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Natural Language Processing in Action

Natural Language Processing in Action

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Understanding, analyzing, and generating text with Python

Hobson Lane, Cole Howard, Hannes Max Hapke

brief contents

PART 1 WORDY MACHINES

Packets of thought (NLP overview) 
Build your vocabulary (word tokenization)
Math with words (TF-IDF vectors)
Finding meaning in word counts (semantic analysis) 

PART 2 DEEPER LEARNING (NEURAL NETWORKS)

Baby steps with neural networks (perceptrons and backpropagation)
Reasoning with word vectors (Word2vec)
Getting words in order with convolutional neural networks (CNNs)
Loopy (recurrent) neural networks (RNNs)
Improving retention with long short-term memory networks
Sequence-to-sequence models and attention 

PART 3 GETTING REAL (REAL-WORLD NLP CHALLENGES)

Information extraction (named entity extraction and question answering)
Getting chatty (dialog engines) 
Scaling up (optimization, parallelization, and batch processing)
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Book Details
 Price
 3.00
 Pages
 545 p
 File Size 
 9,938 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN
 9781617294631
 Copyright©   
 2019 by Manning Publications Co 

about the author
HOBSON LANE has 20 years of experience building autonomous
systems that make important decisions on behalf of humans. At
Talentpair Hobson taught machines to read and understand
resumes with less bias than most recruiters. At Aira he helped
build their first chatbot to interpret the visual world for those who
are blind. Hobson is passionate about openness and prosocial AI.
He’s an active contributor to open source projects such as Keras,
scikit-learn, PyBrain, PUGNLP, and ChatterBot. He’s currently
pursuing open science research and education projects for Total Good including
building an open source cognitive assistant. He has published papers and presented
talks at AIAA, PyCon, PAIS, and IEEE and has been awarded several patents in Robotics and Automation.

HANNES MAX HAPKE is an electrical engineer turned machine
learning engineer. He became fascinated with neural networks in
high school while investigating ways to compute neural networks
on micro-controllers. Later in college, he applied concepts of
neural nets to control renewable energy power plants effectively.
Hannes loves to automate software development and machine
learning pipelines. He co-authored deep learning models and
machine learning pipelines for recruiting, energy, and healthcare
applications. Hannes presented on machine learning at various conferences including
OSCON, Open Source Bridge, and Hack University.

COLE HOWARD is a machine learning engineer, NLP practitioner,
and writer. A lifelong hunter of patterns, he found his true home in
the world of artificial neural networks. He has developed large-scale
e-commerce recommendation engines and state-of-the-art neural
nets for hyperdimensional machine intelligence systems (deep
learning neural nets), which perform at the top of the leader board
for the Kaggle competitions. He has presented talks on Convolutional
Neural Nets, Recurrent Neural Nets, and their roles in natural language processing
at the Open Source Bridge Conference and Hack University.

about this book
Natural Language Processing in Action is a practical guide to processing and generating
natural language text in the real world. In this book we provide you with all the tools and
techniques you need to build the backend NLP systems to support a virtual assistant
(chatbot), spam filter, forum moderator, sentiment analyzer, knowledge base builder,
natural language text miner, or nearly any other NLP application you can imagine.

Natural Language Processing in Action is aimed at intermediate to advanced Python
developers. Readers already capable of designing and building complex systems will
also find most of this book useful, since it provides numerous best-practice examples
and insight into the capabilities of state-of-the art NLP algorithms. While knowledge
of object-oriented Python development may help you build better systems, it’s not
required to use what you learn in this book.

For special topics, we provide sufficient background material and cite resources
(both text and online) for those who want to gain an in-depth understanding.

