Workshop on

Intelligent Interactive Systems and Language Generation

Including language promises to bring more natural interaction for the user with intelligent interactive systems (2IS). Current maturity in Natural Language Generation (NLG) is facilitating the use of NLG components, and bringing clear opportunities for further development. For example, conversational interaction and interfaces are nowadays a trend, showing the central role of language generation in a variety of intelligent interactive systems.

Nevertheless, embedding language generation may not be a straightforward issue because it is not just about words, but also considering multi-modal aspects in the interactive system to provide a more intelligent generation. Every context of use may have different requirements —requiring personalization or adaptation of services—, and the purpose or the different characteristics and modalities of the interfaces employed can altogether affect the effective integration of NLG services.

In order to define research challenges and raise a constructive discussion from an interdisciplinary perspective, this workshop seeks to gather researchers and practitioners working on language generation, human-computer interaction, conversational agents, and computational intelligence that deal with cross-cutting issues concerning language generation and intelligent interactive systems.

The workshop will be held as part of the International Conference on Natural Language Generation (INLG2018), which is supported by the Special Interest Group on NLG of the Association for Computational Linguistics. INLG 2018 is to be held in Tilburg (The Netherlands), 5-8 November, 2018.

Accepted Papers

  • João Sedoc, Daphne Ippolito, Arun Kirubarajan, Jai Thirani, Lyle Ungar and Chris Callison-Burch. ChatEval: A Tool for the Systematic Evaluation of Chatbots
  • Luca Anselma, Simone Donetti, Alessandro Mazzei and Andrea Pirone. CheckYourMeal!: diet management with NLG
  • Jing Su, Chenghua Lin, Mian Zhou, Qingyun Dai and Haoyu Lv. Generating Description for Sequential Images with Local-Object Attention Conditioned on Global Semantic Context
  • Matthieu Riou, Stéphane Huet, Bassam Jabaian and Fabrice Lefèvre. Automation and Optimisation of Humor Trait Generation in a Vocal Dialogue System
  • Takaaki Matsumoto, Kimihiro Hasegawa, Yukari Yamakawa and Teruko Mitamura. Textual Entailment based Question Generation
  • Reshmi Gopalakrishna Pillai, Mike Thelwall and Constantin Orasan. Trouble on the Road: Finding Reasons for Commuter Stress from Tweets
  • John Lee, Dariush Saberi, Marvin Lam and Jonathan Webster. Assisted Nominalization for Academic English Writing
  • Jintae Kim, Hyeon-Gu Lee, Harksoo Kim, Yeonsoo Lee and Young-Gil Kim. Two-Step Training and Mixed Encoding-Decoding for Implementing a Generative Chatbot with a Small Dialogue Corpus
  • Alejandro Catala, Jose M. Alonso and Alberto Bugarin. Supporting Content Design with an Eye Tracker: The Case of Weather-based Recommendations

Invited speaker

We are honoured to host an invited talk by Sander Wubben, who will discuss the lastest advances and current limitations of chatbots and voice apps in his talk “Applications of NLG in practical conversational AI settings”. He is an assistant professor at Tilburg University and co-founder of, committed to bring smarter interactive chatbots as a form of conversational AI.

General aims

  • Identify challenges and explore potential transfer opportunities between fields, generating synergy and symbiotic collaborations in the context of Intelligent Interactive Systems and Language Generation
  • Strengthen the network of researchers and practitioners interested in taking NLG further to enable the next generation of intelligent interactive systems
  • Establish the identified challenges in a concrete research agenda to be addressed in future international collaborative actions (e.g. more specialized workshops, projects, publications, networks of excellence)

How to participate

We solicit researchers for contributions dealing with language generation issues in relationship with any of the many aspects concerned with intelligent interactive systems. The list of topics below exemplifies some possible themes, in which either interaction or artificial intelligence is addressed jointly with language generation.

It will be possible to submit regular papers (up to 4 pages + 1 references) and demo papers (up to 2 pages). Papers should follow the ACL paper format. The contributions will be subject to a blind peer review process to assess their relevance and originality for the workshop. Accepted contributions will be the primary input source for the workshop and authors will be requested to present their contributions in either a poster or presentation, considering the most suitable format in each case.

Non-academic participants from the industry are very welcome to share their valuable experiences, preferably in the form of demo papers. Contributions will be compiled in companion proceedings to be published in ACL Anthology.

Submissions should be made through easychair here.


  • Conversational Agents and interfaces: chatbots, virtual humans,. . .
  • Theory and research methods for user evaluation in NLG contexts
  • Measuring the effect of NLG in Intelligent Interactive Systems
  • Usability of eXplainable AI/interfaces
  • Multimodal interfaces in/for NLG systems
  • NLG for Games (e.g. generation of textual game assets, character dialogue, scenario generation)
  • User modeling, user context, personalization, and adaptive language generation
  • Argument mining, visualization and generation
  • Other novel interactive applications of automatic language generation: creativity, persuasion, e-learning, . . . .

Important dates

  • Tentative Title and Authors due: August 15, 2018 (still open, recommended)
  • Submissions due: August 31, 2018 September 10, 2018 (extended!)
  • Notification of acceptance: September 30, 2018
  • Camera-ready papers due: October 15, 2018
  • Workshop session: November 5, 2018

Program Committee

  • Alberto Bugarin, CiTIUS, University of Santiago de Compostela
  • Ondrej Dusek, Heriot-Watt University
  • Pablo Gervás, Universidad Complutense Madrid
  • Helen Hastie, Heriot-Watt University
  • Dirk Heylen, Human Media Interaction, University of Twente
  • Amy Isard, University of Edinburgh
  • Uzay Kaymak, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Simon Mille, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Martı́n Pereira-Fariña, Center for Argument Technology, University of Dundee
  • Alejandro Ramos-Soto, CiTIUS, University of Santiago de Compostela, University of Aberdeen
  • Chris Reed, Center for Argument Technology, University of Dundee
  • Ehud Reiter, University of Aberdeen, Arria NLG plc.
  • Daniel Sanchez, University of Granada
  • Nicolas Szilas, University of Geneva
  • Anna Wilbik, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Georgios N. Yannakakis, University of Malta

Organizers and contact

José M. Alonso

Research Centre in Information Technologies

(Centro Singular de Investigacion en Tecnoloxias da Informacion, CiTIUS)

University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Alejandro Catala

Research Centre in Information Technologies

(Centro Singular de Investigacion en Tecnoloxias da Informacion, CiTIUS)

University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Mariët Theune

Human Media Interaction

University of Twente, The Netherlands