Natural Language Processing Tools

Natural Language Processing Tools

Justin F. Brunelle (Old Dominion University, USA) and Chutima Boonthum-Denecke (Hampton University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-447-5.ch002
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This chapter discusses a subset of Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools available for researchers and enthusiasts of computer science, computational linguistics, and other fields that may utilize or benefit from Natural Language Processing. Several tools are described in this chapter, along with background, algorithms used in brief, usages, and examples. While this chapter is not comprehensive, it provides an extensive exposure to various NLP tools through examples, and it aims at providing an overview of the resources available, and concentrates mainly on open-source applications. Open-source applications were chosen since they are freely available for download by all users. Commonly, open source software provides the code that makes up the tool, and allows for users to inspect the inner-workings of the tools, or even modify them. By using open source examples, readers of this chapter can extend their investigation of NLP tools beyond the pages of this text by investigating the tools outlined.
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Communication is an essential to the existence of modern man. Computers are also an essential aspect of our current information age. As such, it is a natural progression from the development of the modern computer as a computational and modeling tool, to computer artificial intelligence, to the investigation of natural language processing. Natural Language Processing (NLP) comes from the concept of humans communicating with non-human devices. NLP is a technique through which a computer can close the gap between artificial intelligence and pure machine by processing human to human communication messages previously unrecognizable to machines. (Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science in which machines are programmed to mimic human learning and decision making. NLP aids artificial intelligence by allowing human languages to be processed by machines, and the machines to learn syntaxes and vocabulary of these languages.) Programmers have developed NLP tools to facilitate the parsing, analyzing, understanding, and generation of human languages by, or with assistance from, computers. These tools range from those that recognize and respond to human voice commands to those that create human-like speech and further to those that can parse and understand written text. This chapter will provide variety types of NLP tools along with background, algorithms, usages, and examples.

This chapter will cover NLP tools in the following categories: parser, understanding, and generation. Finally, speech recognition is briefly discussed.

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