A Few Thoughts on Parsing Text

A Few Thoughts on Parsing Text

Yesterday I wrote about three course modules in Oslo, and the fact that most of the presentation material is online. Today I will be writing about one lesson in the curriculum about ‘Parsing’. First I will share a few general thoughts. Consider this in a format as learning notes, from this presentation.

Yesterday I wrote about three course modules in Oslo, and the fact that most of the presentation material is online. Today I will be writing about one lesson in the curriculum about ‘Parsing’. First I will share a few general thoughts. Consider this in a format as learning notes, from this presentation.

Three Natural-Language Processing Course Modules in Oslo

If you live in Oslo these and have an interest in language technology these course modules may be of interest

medium.com

In a discussion on Stackoverflow there were several interesting answers to this:

“I’d explain parsing as the process of turning some kind of data into another kind of data. In practice, for me this is almost always turning a string, or binary data, into a data structure inside my Program. For example, turning:

":[email protected] PRIVMSG #channel :Hello!"

into (C)

struct irc_line {
    char *nick;
    char *user;
    char *host;
    char *command;
    char **arguments;
    char *message;
} sample = { "Nick", "User", "Host", "PRIVMSG", { "#channel" }, "Hello!" }

Another user explained it as:

“Parsing_ is the process of analyzing text made of a sequence of tokens to determine its grammatical structure with respect to a given (more or less) formal grammar. The parser then builds a data structure based on the tokens. This data structure can then be used by a compiler, interpreter or translator to create an executable program or library.”_

Even providing a model:

Image for post

source: wikimedia.org

Slightly more complicated, but perhaps accurate:

“In computer science, parsing is the process of analysing text to determine if it belongs to a specific language or not (i.e. is syntactically valid for that language’s grammar). It is an informal name for the [syntactic analysis_](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsing) process.”_

The same user made an argument as to what is not:

  • Parsing is not transform one thing into another. Transforming A into B, is, in essence, what a compiler does. Compiling takes several steps, parsing is only one of them.
  • Parsing is not extracting meaning from a text. That is semantic analysis, a step of the compiling process.

On Wikipedia it is:

“Parsing, _**_syntax analysis_, or _syntactic analysis**_ is the process of analyzing a string of symbols, either in natural language, computer languages or data structures, conforming to the rules of a formal grammar. The term parsing comes from Latin pars (orationis), meaning part (of speech).”_

As a general explanation that works, we have several, however we might want to consider this more closely.

There is additionally a video accompanying this, although this video is in Norwegian.

artificial-intelligence naturallanguageprocessing

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