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Charter for the NLIWoD Community Group

Natural Language Interfaces for the Web of Data (NLIWoD) Community Group Charter (V1.0.0)

The mission of the NLIWoD Community Group is to provide standards to analyze, model, unify, test, benchmark and enhance natural language interfaces for the Web of Data. The core goal is to improve the reusability of systems as well as benchmark datasets and to increase as well as measure their quality and performance in an effective and efficient way.

The group will develop at developing modules, benchmarks and test standards as well as unified data vocabularies and ontologies to foster a growing interface landscape. Topics relevant to the community group include all topics related to question answering, information retrieval, keyword search, answer verbalisation.

Furthermore, the NLIWoD CG will incubate a wide and collaborative environment for researchers, companies and practitioners. The group hopes that research as well as industry projects will support and benefit from this community group’s activity.

Join the NLIWoD Working Group.

  • Start date : 17th November 2015
  • End date : Unlimited
  • Chairs : Ricardo Usbeck
  • Public mailing list

Meeting Schedule

  • Teleconferences: bi-monthly telcos to align work
  • Face-to-face: TBA; additional face-to-face meetings may be scheduled by consent of the participants, no more than 3 ordinary per year.


The scope of this CG is threefold:

  1. It seeks consensus for best practices pertaining to the publication of natural language interfaces in the Web of Data.
  2. The CG will collaborate to enhance testing and benchmarking environments for natural language interfaces for the Web of Data.
  3. The core goal is to improve the reusability as well as quality and efficieny of NLIWoD systems by introducing best practices.

Out of Scope

The following features are out of scope, and will not be addressed by this working group.

  • The CG will not develop new NLIWoD systems.

Criteria towards Recommendation Proposals

In order to advance to Proposed Recommendation, each specification is expected to have at least two independent implementations of each of feature defined in the specification.

Each specification should contain a section detailing any known security or privacy implications for implementers, Web authors, and end users.


More detailed milestones and updated publication schedules are available on the group publication status page.

  • Milestone 1 (Q4/2016)
    • Draft for a first test suite including various datasets as well as benchmark queries
    • Draft for a first specification of benchmarking methods
    • Collection of existing interfaces for NLI systems on the Web
  • Milestone 2 (Q2/2017)
    • Requirements for NLI Benchmarks
    • First test suite including various datasets as well as benchmark queries
    • First specification of benchmarking methods
    • Draft for best practices for publishing natural language interfaces (and modules) on the web which unifies different approaches
  • Milestone 3 (Q4/2017)
    • Best practices for publishing natural language interfaces (and modules) on the web to tackle heterogeneous machine-interfaces
    • Second test suite extending datasets and benchmark queries
    • Improved specification of benchmarking methods


The elicitation will follow the group discussions (telcos) and external input from research projects as well as industry statements.

External Organizations and Projects

External organizations can enhance the work of this CG by providing input via the mailing list, participation in telcos and face-to-face meetings. They are also invited to join the CG directly.




  • Question Answering Interest Group, founded in 2014 to accomplish a unification of German QA research


The group encourages questions, comments and issues on its public mailing lists and document repositories, as described in Communication.

The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration, with the agreement from each participant to Royalty-Free licensing of those submissions under the W3C Patent Policy.


Meeting minutes from teleconference and face-to-face meetings will be archived for public review, and technical discussions and issue tracking will be conducted in a manner that can be both read and written to by the general public. Working Drafts and Editor’s Drafts of specifications will be developed on a public repository, and may permit direct public contribution requests.

Information about the group (including details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants, and meetings) will be available from the NLIWoD Community Group home page.

Most NLIWoD Community Group teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis.

This group primarily conducts its technical work on the public mailing list (archive). The public is invited to post messages to this list.

The group may use a Member-confidential mailing list for administrative purposes and, at the discretion of the Chairs and members of the group, for member-only discussions in special cases when a participant requests such a discussion.

Decision Policy

This group will seek to make decisions through consensus and due process, per the W3C Process Document (section 3.3). Typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress, but consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs may call for a group vote, and record a decision along with any objections.

To afford asynchronous decisions and organizational deliberation, any resolution (including publication decisions) taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference will be considered provisional. A call for consensus (CfC) will be issued for all resolutions (for example, via email and/or web-based survey), with a response period from one week to 10 working days, depending on the chair’s evaluation of the group consensus on the issue. If no objections are raised on the mailing list by the end of the response period, the resolution will be considered to have consensus as a resolution of the Working Group.

All decisions made by the group should be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available, or unless reopened at the discretion of the Chairs or the Director.

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Process Document (Section 3.4, Votes), and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Community Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, the group seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.


This Community Group will use the W3C Software and Document license for all its deliverables.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 5.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

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