Metaphor BAA Questions

#QuestionAnswerDate Posted
001 Is a performer expected to address all four languages or is it ok to focus on a subset of the four? See Section 1.A.3. Program Features; (1) Languages and Cultures. “In Phase 1, all four languages/cultures will be addressed concurrently. In Phase 2, the case studies will address all four languages/cultures. However, any single case study may involve all or a subset of the languages/cultures.” 06/03/11
002 What is the funding level for the program? See FAQ B1 under Engagement Opportunities, 06/03/11
003 Are the native language texts for analysis provided by the Metaphor Program or do you expect the performers to acquire texts through their research? See Section 1.A.3. Program Features; (4) Textual Data. “Performers are required to gather large amounts of textual data for development in each native language of interest. 06/03/11
004 Where can I find the materials from the Metaphor Program pre-solicitation conference (Proposers’ Day)? 06/03/11
005 How do I ask proprietary questions in the context of this BAA? See Part One, Overview Information, Questions. Do not send questions with proprietary content. 06/03/11
006 The BAA says that sentiment analysis is excluded from the program and yet it asks for identification of affect associated with the conceptual metaphors. Isn’t this sentiment analysis? No. Sentiment analysis refers to the statistical analysis of texts to identify trends in people’s attitudes toward particular items. The affect associated with the conceptual metaphor is meant to label the affective orientation of the metaphor’s content. 06/03/11
007 The Technical Volume guidelines in the Metaphor Program BAA have a limit of 30 pages. Is this single or double spaced? It is not specified in the BAA, so offerors may select the line spacing. 06/03/11
008 We are interested in participating in the Metaphor Program. How can we do that? See Section 3, Eligibility Information. Also, for possible teaming opportunities, go to the IARPA website (, Engagement Opportunities, Metaphor Program. Presentations given by several attendees of the Proposer’s Day are posted under the link to the BAA. See also Section 2, Award Information. 06/03/11
009 Is it permissible to submit a proposal with a partial solution? No. See Section 1.A.2. Program Structure. “Offerors must address both phases of the program in their proposals.” See Section 2: Award Information. “All aspects of Phases 1 and 2 are solicited under this BAA. This BAA will result in awards for all phases of the program.” 06/03/11
010 Can a person be included as a contributor on more than one proposal? Yes. See FAQ T1 under Engagement Opportunities, However, an individual or organization associated with multiple teams must take care not to commit more resources than can be effectively applied to the program under the BAA to which they are proposing. Please note that we will not pay multiple times for the same work. The contractor’s planned work in each proposal must be clear. 06/10/11
011 Would it be possible to post organizational information on the IARPA website, like that in the Proposers’ Day presentations, to encourage teaming opportunities? No. Additional capability presentations will not be added to the Metaphor Program Proposers’ Day information on the IARPA website. 06/10/11
012 Would it be possible for IARPA to provide access to the attendee list for the Proposers’ Day to identify potential teaming partners? Yes. IARPA has posted the list of Metaphor Program Proposers’ Day attendees who agreed to have their organizational information and capabilities shared. 06/10/11
013 The BAA requires automated methods for the discovery of linguistic and conceptual metaphors. Is it acceptable to propose supervised machine learning methods, i.e. methods that depend on some hand-labeled data to train the automated system? Or is the program mainly interested in unsupervised methods? IARPA has no preference, as long as the solution addresses the specific needs of the Metaphor program. See Section 1.A.6. Program Details - Phase 1: Metaphorical Language Analysis Methodology of the BAA, which provides: “[o]fferors will clearly define and describe their concept of the metaphorical language analysis methodology described in Section 1.A.4. and their approach to automation of the process. Required features of the metaphorical language analysis methodology are detailed in sections 1.A.6.a – 1.A.6.g of the BAA.” 06/20/11
