- Name: Isabel Maria Martins Trancoso
- Place of Birth: Lisbon, Portugal
- Date of Birth: March 7th 1956
- Nationality: Portuguese
- Institutional Address: INESC-ID Lisboa, R. Alves Redol, 9, 1000-029 Lisbon, Portugal.
- Phone and Fax (Office): 351-213100268 / 351-213145843
- E-mail: Isabel.Trancoso@inesc-id.pt
- Academic degrees:
- Agregação in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from
Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Lisbon, in 2002.
- Doutoramento in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from
IST, in 1987.
- Mestrado in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from
IST, in 1984.
- Licenciatura in Electrotechnical Engineering, from IST, in
- Academic career:
- Lecturer at IST since 1979, having become a Full Professor of the
Electrical and Computer Department in 2005.
- In the past, she taught Digital Systems, Programming Languages (Pascal,
C++, etc.) and Computer Architecture.
- She currently teaches Speech Processing and Programming courses.
- She was the Coordinator of the Electrical and Computer Engineering
Curricula of IST from 1998 to 2004.
- Research positions (before 1990):
- Her first research activities involved data cryptography and speech
encryption, the topic of her MSc thesis.
- She has been working in speech coding since 1982, namely on medium-to-low
bit rate coding techniques (CELP and harmonic coding), which is the topic of
her PhD thesis. From October 1984 through June 1985, she pursued this work at
AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey. She holds one patent in speech coding.
- She joined INESC (Instituto de Engenharia de
Sistemas e Computadores), in Lisbon, since its creation in the early eighties,
as a researcher. This institute was later restructured as INESC-ID Lisboa.
She was responsible for INESC's participation in an EUREKA project on speech
coding, during 1988 and 1989. She was also the manager of INESC's Computer
Center, since 1988, for three years.
- Research positions (1990-2000):
- She launched the Speech Processing Group of INESC in 1990. This implied a
shift in her main research interests, from speech coding to virtually all areas
of speech processing, with a focus on the Portuguese language. It also implied
collecting speech resources and building synthesis and recognition systems for
that language. With this purpose, she established a formal protocol
agreement with the Center of Linguistics of the University of Lisbon (CLUL).
She headed INESC's participation in a significant number of
projects devoted to the collection of spoken language resources for European
high quality recordings in anechoic rooms, collected in European project SAM_A, high quality corpus for speech synthesis,
collected in the national project BDFALA, large corpus over the
telephone network, collected in the European project SPEECHDAT, and
spoken dialogue corpus
collected in national project CORAL. She also led INESC's participation in the
European project RELATOR, which led to the foundation
of ELRA (European Language Resources Association). In terms of
pronunciation lexica, besides the ones associated with the above
projects, she also led INESC's participation in the ONOMASTICA
project, aimed at building pronunciation lexicon for proper
names. Here, her main research topic was the pronunciation of acronyms
and foreign names.
One of the first outcomes of the cooperation with CLUL was the joint
development of the first TTS system (DIXI) built from scratch for European
Portuguese in 1991, in the scope of the first PhD thesis she supervised. She later supervised a
PhD thesis on articulatory synthesis and another one on concatenative-based
synthesis, in the scope of the DIXI+ national project, where she participated.
She led INESC's participation in the national project
EDIFALA, aimed at the application of text-to-speech synthesis and word
prediction techniques for children suffering from cerebral palsy.
In terms of speech recognition, at a national level,
she was responsible for the research project REC, with two other
centers in Coimbra and Oporto, aimed at covering different aspects of
speech recognition over the telephone line. A related topic was spoken
language identification, on which she also supervised a Master thesis.
The issue of non-native pronunciation and how it
affects speech recognition was the topic of one of the PhD theses
she supervised and one of the highlights of INESC's participation in
European projects SUNSTAR and VODIS, a project devoted to voice operated driver
information systems, in which she also headed INESC's team.
- Research positions (2001-present):
- In 2001, with the aim of bringing together several research groups which
could potentially add relevant contributions to the area of computational
processing of spoken language for Portuguese, the Speech Processing Group
merged with other research groups in Lisbon, namely from Natural Language
Processing and Neural Networks, becoming the Spoken Language
Systems Lab (L2F) of INESC-ID Lisboa, of which she is the current
scientific coordinator. This represented a new shift of her main research
interests, which now encompass more different areas of spoken language
- She led INESC-ID's recent participation in the European project ALERT,
aimed at the selective dissemination of multimedia information. In this
framework, she also supervised a PhD thesis on topic indexation and segmentation in spoken documents.