Table of Contents
foreword xiii
preface xv
acknowledgments xxi
about this book xxiv
about the authors xxvii
about the cover illustration xxix
PART 1 WORDY MACHINES ........................................... 1
1 Packets of thought (NLP overview) 3
1.1 Natural language vs. programming language 4
1.2 The magic 4
Machines that converse 5 ■ The math 6
1.3 Practical applications 8
1.4 Language through a computer’s “eyes” 9
The language of locks 10 ■ Regular expressions 11
A simple chatbot 12 ■ Another way 16
1.5 A brief overflight of hyperspace 19
1.6 Word order and grammar 21
1.7 A chatbot natural language pipeline 22
1.8 Processing in depth 25
1.9 Natural language IQ 27
2 Build your vocabulary (word tokenization) 30
2.1 Challenges (a preview of stemming) 32
2.2 Building your vocabulary with a tokenizer 33
Dot product 41 ■ Measuring bag-of-words overlap 42
A token improvement 43 ■ Extending your vocabulary with
n-grams 48 ■ Normalizing your vocabulary 54
2.3 Sentiment 62
VADER—A rule-based sentiment analyzer 64 ■ Naive Bayes 65
3 Math with words (TF-IDF vectors) 70
3.1 Bag of words 71
3.2 Vectorizing 76
Vector spaces 79
3.3 Zipf’s Law 83
3.4 Topic modeling 86
Return of Zipf 89 ■ Relevance ranking 90 ■ Tools 93
Alternatives 93 ■ Okapi BM25 95 ■ What’s next 95
4 Finding meaning in word counts (semantic analysis) 97
4.1 From word counts to topic scores 98
TF-IDF vectors and lemmatization 99 ■ Topic vectors 99
Thought experiment 101 ■ An algorithm for scoring topics 105
An LDA classifier 107
4.2 Latent semantic analysis 111
Your thought experiment made real 113
4.3 Singular value decomposition 116
U—left singular vectors 118 ■ S—singular values 119
VT—right singular vectors 120 ■ SVD matrix orientation 120
Truncating the topics 121
4.4 Principal component analysis 123
PCA on 3D vectors 125 ■ Stop horsing around and get back to
NLP 126 ■ Using PCA for SMS message semantic analysis 128
Using truncated SVD for SMS message semantic analysis 130
How well does LSA work for spam classification? 131
4.5 Latent Dirichlet allocation (LDiA) 134
The LDiA idea 135 ■ LDiA topic model for SMS messages 137
LDiA + LDA = spam classifier 140 ■ A fairer comparison:
32 LDiA topics 142
4.6 Distance and similarity 143
4.7 Steering with feedback 146
Linear discriminant analysis 147
4.8 Topic vector power 148
Semantic search 150 ■ Improvements 152
PART 2 DEEPER LEARNING (NEURAL NETWORKS) ...... 153
5 Baby steps with neural networks (perceptrons and
backpropagation) 155
5.1 Neural networks, the ingredient list 156
Perceptron 157 ■ A numerical perceptron 157 ■ Detour
through bias 158 ■ Let’s go skiing—the error surface 172
Off the chair lift, onto the slope 173 ■ Let’s shake things up a
bit 174 ■ Keras: neural networks in Python 175 ■ Onward
and deepward 179 ■ Normalization: input with style 179
6 Reasoning with word vectors (Word2vec) 181
6.1 Semantic queries and analogies 182
Analogy questions 183
6.2 Word vectors 184
Vector-oriented reasoning 187 ■ How to compute Word2vec
representations 191 ■ How to use the gensim.word2vec
module 200 ■ How to generate your own word vector
representations 202 ■ Word2vec vs. GloVe (Global Vectors) 205
fastText 205 ■ Word2vec vs. LSA 206 ■ Visualizing word
relationships 207 ■ Unnatural words 214 ■ Document
similarity with Doc2vec 215
7 Getting words in order with convolutional neural networks
(CNNs) 218
7.1 Learning meaning 220
7.2 Toolkit 221
7.3 Convolutional neural nets 222
Building blocks 223 ■ Step size (stride) 224 ■ Filter
composition 224 ■ Padding 226 ■ Learning 228
7.4 Narrow windows indeed 228
Implementation in Keras: prepping the data 230 ■ Convolutional
neural network architecture 235 ■ Pooling 236
Dropout 238 ■ The cherry on the sundae 239 ■ Let’s get to
learning (training) 241 ■ Using the model in a pipeline 243
Where do you go from here? 244
8 Loopy (recurrent) neural networks (RNNs) 247
8.1 Remembering with recurrent networks 250
Backpropagation through time 255 ■ When do we update
what? 257 ■ Recap 259 ■ There’s always a catch 259
Recurrent neural net with Keras 260
8.2 Putting things together 264
8.3 Let’s get to learning our past selves 266
8.4 Hyperparameters 267
8.5 Predicting 269
Statefulness 270 ■ Two-way street 271 ■ What is this thing? 272
9 Improving retention with long short-term memory networks 274
9.1 LSTM 275
Backpropagation through time 284 ■ Where does the rubber hit the
road? 287 ■ Dirty data 288 ■ Back to the dirty data 291
Words are hard. Letters are easier. 292 ■ My turn to chat 298
My turn to speak more clearly 300 ■ Learned how to say, but
not yet what 308 ■ Other kinds of memory 308 ■ Going deeper 309
10 Sequence-to-sequence models and attention 311
10.1 Encoder-decoder architecture 312
Decoding thought 313 ■ Look familiar? 315 ■ Sequence-tosequence
conversation 316 ■ LSTM review 317
10.2 Assembling a sequence-to-sequence pipeline 318
Preparing your dataset for the sequence-to-sequence training 318
Sequence-to-sequence model in Keras 320 ■ Sequence
encoder 320 ■ Thought decoder 322 ■ Assembling the
sequence-to-sequence network 323
10.3 Training the sequence-to-sequence network 324
Generate output sequences 325
10.4 Building a chatbot using sequence-to-sequence
networks 326
Preparing the corpus for your training 326 ■ Building your
character dictionary 327 ■ Generate one-hot encoded training
sets 328 ■ Train your sequence-to-sequence chatbot 329
Assemble the model for sequence generation 330 ■ Predicting a
sequence 330 ■ Generating a response 331 ■ Converse with
your chatbot 331
10.5 Enhancements 332
Reduce training complexity with bucketing 332 ■ Paying
attention 333
10.6 In the real world 334
PART 3 GETTING REAL (REAL-WORLD NLP
CHALLENGES) .............................................. 337
11 Information extraction (named entity extraction and question
answering) 339
11.1 Named entities and relations 339
A knowledge base 340 ■ Information extraction 343
11.2 Regular patterns 343
Regular expressions 344 ■ Information extraction as ML feature
extraction 345
11.3 Information worth extracting 346
Extracting GPS locations 347 ■ Extracting dates 347
11.4 Extracting relationships (relations) 352
Part-of-speech (POS) tagging 353 ■ Entity name normalization 357
Relation normalization and extraction 358 ■ Word patterns 358
Segmentation 359 ■ Why won’t split('.!?') work? 360
Sentence segmentation with regular expressions 361
11.5 In the real world 363
12 Getting chatty (dialog engines) 365
12.1 Language skill 366
Modern approaches 367 ■ A hybrid approach 373
12.2 Pattern-matching approach 373
A pattern-matching chatbot with AIML 375 ■ A network view of
pattern matching 381
12.3 Grounding 382
12.4 Retrieval (search) 384
The context challenge 384 ■ Example retrieval-based
chatbot 386 ■ A search-based chatbot 389
12.5 Generative models 391
Chat about NLPIA 392 ■ Pros and cons of each approach 394
12.6 Four-wheel drive 395
The Will to succeed 395
12.7 Design process 396
12.8 Trickery 399
Ask questions with predictable answers 399 ■ Be entertaining 399
When all else fails, search 400 ■ Being popular 400 ■ Be a
connector 400 ■ Getting emotional 400
12.9 In the real world 401
13 Scaling up (optimization, parallelization, and batch processing) 403
13.1 Too much of a good thing (data) 404
13.2 Optimizing NLP algorithms 404
Indexing 405 ■ Advanced indexing 406 ■ Advanced indexing
with Annoy 408 ■ Why use approximate indexes at all? 412
An indexing workaround: discretizing 413
13.3 Constant RAM algorithms 414
Gensim 414 ■ Graph computing 415
13.4 Parallelizing your NLP computations 416
Training NLP models on GPUs 416 ■ Renting vs. buying 417
GPU rental options 418 ■ Tensor processing units 419
13.5 Reducing the memory footprint during model training 419
13.6 Gaining model insights with TensorBoard 422
How to visualize word embeddings 423
appendix A Your NLP tools 427
appendix B Playful Python and regular expressions 434
appendix C Vectors and matrices (linear algebra fundamentals) 440
appendix D Machine learning tools and techniques 446
appendix E Setting up your AWS GPU 459
appendix F Locality sensitive hashing 473
resources 481
glossary 490
index 497


