Publications

Proper Name Transcription/Transliteration with ICU Transforms
We describe our experience with a deep localization of Google Maps, where millions of geographic names from diverse origins had to be represented in several target languages, including Russian, Mandarin, and Japanese. For example, a map of Western Europe on maps.google.co.jp shows Japanese labels for almost all labeled features. We tackle the problem of transliterating from several source languages into several target languages by pivoting through an explicit intermediate phonetic representation.
Conference paper, October 2010. Sascha Brawer, Martin Jansche, Hiroshi Takenaka, Yui Terashima: Proper Name Transcription/Transliteration with ICU Transforms. 34th Internationalization & Unicode Conference, Santa Clara, CA, USA. October 2010.
ISO 19137:2007 — Geographic Information — Core Profile of the Spatial Schema
ISO 19137:2007 defines a core profile of the spatial schema specified in ISO 19107 that specifies, in accordance with ISO 19106, a minimal set of geometric elements necessary for the efficient creation of application schemata. It supports many of the spatial data formats and description languages already developed and in broad use within several nations or liaison organizations.
International standard, 2007. International Organization for Standardization (ISO), TC 211, Working Group 7, Project 19137.
Erweiterung von OpenOffice um eine Rechtschreibprüfung für Rumantsch Grischun
Outlines how to to extend the free software package OpenOffice.org by a spell checker for Rumantsch Grischun. The latter is a compromise language that unifies several variants of Romansh, an endangered Gallo-Romance language that is spoken and written in south-eastern Switzerland.
Concept paper, December 2003.
Modellieren raumbezogener Daten. Eine Einführung unter Berücksichtigung von UML und INTERLIS
An introduction to modeling spatial data and the model-driven architecture. Intended for practitioners without any background in Computer Science or Geomatics.
Textbook, October 2003. Joseph Dorfschmid und Sascha Brawer: Modellieren raumbezogener Daten. Eine Einführung unter Berücksichtigung von UML und INTERLIS. Distributed by the Swiss Federal Office of Topography, Coordination of Geographic Information and Geographic Information Systems. October 2003.
An Alignment of Generally Used Spatial Formats and Description Languages with ISO 19107
Collects background information for defining a core profile of ISO 19107.
ISO document, May 2003. International Organization for Standardization (ISO), TC 211, Working Group 7, Project 19137. Document ISO/TC 211 N 1459, May 2003.
Farben in INTERLIS 2
After discussing the properties of various color spaces, the paper proposes to use a specific device-independent space for specifying colors in the modeling language INTERLIS 2.
Commissioned study, January 2000. Customer: Swiss Federal Office of Topography, Directorate of Cadastral Surveying.
Studie zum Übersichtsplan des Kantons Zürich
A concept paper describing how a Swiss state could make its official map more widely used, and how it could streamline the production and distribution process. The study outlines how the map could be semi-automatically derived from cadastral surveying data.
Commissioned study, August 1999. By Joseph Dorfschmid and Sascha Brawer. Customer: Kanton Zürich, Amt für Raumordnung und Vermessung.
An Architecture for Content Analsysis of Documents and its Use in Information and Knowledge Management Tasks
Presents an architecture for document content management, with particular emphasis on component fuctionalities and reconfigurability for different content management tasks.
Journal article, April 1998. Branimir K. Boguraev, Christopher Kennedy, and Sascha Brawer: An Architecture for Content Analsysis of Documents and its Use in Information and Knowledge Management Tasks. ACM SIGCHI Bulletin 30 (2), April 1998.
Dynamic Presentation of Document Content for Rapid On-Line Skimming
This paper discusses the notion of strong contextualisation of document highlights, how this translates into necessary features for document analysis, and how the document abstractions derived from such principles facilitate dynamic delivery of document content. We describe a range of dynamic document viewers which embody novel presentation metaphors for document content delivery.
Conference paper, March 1998. Branimir K. Boguraev, Yin Yin Wong, Christopher Kennedy, Rachel Bellamy, Sascha Brawer, and Jason Swartz: Dynamic Presentation of Document Content for Rapid On-Line Skimming. AAAI Spring Symposium on Intelligent Text Summarization, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA. March 1998.
Patti: Compiling Unification-Based Finite-State Automata into Machine Instructions for a Superscalar Pipelined RISC Processor
Describes a compilation technique which allows to speed up natural language analysis by using fairly low-level optimization techniques. The generated code is so efficient that unification and pattern matching become neglectible factors in the overall performance of a system.
Master’s thesis (Diplomarbeit), January 1998. Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.
Treating German with a Provably Context-Free Grammar: Coping with Subcategorization, Unbounded Dependencies and Partially Free Word-Order
An abbreviated English version of “Mechanismen einer kontextfreien Grammatik für das Deutsche” (see below).
Conference paper, May 1995. 5. Tagung der Computerlinguistik-Studenten (TaCoS ’95), Saarland University, Saabrücken, Germany. May 1995.
Mechanismen einer kontextfreien Grammatik für das Deutsche
Presents a grammar which uses only atomic unification and can therefore be shown to be context-free. Nevertheless, the grammar is able to deal with linguistic phenomena such as subcategorization, free word order in the German Mittelfeld and unbounded dependency constructions.
Conference paper, September 1994. 18th German Annual Conference on Artificial Intelligence (KI-94), Student Program, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany. September 1994.

