Shared Task: Automatic System Combination

July 15-16, in conjunction with ACL 2010 in Uppsala, Sweden


The system combination task of the workshop will focus on processing all of the system translations produced in the translation task. You will be provided with the submissions of all entrants to this year's translation task, split into tuning and testing sets, as well as references for the tuning portion of the data. You will asked to return your combination of translations of the test set.


The goals of the system combination task are:

We hope that both beginners and established research groups will participate in this task with both novel and established combination techniques. We welcome everything from simple translation output selection to advanced consensus decoding techniques. As with the shared translation task, participants agree to contribute about eight hours of work to the manual evaluation.

Task Description

As with the shared translation task, we are only translating a set of news stories prepared for this evaluation, not Europarl proceedings. As in the previous year, the news stories are taken from major news outlets such as the BBC, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, etc. during the time period of September-October 2008. Evaluation of system combination entrants will be similar to translation entrants, with both human judgements and automaic metrics.

The translation task submissions from the last two years will be made available as early-release training data. Obviously, this data was generated by different systems than those that will be submitted this year, so may not be useful for tuning system-specific feature weights. With one test set this year across all language pairs, we will split the system data we receive into two sets, with tuning being approximately 500 lines and testing approximately 2500 lines. This will provide the opportunity for system combination entrants to learn weights for this year's systems.

System combination submissions will be accepted in all translation tasks for which we receive two or more entrants. We are evaluating in both directions on the following language pairs:

Any of the training data provided for the translation task can be used to train language models or other elements needed for your system combination approach. We also allow unconstrained entries, taking special note of the follow information from the translation task: Your submission report should highlight which data you used for training and what unconstrained resources you used. We may break down submitted results in different tracks based on what resources were used. You may submit contrastive runs to demonstrate different techniques or variants of your system, but we cannot guarantee that contrastive systems will receive human evaluation scores.

Training Data

Any of the training data posted for the shared translation task may be used.

Development Data

Any of the development data posted for the shared translation task may be used. We also release the submissions from the last two years to the translation task.

While the prior data won't be useful for tuning submission-specific weights for the 2010 competition, we are providing these sets as a way to jump start training combination systems.

Test Data

The test set is similar in nature as the news-dev2008 developement set. It is taken from identical sources.

Once we have received and processed all submissions to the translation task, we will split the data into approximately 500 lines of tuning data and 2500 lines of test data, and provide sources and references for the tuning set. At that point you can use the tuning data to refine your weights if necessary and return you system combination entry.

Note that we only require 1-best submissions from translation task entrants, so your system combination method should not rely on n-best data. We will request that participants provide n-best output if they can, but there is no guarantee that this data will be available. If you or your group is also participating in the translation task, encourage them to send their n-best output to

News news-test2010
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Czech


Tuning and Test data


Evaluation will be done both automatically as well as by human judgement.


March 15: 2010 tuning and test data released (available on this web site)
March 26: Results submissions per email to
April 23: Short paper submissions (online, 4-6 pages)


The results of the evaluation are reported in the workshop overview paper.

supported by the EuroMatrixPlus project
funded by the European Commission
under Framework Programme 7