A Framework for Integrating Natural Language Tools

  • Joäo Graça
  • Nuno J. Mamede
  • Joäo D. Pereira
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3960)


Natural Language processing (NLP) systems are typically characterized by a pipeline architecture in which several independently developed NLP tools, connected as a chain of filters, apply successive transformations to the data that flows through the system. Hence when integrating such tools, one may face problems that lead to information losses, such as: (i) tools discard information from their input which will be required by other tools further along the pipeline; (ii) each tool has its own input/output format.

This work proposes a solution that solves these problems. We offer a framework for NLP systems. The systems built using this framework use a client server architecture, in which the server acts as a blackboard where all tools add/consult data. Data is kept in the server under a conceptual model independent of the client tools, thus allowing the representation of a broad range of linguistic information.

The tools interact with the server through a generic API which allows the creation of new data and the navigation through all the existing data. Moreover, we provide libraries implemented in several programming language that abstract the connection and communication protocol details between the tools and the server, and provide several levels of functionality that simplify server use.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bird, S., Day, D., Garofolo, J., Henderson, J., Laprun, C., Liberman, M.: Atlas: A flexible and extensible architecture for linguistic annotation (2000)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bird, S., Liberman, M.: A formal framework for linguistic annotation. Technical Report MS-CIS-99-01, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bontcheva, K., Tablan, V., Maynard, D., Cunningham, H.: Evolving GATE to Meet New Challenges in Language Engineering. Natural Language Eng. 10(3/4), 349–373 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    de Matos, D.M.M.: Construção de Sistemas de Geração Automática de Língua Natural. PhD thesis, IST - UTL (July 2005)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fowler, M.: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, November 2002. Addison-Wesley Professional, Reading (2002)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ide, N., Romary, L., de la., E.: International standard for a linguistic annotation framework (2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee, H., Maeda, K., Ma, X., Bird, S.: The Annotation Graphs Toolkit (Version 1.0): Application Developer’s Manual. Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania (January 2002)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Loper, E., Bird, S.: Nltk: The natural language toolkit. In: CoRR, cs.CL/0205028 (2002)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Petersen, U.: Emdros - a text database engine for analyzed or annotated text. In: Colling (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Taylor, P., Black, A., Caley, R.: The architecture of the the festival speech synthesis system (1998)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joäo Graça
    • 1
  • Nuno J. Mamede
    • 1
  • Joäo D. Pereira
    • 2
  1. 1.Spoken Language Systems LabL2F – INESC-ID Lisboa/ISTLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.Spoken Language Systems LabSoftware Eng. Group – INESC-ID Lisboa/ISTLisboaPortugal

Personalised recommendations