Patents

Mobile Sitemaps
United States Patent US 8,234,266; filed on January 25, 2010; issued on July 31, 2012. Assignee: Google Inc. Inventors: Alan C. Strohm, Feng Hu, Sascha B. Brawer, Maximilian Ibel, Ralph M. Keller, Narayanan Shivakumar, and Elad Gil.
Mobile Sitemaps
United States Patent US 7,653,617; filed on May 1, 2006; issued on January 26, 2010. Assignee: Google Inc. Inventors: Alan C. Strohm, Feng Hu, Sascha B. Brawer, Maximilian Ibel, Ralph M. Keller, Narayanan Shivakumar, and Elad Gil.
Web Crawler Scheduler that Utilizes Sitemaps from Websites
United States Patent US 7,769,742; filed on June 30, 2005; issued on August 3, 2010. Assignee: Google Inc. Inventors: Sascha B. Brawer, Maximilian Ibel, Ralph M. Keller, and Narayanan Shivakumar.
Sitemap Generating Client for Web Crawler
United States Patent US 7,801,881; filed on May 31, 2005; issued on September 21, 2010. Assignee: Google Inc. Inventors: Sascha B. Brawer, Maximilian Ibel, Ralph M. Keller, and Narayanan Shivakumar.
Sitemap Generating Client for Web Crawler
United States Patent US 8,037,055; filed on August 23, 2010; issued on October 11, 2011. Assignee: Google Inc. Inventors: Sascha B. Brawer, Maximilian Ibel, Ralph M. Keller, and Narayanan Shivakumar.
Methods and Systems for Interactive Classification of Objects
United States Patent Application US 2003/0179236 A1; filed on February 21, 2003; published on September 25, 2003. Assignee: Xerox Corporation. Inventors: Lance E. Good, Mark J. Stefik, and Alexander [=Sascha] Brawer.
System and Method for Multi-Dimensional Foraging and Retrieval of Documents
United States Patent US 7,707,210; filed on December 18, 2003; issued on April 27, 2010. Assignee: Xerox Corporation. Inventors: Mark J. Stefik and Alexander [=Sascha] Brawer.

Lecture

Programmiertechniken der Computerlinguistik
An introduction to programming techniques in Computational Linguistics. The one-year lecture, which I taught twice, teaches basic skills of the programming language Prolog before introducing students to tasks related to natural language analysis.
Lecture (Lehrauftrag), October 1997 to July 1999. University of Zurich, Department of Computer Science, Computational Linguistics. October 1997 to July 1999.

