The CV below is very out of date (approx 2012) !!!!

For an up-to-date version (Jan 2017), see here:

Currently in the process of updating it and making it modular:

Fabio Rinaldi

Affiliation and personal data

Current affiliation:

Institute of Computational Linguistics, 
University of Zurich,
Binzmühlestrasse 14, 
CH-8050 Zürich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 635 6724
Fax: +41 44 635 6809
Email: rinaldi AT 


BSc+MSc in Computer Science (University of Udine, Italy)

PhD in Computational Linguistics (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Before entering University I obtained a technical qualification in electronics (1983-1988), which involved studies of mathematics, electronics and computer science. My undergraduate studies (1989-1994) focused mainly on computer science and mathematics. There was no formal separation at that time in Italy among bachelor and master studies: a single degree ("Laurea") was awarded after completing the studies and writing a master thesis ("Tesi di Laurea"). In order to do research for my thesis, I stayed for two years (1993-1994) at an important research institute (ITC-IRST, Trento, Italy). My MSc thesis focused on Knowledge Representation for Natural Language Processing Systems. Later, I attended various courses in NLP and computation at the Universities of Manchester and Zurich. My doctoral dissertation is about Knowledge Mining over Scientific and Technical Documentation.

Employment History

1/01/00 - Present, IFI - University of Zurich (Switzerland), Senior Researcher, Lecturer

From 2000 to 2002 I worked in the WebExtrAns project, which (despite its name) was not concerned with Information Extraction from the Web, but rather with Answer Extraction from Technical Manuals. We collaborated with the University of Tartu (Estonia). From September 2002 to July 2005 I worked in the EU-funded project Parmenides, with many different European partners. In both WebExtrAns and Parmenides I acted as local coordinator. From June 2004 to March 2005 I had additionally a part-time position (20%) in the EU funded Network of Excellence REWERSE. Besides my activity in the projects, I have been responsible for GNU Software for the entire Institute (2001-2004) and webmaster of the CL group (2001-2002). Since March 2005 I have a permanent position. I am currently teaching a couple of classes per semester and doing research on Text Mining for Biomedical Literature within the context of the OntoGene project, of which I am local coordinator.

1/09/96 - 31/12/99, UMIST - Manchester (UK), RA

In this period I worked as a Research Assistant at UMIST . My activity was mainly related to the EU funded project FACILE (Information Extraction from Financial News) (4th Framework, Language Engineering, Project No. LE2440). The other participating institutions were Quinary SpA (Milan), Sema Group and Caja Segovia, (Spain), IRST (Trento) and Ofai (Vienna). FACILE was concerned with text categorization and related information extraction techniques applied to the selective dissemination of news to end users in the financial sector. During the project I coordinated our participation to the MUC7 Named Entity Extraction Task. MUC7 was the last of the Message Understanding Conferences. After the termination of the FACILE project I worked for a while on the EU funded project CONCERTO.

15/08/95 - 31/08/96, University of Udine & ITC/IRST (Italy), junior RA

In this period I had to remain available for a possible call to military service (which was then compulsory in Italy), so it was near impossible to find a real job, until I was finally discharged, without being called. In the period 15.08.1995 - 15.01.1996 I did some research work on User Modeling and on Information Retrieval within the AI group at the University of Udine. I also worked as an external consultant for IRST on User Modeling thematics. In the period 22.01.1996 to 31.08.1996 I worked as a junior Research Assistant at IRST. My work was related with the EU funded project GIST (Generation of Instructional Text)

15/03/95 - 15/08/95, GMD / IPSI - Darmstadt (Germany), researcher

From 15.03.95 to 14.06.95 I worked at GMD/IPSI (now Fraunhofer IPSI) as a Guest Researcher in the (former) KOMET group (Multilingual Text Generation). After my contract expired I stayed at IPSI two months longer on a voluntary basis. In this period I mainly worked at the on-line documentation of the Generalized Upper Model .

01/06/93 - 28/02/95, ITC / IRST - Trento (Italy), student assistant

I worked as student assistant in the (former) Natural Language Processing group of IRST (Istituto per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica - Trento/Italy) during the preparation of my master's thesis. My work dealt mainly with the Knowledge Base of the AlFresco prototype, however I had the opportunity to explore most of the aspects of the system. The work was supervised by Prof. Carlo Tasso (University of Udine) and by Dr. Oliviero Stock (IRST).

Research funding

I am familiar with most of the EU funding instruments in FP7, as well as with Swiss national funding opportunities. I have obtained funding for the following projects:

  • [2003] "Parmenides" (EU FP5 project): I contributed to the project proposal, together with a number of European partners. Total Project Budget: 3,251,490 Euro. EU funding: 1,954,875 Euro. Swiss participants were funded separately. Funding of our group: 392,291 CHF (231,306 Euro). Duration: 36 months.

  • [2007] "Detection of biological interactions from biomedical literature" (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation): I wrote the project proposal. SNF funding: 114,046 CHF. Additional funding and support provided by Novartis Pharma AG. Duration: 18 months.

