INESC - Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores (Institute for
Systems and Computer Engineering) is a private non-profit institution,
dedicated to research, development and teaching in advanced technological
areas. It was created in 1980 to become an interface between the
Telecommunications and Information Technology sectors and the Portuguese
University system, and is owned by both. In January 2000, a major restructuring
of INESC took place, creating a holding company with several affiliates, among
which INESC ID Lisbon (Research & Development in Lisbon).
Language Systems Lab (L2F - Laboratório de sistemas de Língua Falada)
was created in January 2001, as part of this center in Lisbon, in order to
bring together several research groups which could potentially add relevant
contributions to the area of computational processing of spoken language for
European Portuguese: the former speech processing group of INESC, some speech
researchers originally from the neural networks and natural language processing
groups of INESC, and the language engineering group of CSTC.
actively involved in many areas of spoken language systems, namely recognition,
synthesis and coding. Its work has been internationally recognized through
close cooperation with other research centers in Europe and in the U.S., and a
significant involvement in European Projects (15).
At a national level,
L2F has also been actively involved in several research projects. Some
important landmarks in this activity were the development of the first
Text-to-Speech synthesizer build from scratch for European Portuguese (DIXI) in
1991, and of the first version of our Large Vocabulary Continuous Speech
Recognition system (AUDIMUS) for our language in 1997. Of paramount importance
to this activity is the formal cooperation agreement with the Center of
Linguistics of the University of Lisbon (CLUL), established early in the 90s.
By bringing together researchers from the area of natural language
processing processing, the lab acquired expertise in areas such as natural
language database interfaces, natural language generation, alternative
syntactic and semantic processing paradigms, etc., which are also extremely
relevant to the development of spoken language systems.
newly formed lab includes around 20 researchers, most of them either Professors
or graduate students at the neighbouring engineering university (Instituto