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Short Description
A tool for using Latent Semantic Analysis to calculate similarities between short texts.
Full Description

Latent Semantic Analysis Similarity Calculator

This container is used to perform Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) on short
texts. This includes the ability to create a semantic space as well as the
ability to calculate cosine similarity scores on short texts using a semantic

Running the Tool

In order to run the tool, type the following into your terminal

docker run -it -v /local/data/path/:/app/data -e CONFIG_FILE=config.yml o76923/lsa

Where /local/data/path/ is the path on your local system that contains the
source information and config.yml is the configuration file in that directory
containing which tasks should be performed as well as their settings.

Directory Structure

The path on your local machine should contain the following

  1. A configuration file
  2. The semantic space
  3. The texts to be compared

Configuration File

The configuration file specifies the parameters that will tweak how the tool
behaves. A sample configuration file is provided in /app/conf/config.yml.
The sections of it are as follows


There are two main tasks that can be performed by this tool: "create_space" and


The create_space task is used to create the semantic space that will be used
from a source paragraph given a few settings. A sample create_space task is
included below, followed by an explanation of the options available.

  - type: create_space
    space: PR
      stem: false
      case_sensitive: false
      dimensions: 500
        - punctuation
        - singletons
        - numbers
        - stopwords:
            library: nltk
      document_scope: line
        - paragraphs/PR.txt

<dd>The name that you wish to give the newly created semantic space.</dd>
<dd>Should the words be stemmed using the Porter stemmer?</dd>
<dd>Should words be converted to lower case before processing?</dd>
<dd>What should the rank of the vectors created in the space be?</dd>
<dd>Should punctuation, singletons, or numbers be removed? If present in
the list, they will be removed; otherwise they are retained).</dd>
<dd>If stopwords are removed, where should the list of stopword come from?
At this time, the only option supported is to note that the stopwords list
from nltk should be used.
<dd>What defines a document for purposes of reading in source files? At the
moment, only "line" is supported meaning each line of the file is treated
as a different document.</dd>
<dd>A list of files that contain the source documents that you want used in
the semantic space.</dd>


The calculate_similarity task is used to generate semantic similarity scores
between short texts. A sample calculate_similarity task is included below,
followed by an explanation of the options available.

  - type: calculate_similarity
    space: Bus
        - input/name.txt
      pairs: all
      headers: true
      numbered: true
      format: H5
      file_name: name.h5
      ds_name: lsa_bus

<dd>The name of the semantic space to be used when calculating
<dd>A list of files that contain the short texts to be compared.</dd>
<dd>Which pairs of short texts should be compared to one another? At the
moment, "all" is the only option supported which compares each text to
every other text.</dd>
<dd>Do your files contain a header row that should be skipped?</dd>
<dd>Do the texts have IDs assigned to them already?</dd>
<dd>What format should the similarity scores be written to? At the moment,
only "H5" is available which saves the output in the HDF5 file format.</dd>
<dd>The name of the similarity file. It will be placed in the
/app/data/output directory.</dd>
<dd>If the format is "H5", you can specify the name of the data source. This
name will be used in both the sims and vector groups.</dd>


Options specifies global options that will apply to all tasks run. At this
time, only one option is available.

<dd>The number of processor cores that can be used at any given time.

Semantic Space

The semantic space is the corpus that is used in order to create similarity
files. It is the output from a "create_space" task.

Texts to be Compared

The texts to be compared are the short texts that you wish to have compared to
one another. Similarity scores will be generated between texts with one ID and
texts with another ID.

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