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MEDiterranean ARabic language and speech technology.

Among a consortium of 15 reputable academic and industrial partners from 12 European and Arabic countries, RDI launched in Feb. 2008 this 30-month project that comes under the seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission's Community Research. Sharing in this project comes after the remarkably successful Euro-Mediterranean 30-month NEMLAR project where RDI played a major role towards its achievement.

MEDAR addresses International Cooperation with the Arabic region on Speech and Language Technologies. MEDAR is structured around 3 pillars, 4 main objectives, and a number of instruments. The 3 pillars are:

1) Producing a knowledge base on Human Language Technology (HLT) players, existing language resources (LRs) and processing tools, activities and products for Arabic. MEDAR survey results.

2) Designing a strong cooperation roadmap between the EU and Arabic countries, within the Arabic countries, and between academia and industry. MEDAR roadmap.

3) Focusing on Machine Translation (MT) and Multilingual Information Retrieval (MLIR) for which required technology components, LRs, and benchmarking methodologies are identified. MEDAR workplan.

The 4 objectives are:

1) Consolidating the NEMLAR network of players in all areas of HLT. NEMLAR network.

2) Developing the Cooperation Roadmap based on a clear picture of the foreseeable technological trends, market potentials, and cooperation possibilities. MEDAR roadmap.

3) Updating the Basic Language Resource Kit: the minimum set of resources and tools necessary for carrying out research and training on LRs and HLT, with a focus on MT and MLIR. MEDAR's Arabic BLARK.

4) Supporting the development of tools and resources, in particular MT and MLIR on the basis of partners technologies and open source code (e.g. Statistical MT, MLIR, and speech recognition) and the framework for their benchmarking. MEDAR workplan.

A variety of instruments is used to achieve the objectives: Surveys are conducted as well as market analysis. Partners' background is exploited to identify the best multilingual open source tools to customize to Arabic. Expertise on evaluation within the consortium creates the right benchmarking framework. Key achievements are highlighted for each strategic partnership in addition to the actions to be taken. Human resources is at the heart of our recommendations. Information is disseminated through e.g. website and e-newsletter, specialized and mass media, and a major conference on LRs, tools, and evaluation for Arabic.  

RDI team has successfully undertaken the local organization part of the 2nd International Conference on Arabic Language Resources & Tools  held in Grand Hyatt hotel in Cairo from Apr. 21st to Apr. 23rd as the biggest 2009 event devoted to Arabic Human Language Technologies. With the help of the other 14 partners in the MEDAR consortium, this international conference and its pre- conference tutorials made a great success for the whole growing field of Arabic NLP/HLT.

To join the MEDAR network, press here.  

For more info on this project, download...  

An Arabic biref on MEDAR
(PDF, 197 KB)  

Downloading Al-Jazeera interview with senior MEDAR personnel
(WMV, 620 MB)

MEDAR project-LREC2008
(PDF, 66 KB)  

Final MEDAR cooperation roadmap
(PDF, 645 KB)

Brief MEDAR's cooperation roadmap.
(PDF - Arabic - 365 KB)

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