014 Is it an acceptable management structure to have more than one Principal Investigator (PI)? Yes. Details of the management structure are left to the offeror. See Section 4.B.1. Section 2: Summary of Proposal, F. Project Contributors, which states: “…Offerors will provide…a detailed description of the roles that contributors (including Principal Investigator(s)) will play based on their qualifications and on their level of effort in each year of the Program….” See also subsection 5.A.2, Effectiveness of Work plan, regarding evaluation for this factor of the BAA. 06/21/11
015 Section 1.B.3. Program Timeline of the BAA indicates that PI Meeting #5 is to take place in month 60. In BAA Section 6.B.4.a., it is stated that "For costing purposes, the offeror should expect four PI Meetings (including a Kick-Off Meeting) in Phase 1 and two PI Meetings in Phase 2." However, in the same paragraph, it is stated that “the Metaphor Program intends to hold a program-level Kick-Off meeting during the first month of the program and then hold program-level PI Meetings approximately every six months." We assume that the intended plan is 4 PI meetings in Phase 1 (including one kick-off meeting) and two PI meetings in Phase 2. Is that the correct interpretation? Yes. As noted in paragraph 6.B.4.a, the Metaphor Program intends to hold four PI Meetings in Phase 1 (the Kick-Off meeting is considered the first PI Meeting) and two in Phase 2. 06/23/11
016 Is human interaction permitted during the process of identifying linguistic metaphors? How linguistic metaphors are identified is left to the offeror to propose. See Section 1.A.6.c. in the BAA. “The Government is seeking creative, automated solutions to identifying linguistic metaphors in textual data….All linguistic metaphors must be discovered in the textual data, not manually created….All linguistic metaphors must be stored with the textual context in which they occur.” 06/23/11
017 Is it acceptable to submit a cost proposal using GSA schedule rates? Would other discounted commercial rates be acceptable? Your cost proposal must address the elements specified in paragraph 4.B.2, Volume 2, Cost Proposal. If your proposal is selected for negotiation, the contracting officer may request (1) other than cost or pricing data or (2) cost or pricing data, depending on the circumstances. IARPA cost-reimbursement contracts typically require cost or pricing data. See also Section 5.A.5, Cost Realism. 06/23/11
018 Do you have any preferred simplified methods for small companies? No. All proposals are evaluated against the same standards, as specified in Section 5 of the BAA. 06/23/11
019 Section 1.B.1. of the BAA lists the Phase 1 program metrics. There is a minor ambiguity for the Month 11 metric. One reading of the BAA suggests that this metric need only be met in 2 of the 4 languages; another reading suggests that it must be met in all four languages. Please clarify. Phase 1 metrics must be met for all four languages. See Section 1.B.1. Program Milestones and Metrics of the BAA. “Target metrics for each target concept in all four languages/cultures in all evaluations in Phase 1 and Phase 2 are listed [in the table in this Section]. 06/23/11
020 Does validation require work with in-country speakers or is it acceptable to perform validation with native speakers of the correct national origin who reside in the U.S? The BAA does not specify that validations must be in-country. However, see Section 1.A.3. (6) Validation, “During both phases, performers will be expected to employ empirical social science methods to validate their results. Offerors must describe how they plan to carry out these experiments and provide the preliminary information required for use of human subjects.” Empirical social science methods require valid samples; this means that both native language and native culture need to be addressed. A native speaker who resides in the U.S. may, or may not, still be a member of the native culture. Your proposal should make clear how you will address this issue in your empirical validation. 07/07/11
021 Section 6.B.5 of the BAA states that we "must provide evidence of or a plan for review by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) on final proposal submission to IARPA.” Where should this information be included? The information should be added as an attachment to Volume 1 of the proposal. See Section 4.B.1. of the BAA. "Except for the cover sheet, transmittal letter, table of contents (optional), signed Academic Institution Acknowledgement Letter(s), if required, OCI waiver/certification, human use documentation, if applicable, bibliography, and relevant papers, Volume 1 shall not exceed 30 pages." 07/07/11