Various Talks

Java Security: How Free Software Is Secured Using the Java Language
After a general introduction to why Java seems a reasonable choice for writing large and robust free software packages, the talk discusses the security features of the Java platform. It is shown how the various actors play together to ensure type safety, encapsulation and declarative access control. Four concrete denial-of-service attacks illustrate the importance of enhancing the platform by techniques for managing resource consumption.
Conference presentation, February 2004. Sascha Brawer, Chris Gray, Dalibor Topić, and Mark Wielaard. Java Security: How Free Software Is Secured Using the Java Language. 4th Free and Open Source Software Developers’ Meeting (FOSDEM 2004). Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. February 22, 2004.
GNU Classpath: Core Classes for a Diversity of Java Virtual Machines
Presents the motivation and current state of the GNU Classpath project, which is providing the core class library for a very diverse set of free Java Virtual Machines.
Conference presentation, February 2004. Sascha Brawer and Mark Wielaard. GNU Classpath: Core Classes for a Diversity of Java Virtual Machines. 4th Free and Open Source Software Developers’ Meeting (FOSDEM 2004), Java Developer Room. Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. February 21, 2004.
Event presentation, February 2004. Sascha Brawer and Mark Wielaard. GNU Classpath: Core Classes for a Diversity of Java Virtual Machines. 1st Let’s Open The Source Event (LOTS 2004). Universität Bern, Berne, Switzerland. February 18, 2004.
Die Open-Sorce- und Freie-Software-Szene in der Schweiz
Gibt es in der Schweiz eine «F/OSS»-Szene? Der Vortrag zeigt, wer sich aus welchen Gründen im Bereich der Freien und Open-Source-Software engagiert.
Event presentation, February 2004. Sascha Brawer and Dietrich Feist. Die Open-Source und Freie-Software-Szene in der Schweiz. 1st Let’s Open The Source Event (LOTS 2004), Community Evening. Universität Bern, Berne, Switzerland. February 18, 2004.
Current NSDI Activities in Switzerland
Describes the Swiss activities for building a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The talk reports on experience with concrete applications in cadastral surveying, metadata and address management. Despite some minor issues, a fully model-driven architecture is shown to be a realistic vision.
Workshop presentation, May 2002. Hans-Rudolf Gnägi, Sascha Brawer, and Claude Eisenhut. Current NSDI Activities in Switzerland. 14th Plenary Meeting of the ISO Technical Committee for Geographic Information/Geomatics, Workshop on Standards in Action, Bangkok, Thailand. May 22, 2002.
Synergy Server
Presents the architecture of a modular, federated client/server system for integrating the findings of heterogenous knowledge sources. Example sources may include patent databases, or the output of natural-language processing components that extract information from semi-structured documents. The synergy server uses a simple and efficient spreading activation algorithm along “association paths” to infer related items for any object in its database.
Company-internal conference presentation, May 2001. Sascha Brawer. Synergy Server. SnapShot 2001 (conference internal to Xerox PARC), Palo Alto, CA, USA. May 25, 2001.
Invited talk, March 2001. Presented to the Knowledge Systems team in the Modeling, Algorithm and Informatics Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA. March 29, 2001.
Patti: Compiling Unification-Based Finite-State Automata to PowerPC Machine Instructions
Presents the core ideas of Sascha Brawer’s diploma thesis, a novel compilation method that allows to perform information extraction tasks in a very efficient way.
Invited talk, September 1999. Presented to IBM T.J. Watson Research Center (Yorktown Heights, NY, USA); Lucent Bell Labs (Murray Hill, NJ, USA); Xerox PARC (Palo Alto, CA, USA); Saarland University (Saarbrücken, Germany); University Zürich (Switzerland). September 1999 to February 2000.

Term Papers

Like every student, I had to write some papers for university. Most of them didn’t have much interesting content. However, the subsequent two might possibly be useful for others.

R. Montagues Semantikmodellierung in “English as a Formal Language”
Discusses Richard Montague’s work “English as a Formal Language” and compares its semantics modeling with “On the Proper Treatment of Quantification in Ordinary English,” the well-known “Montague Grammar.” In EFL, natural language is not translated into an intermediate logical representation; instead, English expressions are interpreted directly. Of main interest is how the means of Intensional Predicate Logic are simulated by other mechanisms.
Term paper (Seminararbeit), June 1995. Sascha Brawer. R. Montagues Semantikmodellierung in “English as a Formal Language.” Term paper (Seminararbeit), Saarland University. June 1995.
Computational Lexicology
Re-hashes two articles that describe methods to convert typesetting files for a dictionary into a (relational) lexical database. Techniques are shown to generate subsumption hierarchies and to assign a value to the semantic attribute “natural gender.”
Term paper (Proseminararbeit), June 1993. Sascha Brawer. Computational Lexicology. Term paper (Proseminararbeit), Saarland University. June 1993.