Brian Gainor


Collecting Natural SMS and Chat Conversations in Multiple Languages: The BOLT Phase 2 Corpus
Zhiyi Song | Stephanie Strassel | Haejoong Lee | Kevin Walker | Jonathan Wright | Jennifer Garland | Dana Fore | Brian Gainor | Preston Cabe | Thomas Thomas | Brendan Callahan | Ann Sawyer
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)

The DARPA BOLT Program develops systems capable of allowing English speakers to retrieve and understand information from informal foreign language genres. Phase 2 of the program required large volumes of naturally occurring informal text (SMS) and chat messages from individual users in multiple languages to support evaluation of machine translation systems. We describe the design and implementation of a robust collection system capable of capturing both live and archived SMS and chat conversations from willing participants. We also discuss the challenges recruitment at a time when potential participants have acute and growing concerns about their personal privacy in the realm of digital communication, and we outline the techniques adopted to confront those challenges. Finally, we review the properties of the resulting BOLT Phase 2 Corpus, which comprises over 6.5 million words of naturally-occurring chat and SMS in English, Chinese and Egyptian Arabic.