This project launched the basis for the automatic broadcast news captioning
system which is currently being deployed at the Portuguese national TV station,
in the framework of the national project TECNOVOZ, in which she also has an
- Another related European project in which she currently leads
INESC-ID's participation is VIDIVIDEO, whose aim is to implement a search
engine with a 1000-element thesaurus, by detecting instances of audio,
visual or mixed-media content. This recently led to the participation in the
TRECVID 2009 evaluation campaign.
- The cooperation with video processing partners is also the framework for
the recent involvement in European project I-DASH where she leads the group's
efforts towards contributing with audio cues to detect child abuse videos in
the internet, in cooperation with several European police forces.
- The recent cooperation with the GAIPS (Intelligent Agents and Synthetic
Character) group of INESC-ID in the framework of European projects E-Circus and
COST 2102, and national project PAPOUS, the story teller, has also been crucial
to the development of multimedia applications.
- This cooperation has recently been extended to the LIREC European project,
whose goal is to study the interaction with robots as lifelong companions,
once the novelty factor wears off.
- In terms of national projects, she recently participated in the IPSOM and
follow-up RICOBA projects, in which her efforts have been directed at the
automatic alignment of spoken books specially aimed at helping the visually
impaired community, and also at providing multimedia materials for computer
aided language learning. The extension of these alignment techniques to cover
other varieties of Portuguese is one of her most recent research areas.
- She also participated in the recently finished WFST project on weighted
finite-state transducers for spoken language processing. This was also the topic
of the most recent PhD thesis she supervised. The focus of this project during
the last two years has been on speech-to-speech machine translation, and the
major outcome the first speech-to-text broadcast news translation system for
Portuguese to English and Spanish.
- She led the national project LECTRA, aimed at recognition of classroom
university lectures. This project also presented an ideal scope for studying
disfluencies and introducing capitalization and punctuation techniques for
- Her latest research efforts are aimed at porting the speech technologies
the group has developed for European Portuguese to other varieties, namely
those spoken in South-American and African countries, with Portuguese as
official language. One of the first outcomes of the PoSTPort project, which she
recently started, is the automatic identification of these Portuguese
- She leads the activities of the CMU-Portugal program, in what
concerns the area of Language and Information Technologies. The
cooperation with the Language Technologies Institute is targeted at dual PhD
degrees in two specific areas: speech-to-speech machine translation and
computer-assisted language learning.
- She participates in the recently approved VITHEA project on developing
software for the treatment of aphasic patients.
- Organization of scientific international meetings:
- ICASSP 2011 - 36th International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal
Processing, Prague, Czech Republic (Special Session co-chair).
- 2010 IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop, Berkeley, California (Technical Chair).
- 2009 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop, Merano,
Italy, December 2009 (Publicity co-Chair).
- INTERSPEECH'2005 (6th Annual Conference of the International Speech
Communication Association), Lisbon, September 2005 (Chair).
- 2001 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop,
Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, 2001 (Sponsorship Chair).
- 1999 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop,
Keystone, Colorado, 1999 (Publicity Chair).
- ESCA-NATO Tutorial and Research Workshop on Speech Under Stress,
Lisboa, 1995 (Organizing Committee).
- EUROSPEECH'95 (Organizer of Special Session "Language
Technology: what can be said, what can be used today, what is expected
for the future"), Madrid, 1995.
- PROPOR (Computational Processing of the Portuguese Language) - with the
and Brazilian research communities, Lisbon, 1993. Chair of the first
workshop in this series, initially designated as EPLP'93. Co-chair of
its sixth edition, in Faro, 2003. Co-Editor of Proceedings published
by Springer-Verlag. The workshop will have its 8th edition in 2008.
- MELECON'89 (IEEE Mediterranean Electrotechnical Conference),
Lisboa, 1989 (Publicity Chair)
- Participation in scientific events:
She has participated in the scientific committee of
several conferences and workshops (the ones in which she participated
both as reviewer and as area coordinator are marked with *). She has
also chaired many sessions in the listed events. The list reflects the wide
range of topics covered by her research.