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about the cover illustration
The figure on the cover of Natural Language Processing in Action is captioned “Woman
from Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.” This illustration is taken from a recent reprint of
Balthasar Hacquet’s Images and Descriptions of Southwestern and Eastern Wends, Illyrians,
and Slavs, published by the Ethnographic Museum in Split, Croatia, in 2008. Hacquet
(1739–1815) was an Austrian physician and scientist who spent many years studying
the botany, geology, and ethnography of the Julian Alps, the mountain range that
stretches from northeastern Italy to Slovenia and that is named after Julius Caesar.
Hand drawn illustrations accompany the many scientific papers and books that Hacquet published.

The rich diversity of the drawings in Hacquet’s publications speaks vividly of the
uniqueness and individuality of the eastern Alpine regions just 200 years ago. This was
a time when the dress codes of two villages separated by a few miles identified people
uniquely as belonging to one or the other, and when members of a social class or
trade could be easily distinguished by what they were wearing. Dress codes have
changed since then and the diversity by region, so rich at the time, has faded away. It is
now often hard to tell the inhabitant of one continent from another, and today the
inhabitants of the picturesque towns and villages in the Slovenian Alps are not readily
distinguishable from the residents of other parts of Slovenia or the rest of Europe.

We at Manning celebrate the inventiveness, the initiative, and, yes, the fun of the
computer business with book covers based on the rich diversity of regional life of two
centuries ago‚ brought back to life by the pictures from this collection.

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