The Achievement Award
Research and Development of a Multi-lingual Service Infrastructure on the Internet - The Language Grid
Toru Ishida , Yohei Murakami , Donghui Lin
Toru Ishida Yohei Murakami Donghui Lin      
@Recently, the number of languages used on the Web has increased rapidly, as more people communicate via the Internet. Although there is a huge volume of language resources on the Internet, such as language data and language processing software, there are difficulties in utilizing language resources for supporting intercultural collaboration without the involvement of linguistic professionals. This is caused by complicated contracts and intellectual property rights, and the variety of data structures and program interfaces.
@The award recipients have developed a multilingual service infrastructure called gthe Language Grid,h which allows users to share language resources as services on the Internet, based on a collective intelligence approach. By accessing the Language Grid, users can employ language services provided by universities, research institutes, and companies. Moreover, users can also publish new language services by freely composing those language services according to their needs (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Overview of the Language Grid

@As shown in Figure 2, the Language Grid developed by the award recipients consists of four layers: P2P Service Grid, Atomic Service, Composite Service, and Application System. The bottom layer, called P2P Service Grid, is a technology to connect core nodes and service nodes for sharing registered information about the language services. The core nodes manage the registered information, control access to the language services, and coordinate the services, while the service nodes actually invoke the atomic services. The second layer, called Atomic Service, is a set of Web services corresponding to language resources. For example, machine translators, morphological analyzers, dictionaries, and parallel texts are typical language resources. The use of standard interfaces as wrappers for the language resources makes it possible for users to switch between language services without distinguishing the language resources. The third layer is Composite Service, which combines multiple atomic services by means of a Web service workflow. Various composite services have already been constructed, including back translations, which combine two machine translators, and specialized translations involving several atomic services, such as machine translators, part-of-speech taggers, and technical term dictionaries. The shared atomic and composite services decrease the cost of developing intercultural collaboration tools as application systems, and can promote the usage of language resources.

Figure 2: System Layers of the Language Grid

@Since December 2007 when the award recipients started operating the Language Grid, 147 organizations from 18 countries have joined the Language Grid. They include NPO/NGO, public agencies, research institutes such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences and DFKI, and universities such as Stuttgart University, Princeton University, and many Japanese universities. Several companies such as NTT, Toshiba, Oki and Google, also participated in the Language Grid to provide their machine translators. Moreover, the award recipients started a federated operation of the Language Grid with NECTEC in Thailand and the University of Indonesia in Indonesia. Through the global launch, more than 180 language services are shared on the Language Grid.
@These contributions are recognized by the United States and Europe as well as Japan. The award recipientsf approach and their research activities have led to a paradigm shift from distributing language resources to providing language services. Furthermore, their activities are having a significant effect on supporting various social action programs by NPOs, such as foreign patient support in Japan and agricultural support in Vietnam. These remarkable achievements of the recipients have made them eligible for the Achievement Award.
(‚P)@1. Toru Ishida and Yohei Murakami. gInstitutional Design for Service-Oriented Collective Intelligenceh, IEICE Trans. Vol. J93-D, No. 6, pp. 675-682 (2010-6)
(‚Q)@2. Toru Ishida, Yohei Murakami, Rieko Inaba, Donghui Lin, and Masahiro Tanaka. gThe Language Grid: Service-Oriented Multi-Language Infrastructureh, IEICE Trans. Vol. J95-D No.1, pp. 2-10 (2012-1)
(‚R)@3. Toru Ishida (Ed.) The Language Grid: Service-Oriented Collective Intelligence for Language Resource Interoperability. Springer, 2011. ISBN 978-3-642-21177-5.