Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy delivered a keynote address at the 3rd Annual Workshop on Exploiting Semantic Annotations for Information Retrieval held at the 19th International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM), held October 26 through October 30, 2010, in Toronto.

Liddy’s talk focused on the demonstration of natural language processing (NLP) based semantic notation utility in practical use cases.

“What is showing promise is the ability to understand how to utilize the higher levels of language processing to do Semantic Annotation,” Liddy said. “In applications of keenest interest today, there is an increased relative emphasis focus on dialogue, interaction, real-time, social, and explanatory search, where understanding the user’s intent or plan in their query is key.”

The pragmatic use of language processing is concerned with the aspects of language that can only be understood through situational context. In Pragmatics, Liddy explained, the goal is to recognize the extra meaning that humans read into utterances, which other levels of language processing have not recognized. Semantic Annotation goes to the next step and amplifies current annotations with additional contextual knowledge.

CIKM is an international conference providing a forum for presentation and discussion of research on information and knowledge management, as well as recent advances on data and knowledge bases. The purpose of CIKM is to identify challenging problems facing the development of future knowledge and information systems, and to shape the future directions of research by soliciting and reviewing high quality, applied and theoretical findings. The conference has a strong tradition of workshops devoted to emerging areas of database management, information retrieval and related fields.

Liddy is Dean and Trustee Professor in the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool), ranked No. 1 in information systems, according to U.S. News & World Report. Liddy is completing a three-year term as chair of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group of Information Retrieval, the leading professional organization in the search field. She is also chair-elect of the iCaucus, an organization of 27 US, European, and Asian member iSchools, with the mission of advancing the world’s understanding of iSchools.

Liddy joined the faculty of the Syracuse iSchool in 1988, after defending a dissertation which won three national and international awards in the information field. Much of her research has focused on information retrieval, textual analysis, data mining, semantic relations, medical informatics, search engine technologies, and natural language processing.

She has led 70+ research projects with funding from various government agencies, foundations, and corporate enterprises. She has authored more than 110 research papers and given hundreds of conference presentations on her research. In 1999, Liddy founded the Center for Natural Language Processing, which conducts research and development on advancing human-like, language-understanding software capabilities for government, commercial, and consumer applications.

Liddy founded the University-based TextWise LLC, which she led from 1994 to 1999 in the development of a natural language processing-based search engine that was used by the U.S. and European Patent Offices. In addition, she is inventor or co-inventor on seven patents in the area of Natural Language Processing.

Among many awards, she is the recipient of the 12th Annual Search Engine Conference Best Paper Award (2007), and three awards for her doctoral dissertation. She is a member of Beta Phi Mu, the library and information studies honor society, and Sigma Xi, the international honor society of scientific and engineering research. Liddy holds a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Daemen College, and an M.L.S. and a Ph.D. in information transfer, both from SU.