  • [2008] "A Comparitive Study of Syntactic Parsers and their Applications in Biomedical Text Mining" (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation): I wrote the project proposal. SNF funding: 70,000 CHF. Duration: 18 months.

Research Interests

Main areas of research:

  • Text Mining (in particular over Biomedical Literature)

  • Question Answering

  • Information Extraction

  • Computational Terminology and Ontology Learning

Other areas of interest:

  • Knowledge Representation

  • Natural Language Generation

  • User Modeling

  • Information Retrieval

Computer Skills

  • Programming Languages: in-depth knowledge of various languages (C, Lisp, Prolog, Java, Perl, etc.)

    I have a vast programming experience with C, Lisp, Prolog, Java and Perl, plus a fairly good knowledge of C++, Python, PHP, Javascript, Tcl/Tk and Pascal. I have some experience with a number of other programming languages (including FORTRAN, Basic, Modula II, OPS5, Smalltalk, Expect).

  • Operating Systems: Unix/Linux at system administrator level

    I'm very familiar with Unix-based operating systems, including substantial elements of system administration knowledge (NIS, NFS, DNS). I have used various flavours of Linux, starting with Red Hat, moving then to Debian, and more recently to Ubuntu, which is now my favourite. I am proficient in unix shell scripting, in particular with bash. At IFI I was for a couple of years in charge of GNU software on the institute-wide Solaris system. I have good user-level knowledge of Windows 95/98/00/XP/NT/VISTA. I have also experience with the Macintosh environment.

  • Internet Protocols and Document Languages: I know well the most common Internet protocols (HTTP, FTP, NNTP, SMTP, POP, IMAP, MIME) and I am very familiar with HTML and XML-related technologies: XML, XSL, XSLT, CSS, DTD, XML Schema, XPath, SAX, DOM.

  • Development Tools: I regularly use Open-Source tools, such as XEmacs, CVS, GCC, (GNU) make.

  • Productivity Tools: Although familiar with the MS-Office family of products (Word, Powerpoint and Excel in particular), I prefer to use open-source tools, such as OpenOffice and LaTeX, when possible.

  • Other: I have a good knowledge of Relational Databases (including the query language SQL , the ER model, and the - now defunct - Ingres DBMS).


  • Italian: native

  • English: fluent

    Since 1996 (when I moved to Manchester) I use English daily as a working language. My last official test of English was in February 1995, I took the TOEFL and obtained the mark of 643/670 (the way the marks are assigned has changed since then).

  • German: advanced

    [R: near-native; U: advanced; S: good; W: medium] Since January 2000 I have lived in a German-speaking part of Switzerland and therefore have to use German for daily life. Over the years I attended numerous courses, and have passed the following examinations of the `Goethe Institute' (the most authoritative center for the teaching of the German language): Zentrale Mittelstufenprüfung (2002), Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (2003), Grosses Deutsches Sprachdiplom (2007).

  • Spanish: advanced

    [R,U: near-native; S: good; W: medium]

  • French: intermediate

    [R: good; U: medium; S: elementary; W: none]

  • Portuguese: basic

    [R: good; U: basic; S: none; W: none]

  • Japanese: elementary

    In 1998 and 1999 I attended Japanese courses at the Centre for Japanese Studies in Manchester. My final marks were 39/40 (reading), 38/40 (listening) and 17/20 (oral). In 2007 I attended an intensive one-month course in Tokyo to refresh my knowledge of the language. Afterwards, I attended a number of courses at the language center of the University of Zurich. On Dec. 7th 2008 I took the official Japanese Language Proficiency Test (4), and passed it. At present, I can read and write hiragana and katakana. I know the meaning and pronunciation of about 100 Kanji characters. I can recognize the approximate meaning of about 400 Kanji characters. My conversational skills are rather limited.

R: ability to read written language, U: ability to understand spoken language, S: ability to speak the language, W: ability to write


This is a list of the projects that I have worked for, in various capacities, from research assistant to project manager

  • ALFRESCO (1993-1995): a multimodal NLP system for a user interested in painters and frescoes of the 14th Century (an ITC-IRST internal project).

  • LRE-GIST (1996): multilingual generation (English, German, Italian) of forms for public offices (funded by the European Union).

  • LE-FACiLE (1996-99): Online News Classification (funded by the European Union).

  • ESPRIT-Concerto (1999): development of improved techniques for indexing, searching and retrieving textual documents, by taking into account the meaning of these documents.

  • WebExtrAns (2000-2002): Answer Extraction from technical manuals.

  • Parmenides (2002-2004): Ontology driven Temporal Text mining on organizational data for extracting temporal valid knowledge. (local coordinator)

  • REWERSE (2004)

  • OntoGene (2005-present) (project manager)

Academic Activities

Journal reviewer: ACM Computing Surveys, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, BMC Bioinformatics, Computational Linguistics, Expert Systems, Language Resources and Evaluation, Natural Language Engineering, Journal of Biomedical Infomatics (Elsevier).