- ACIDCA (International Conference on Artificial and Computational
Intelligence for Control, Automation and Decision in Engineering and
Industrial Systems), 2000
- ACII (International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent
- ACL (Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics),
- ACM International Conference on Multimedia (Association for Computing Machinery), 2009, 2010*
- APL (Annual Meeting of the Portuguese Association for Linguistics), 2004
- ASR (ISCA Tutorial & Research Workshop on Speech Recognition), 2000
- ASRU (IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop), 2005, 2009
- Coling (International Conference on Computational
- ConfTele (National Telecommunications Conference), 2005 (invited talk)
- ECDL (European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for
Digital Libraries), 2000
- ELECO (International Conference on Electrical and Electronics
- ESCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Interactive Dialogue in
Multi-Modal Systems, 1999
- ESCA Workshop on Speech Synthesis, 1998
- EUROSPEECH since 1991-1999, and its successor INTERSPEECH since 2001,
always as area coordinator *
- EUSIPCO (European Conference on Signal Processing) in 1996, 1998,
2002, and 2004*
- HLT/NAACL (North American Chapter of the Association for Computational
Linguistics - Human Language Technologies), 2009
- ICASSP (IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and
Signal Processing) since 2000, mostly as area coordinator *
- ICME (IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo. Information),
- ICPhS (International Congress of Phonetic Sciences), 2003
- ICSLP (International Conference on Spoken Language Processing),
- IEEE Workshop on Speech Coding - Models, Coders, and Error
- IEEE Workshop on Speech Synthesis, 2002
- ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Speech Synthesis, 2001, 2002
- ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Speech Analysis and Processing for
Knowledge Discovery, 2008
- LREC (International Conference on Language Resources and
Evaluation), 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010
- MIST (ESCA-NATO Workshop on Multi-lingual Interoperability in
Speech Technology), 1999
- MT (Machine Translation and Multilingual applications) in 2000 and
- NOLISP (ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Non-Linear Speech
Processing), 2007, 2009
- PorTAL (Portugal for Natural Language Processing), 2002
- PROPOR in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2010
- RANLP (Recent Advances on Natural Language Processing) in 1997,
2000, 2001, 2003, and 2005
- RLA2C (la Reconnaissance du Locuteur et ses
Applications Commerciales et Criminalistiques), 1997
- SBrT (Brazilian Symposium of Telecommunications), 2007
- SLATE (ISCA Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education), 2009
- SLT (IEEE/ACL Spoken Language Technology Workshop), 2008
- TIL (4th Workshop in Information and Language Technology), 2006
- WIAMIS (International Workshop on Image Analysis for Multimedia
Interactive Services), 2007
- Invited talks:
She gave many invited talks at international and national events, among
- I. Trancoso, "Speech Synthesis and Recognition", Tutorial,
Proc. ICASSP'2000 - Int. Conf. on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal
Processing, Istanbul, Turkey, June 2000.
- I. Trancoso, "Advances in Spoken Language Engineering", Women in Science,
ITC-IRST, Trento, January 2004.
- I. Trancoso, "A Broadcast News Processing Chain for Several Varieties of
Portuguese", SBrT (Brazilian Symposium of Telecommunications), Blumenau,
Brazil, September 2009.
- Editorial Activities:
- She belonged to the Editorial Board of the Speech Communication journal
from 1993 to 2002.
- She has launched the electronic journal ``European Student
Journal of Language and Speech'', with the support of ELSNET and the
associations ESCA and EACL, having been Editor-in-Chief during the
first 3 years.
- She was Guest Editor, together with Harry Printz of a
Special Issue on "Speech Technologies for Mobile and Portable
Devices" of the IEEE Transactions on Audio and Speech
- She was Editor in Chief of the IEEE
Transactions on Audio and Speech Processing from 2003 to 2005.
The first issue published during this period had only 4 papers, reflecting the
problems of the journal at the time she took over.
The first issue published after her term, in January 2006, had 32 papers,
and the journal was renamed Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language
Processing, reflecting the extended scope she had been working for.
- She belonged to the Editorial Board of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine
- She was the lead Guest Editor of the Special Issue
of the Speech Communication journal on Iberian Languages, November-December
- She currently belongs to the editorial board of the EURASIP Signal
Processing Book Series of ELSEVIER.
- She belongs to the editorial board of the Cognitive Computation journal,
published by Springer, since its launching in 2008.
- She was elected to the ESCA (European Speech Communication
Association) Board in 1993, and re-elected in 1997 for her second
4-year term. In 1999, the association was restructured as ISCA
(International Speech Communication Association).
- She was elected in 1998 to the PC-ICSLP (Permanent Council
of International Conferences on Spoken Language Processing). In 2000,
she was elected Secretary of the Council, a position she held until 2004.
- She was re-elected to the Board of ISCA in September 2005, having taken the
position of Vice-President, until September 2007, and President of ISCA
- She was elected member-at-large of the Board of Governors of the Signal
Processing Society (2006-2008).
