENS
June 23-25 2020

Thanks to all our wonderful participants!

Important information:

  • The videos for most talks have been published. You can find them on the YouTube Channel of SwissText or on this website by clicking here.
  • The conference proceedings are available here and the proceedings of GermEval Task 1 (“Classification and Regression of Cognitive and Motivational Style from Text”) can be found here


About SwissText & KONVENS:

SwissText is an annual conference established in 2016 by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) that brings together text analytics experts from industry and academia.

KONVENS has been held regularly since 1992 and deals with all areas of natural language processing.

This year and for the first time, the two conferences will be held jointly. One main goal of the event is to bring together practitioners and researchers based in Switzerland, to give an overview of existing solutions and applications in the domain of text analytics and natural language processing, and to come up with ideas for new and innovative projects. 

Text Analytics is used in many commercial and industrial sectors, for instance, for process optimization, decision support, and development of new products and services. Our goal is to bring together practitioners and researchers, to give an overview of existing solutions and technologies, and to come up with ideas for new and innovative projects using automatic text understanding.


    • You can find the online proceedings of the GermEval Task 1 here.
    • 19 June 2020: Proceedings are online. The proceedings of the conference are available here

Important Dates

    • 15 March 2020 (23:59 CEST): Submission Deadline for Papers and Abstracts (all tracks)
    • 29 April 2020 (19 April 2020): Author notification
    • 22 May 2020 (5 May 2020): Camera-ready version due
    • 23 June 2020: Workshops, Tutorials, GermEval
    • 24 – 25 June 2020: Main Conference

Keynote Speakers 2020

Roberto Navigli

Biography : Roberto Navigli is a full professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Sapienza University of Rome and a co-founder of Babelscape. He is an expert in multilingual Natural Language Processing and the creator of BabelNet, a popular multilingual knowledge graph and encyclopedic dictionary. He is one of the few researchers in Europe to have received two ERC grants.

AbstractWhat’s new in multilingual sense embeddings, Word Sense Disambiguation and Semantic Role Labeling

Natural Language Processing has seen an explosion of interest in recent years, with many industrial applications relying on key technological developments in the field. However, Natural Language Understanding (NLU) – which requires the machine to get beyond processing strings and involves a deep, semantic level – is particularly challenging due to the pervasive ambiguity of language.

In this talk I will present recent research at the Sapienza NLP group on multilingual NLU, including work on new multilingual sense embeddings, and novel neural approaches to word sense disambiguation and semantic role labeling which scale across languages easily and achieve state-of-the-art performance thanks to the integration of deep learning and explicit knowledge.

Anya Belz

Biography : Anya Belz is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Brighton, UK. Belz’s research is in the intersection of Machine Learning and NLP, spanning both text generation and text analysis. She is best known for her work on statistical NLG, and on evaluation of automatically generated text. Belz spearheaded the introduction of comparative and competitive evaluation in NLG, chairing the Generation Challenges series of shared tasks 2007–2012 and continuing to co-organise the Multilingual Surface Realisation shared task. Other research has included text generation for image description, knowledge extraction from user-generated text, and NLG and NLA for automated journalism.

AbstractHow Long is a Piece of String: 13 Years of Comparative Evaluation in Natural Language Generation

The field of Natural Language Generation (NLG) was a late adopter of the paradigm of comparative and competitive evaluation, not organising its first shared-task competition until 2007. Since then there has been a steady stream of new shared tasks and evaluation studies. But are we in 2020 where we want to be in terms of our knowledge and practice of evaluating automatically generated language? In this talk, I will present an overview of developments in NLG evaluation over the past 13 years, focusing on what aspects of system quality have been prioritised and what evaluation methods have been used, before picking out some topics that have received less attention, and describing some of the exciting developments currently underway, including a multi-lab reproducibility study of NLG evaluation results, and a survey of 20 years worth of evaluations in NLG. 

Holger Schwenk

Holger Schwenk is a Research Scientist at Facebook AI Research in Paris focusing on Deep Learning for cross-lingual representations and parallel resources. Previously he was founder and Scientific Director of DeepLingo working on customised machine translation engines. Further assignments included: professor at the University of Le Mans from 2007 to 2015 and researcher at MateCat. Holger Schwenk was an early advocate of using neural networks for language modelling and machine translation.


Conference Chairs: Prof. Mark Cieliebak (ZHAW) & Prof. Martin Volk (UZH)


Organising Committee : 

ZHAW: Manuela Hürlimann, Don Tuggener, Fernando Benites, Katsyiaryna Mlynchyk, Esin Gedik, Jan Deriu

UZH: Sarah Ebling, Debora Beuret, Noëmi Aepli


The Conference is organised jointly by the Zurich University of Applied Science (ZHAW) and the University of Zurich (UZH), and co-organised by the Swiss Alliance for Data-Intensive Services.

It is supported by the Swiss Innovation Agency (Innosuisse) and industrial sponsors.


See the full list of our sponsors here.


Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)
Datalab – The ZHAW Data Science Laboratory
Institute of Computer Science (ICS-HSG)
Swiss Group for Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science (SGAICO)
University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
Bern University of Applied Sciences
Haute école de gestion Arc (HEG Arc)
Haute école Arc Ingénierie (HE Arc) 
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
School of Management and Engineering Vaud
The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland
Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Institute of Computational Linguistics at University of Zurich
Swiss Distance University of Applied Sciences
Machine Learning and Optimization Laboratory at EPFL
The German Society for Computational Linguistics and Language Technology
Special Interest Group on Computational Linguistics
European Language Grid
The Austrian Society for Artificial Intelligence
Swiss Made Software
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Institute of Computational Linguistics at Trier University
Institute for Computational Linguistics «A. Zampolli» National Research Council of Italy
Computer Science Laboratory for Mechanics and Engineering Sciences
Media Technology Center
Italian Association for Computational Linguistics (AILC)
Association pour le Traitement Automatique des Langues
ETH Zürich
HumanTech Institute