Scientific committee member (conferences and workshops): workshop on Ontologies and Information Extraction (2003), LREC 2004, QA in Restricted Domains (at ACL 2004), ROMAND2004 (at COLING2004), workshop on User Oriented Evaluation of Knowledge Discovery Systems (at LREC2004), workshop on the Application of Language and Semantic Technologies to support Knowledge Management Processes at EKAW 2004, special issue of the Journal Computer Speech and Language (Elsevier Science) on Multiword Expressions (2004), 3rd international workshop on Paraphrasing (IWP2005), CICLING 2006, LREC 2006, ROMAND 2006, EACL 2006 (student session), CICLING 2007, ACL 2007 (poster and demo session), LREC 2008, ECCB 2008, NLDB 2008, CICLING 2009, NLDB 2009.

Reviewer (conferences, workshops and collections): New Directions in Question Answering edited by Mark Maybury (2003), Estudios de Lingüística Aplicada (special issue, 2003), Question Answering track at IJCNLP 2005, Computational Linguistics (special issue on Question Answering in Restricted Domains, 2005), 2nd international symposium on Languages in Biology and Medicine (LBM 2007), ACL HLT 2008 (Question Answering track), EMNLP 2008.

Conference organization committee member: COLING2004.

Awards, Invited Presentations and Academic Visits

In 1991 I received an Erasmus grant from the European Community, thanks to which I attended some courses at the University of Nottingham, UK.

In 1994 I received a grant from DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst -- German Academic Exchange Service) thanks to which I attended the ``Internationalen Sommerkurs'' at the University of Mannheim in September 1994.

July 2007. Guest Researcher, Tsujii laboratory, University of Tokyo, Japan.

December 6th, 2003. Invited presentation at the workshop "Ontology Learning and Question Answering Tools from/for Large Text Collections", DaimlerChrysler Research Center, Ulm, Germany.

December 9th, 2005. Invited presentation at the Computational Knowledge Management and Text Mining Unit of Novartis, Basel, Switzerland.

July 7th, 2007. Invited presentation at Tsujii laboratory, University of Tokyo, Japan.

July 24th, 2008. Invited presentation at the HLT group, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento, Italy.

November 7th, 2008. Invited presentation at the DBTA workshop on Information Retrieval (Algorithms and Systems for Text and Multimedia Retrieval), Basel, Switzerland.

June 8th, 2009. Invited presentation at the Center for Computational Pharmacology- University of Denver, Colorado.

July 6th, 2009. Invited presentation at NaCTeM - The National Center for Text Mining, Manchester, UK.

July 8th, 2009. Invited presentation at EBI - European Center for Bioinformatics, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.

Memberships and Affiliations

I am a member of the Swiss Informatics Society and the Swiss Group for Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science (SGAICO), which is a member of the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI). Formerly, I was a member of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence. I am also a member of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) and of the ACM.

Selected Publications

I am author or co-author of 64 published papers, of which 60 peer-reviewed: 6 journal papers, 2 articles in books (excluding conference proceedings), 29 articles in international conferences, 19 in workshops. A complete and up-to-date list can be found at

Below a selection of five representative papers, which document some of the areas of my research activities (text mining [1,2], terminology and ontology learning [3], question answering [4], document annotation [5]).

  1. Fabio Rinaldi, Thomas Kappeler, Kaarel Kaljurand, Gerold Schneider, Manfred Klenner, Simon Clematide, Michael Hess, Jean-Marc von Allmen, Pierre Parisot, Martin Romacker, Therese Vachon. OntoGene in BioCreative II. Genome Biology, 2008, 9:S13. doi:10.1186/gb-2008-9-s2-s13

  2. Fabio Rinaldi, Gerold Schneider, Kaarel Kaljurand, Michael Hess, Martin Romacker. An environment for relation mining over richly annotated corpora: the case of GENIA. BMC Bioinformatics 2006, 7(Suppl 3):S3. doi:10.1186/1471-2105-7-S3-S3

  3. Fabio Rinaldi, Elia Yuste, Gerold Schneider, Michael Hess, David Roussel. Exploiting Technical Terminology for Knowledge Management. In Ontology Learning from Text: Methods, Evaluation and Applications, Paul Buitelaar, Philipp Cimiano, Bernardo Magnini (editors). IOS Press, 2005.

  4. Fabio Rinaldi, Michael Hess, James Dowdall, Diego Mollá, Rolf Schwitter. Question Answering in Terminology-rich Technical Domains. In " New Directions in Question Answering" Maybury, M. T. editor. 2004. AAAI/MIT Press.

  5. Fabio Rinaldi, James Dowdall, Michael Hess, Jeremy Ellman, Gian Piero Zarri, Andreas Persidis, Luc Bernard, Haralampos Karanikas. Multilayer annotations in Parmenides. The K-CAP2003 workshop on "Knowledge Markup and Semantic Annotation", October 25-26, 2003. Sanibel, Florida, USA.