- She joined the committee of the selection of the
IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award in 2009.
- She was elected in 1999 to the IEEE STC (Speech Technical
Committee). After the end of her term, she maintained her position in the
renamed IEEE SLTC (Speech and Language Technical
Committee) as invited guest, due to her role as Editor in Chief of the Transactions, and as member of
the Board of Governors. She was reelected again in 2009.
- She was invited to join ISTAG (IST programme Advisory
Group) during a 2-year term (2001-2002). She was also invited to a number of
initiatives chaired by the European Commission, such as the Workshop on
"Machine Translation and Human Language Technologies", held in Luxembourg in
February 2006, and the forthcoming
workshop on "The Prospective of Speech-based Interfaces for future Digital
Services", to be held in March 2008.
- She was invited by the European Science Foundation as a member of the
LogICCC panel, in the scope of the Programme Modelling intelligent interaction
- Logic in the Humanities, Social and Computational sciences (2007).
- She was invited to be a national representative in "The Three
Linguistic Spaces" forum in 2001-2002.
- She was the Portuguese delegate of the NATO Research Study Group
on Speech Processing since 1995 to 2000. In October 2000, she resigned
because of other commitments, being replaced by a colleague in the
group. She was the Group Secretary during the last two years.
- She was on the International Advisory Board of the Center for
Person Communication (CPK, Aalborg, Denmark).
- She has participated in the evaluation teams of several research
centers, both international (e.g. KTH), as well as national (member of the
Research Units Evaluation of FCT, November 2003). She has also
participated in the international project evaluation committees of
several European countries (Ireland, Belgium). She has also actively
participated in the evaluation of Portuguese research centers and projects.
- She belonged to EPIC (ELRA Panel of Experts for the Identification
and Collection of Language Resources).
- She has been invited for consultation meetings organized by the
European Commission on Language Technologies in 2008 and 2009.
- She is a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society since 1981
being a senior member since 2003, of ISCA (formerly ESCA) since 1987, and of
ASA (Acoustical Society of America) since 1992. She is also a member of
several national societies: Associação Portuguesa de Linguística,
Associação Portuguesa de Informática and Ordem dos Engenheiros (where
she was nominated "Expert in Telecommunications").
- Awards: 2010 IEEE Signal Processing Society Meritorious Service Award.
English (Certificate of Proficiency in
English, Diploma of English Studies, from the British Institute in
Lisbon), French (high school) and German (1 year).
- Most relevant publications (Full list):
- I. Trancoso and B. Atal, "Efficient Search Procedures for Selecting the
Optimum Innovation in Stochastic Coders", IEEE Trans. on
Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, March 1990. This paper
was integrated in a collection of sellected papers published by the
Acoustical Society of America - Papers in Speech Communication: Speech
- I. Trancoso, "An Overview of Different Trends on CELP Coding",
Proc. NATO ASI on New Advances and Trends on Speech Recognition
and Coding, Granada, July 1993, publ. 1995.
- I. Trancoso, Overview of the chapter on "Transmission and storage" for the
Survey on the state of the art in speech and natural language
processing, R. Cole, J. Mariani, H. Uszkoreit, A. Zaenen and
V. Zue (edts.), 1996. This survey was funded by Directorate General
XIII of the European Commission and by the National Science
- D. Caseiro, I. Trancoso, "A Specialized On-the-Fly Algorithm for
Lexicon and Language Model Composition", IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech,
and Language Processing, IEEE, vol. 14, n. 4, pages 1281-1291, July 2006.
- R. Amaral, H. Meinedo, D. Caseiro, I. Trancoso, J. Neto, "A
Prototype System for Selective Dissemination of Broadcast News in European
Portuguese", EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing, Hindawi
Publishing Corporation, vol. 2007, n. 37507, May 2007.
- F. Batista, D. Caseiro, N. Mamede, I. Trancoso, "Recovering Capitalization and Punctuation Marks for Automatic Speech Recognition: Case Study for the Portuguese Broadcast News", Speech Communication, vol. 50, n. 10, October 2008.
- J. Rouas, I. Trancoso, C. Viana, M. Abreu, "Language and variety verification on broadcast news for Portuguese", Speech Communication, Elsevier, vol. 50, n. 11, November-December 2008.
- I. Trancoso, (in Portuguese) Chapters of the book "Audiovisual
Communications: Technologies, Norms and Applications", IST Press, 2009.