BIST Dependency Parser

Graph-based dependency parser using BiLSTM feature extractors

The techniques behind the parser are described in the Simple and Accurate Dependency Parsing Using Bidirectional LSTM Feature Representations 1.


To use the module, import it like so:

from nlp_architect.models.bist_parser import BISTModel


Training the parser requires having a train.conllu file formatted according to the CoNLL-U data format, annotated with part-of-speech tags and dependencies. The benchmark was performed on a Mac book pro with i7 processor. The parser achieves an accuracy of 93.8 UAS on the standard Penn Treebank dataset (Universal Dependencies).

Basic Example

To train a parsing model with default parameters, type the following:

parser = BISTModel()'/path/to/train.conllu')

Exhaustive Example

Optionally, the following model/training parameters can be supplied (overriding their default values listed below):

parser = BISTModel(activation='tanh', lstm_layers=2, lstm_dims=125, pos_dims=25)'/path/to/train.conllu', epochs=10)

Conducting Intermediate Evaluations

If a path to a development dataset file (annotated with POS tags and dependencies) is supplied, intermediate model evaluations are conducted:

parser = BISTModel()'/path/to/train.conllu', dev='/path/to/dev.conllu')

For each completed epoch, denoted by n, the following files will be created in the dataset’s directory:

  • dev_epoch_n_pred.conllu - prediction results on dev file after n iterations.

  • dev_epoch_n_pred_eval.txt - accuracy results of the above predictions.


Once you have a trained BISTModel, there are two acceptable input modes for running inference with it. For both modes, the input must be annotated with part-of-speech tags.

File Input Mode

Supply a path to a dataset file in the CoNLL-U data format.

predictions = parser.predict(dataset='/path/to/test.conllu')

After running the above example, predictions will hold the input sentences with annotated dependencies, as a collection of ConllEntry objects, where each ConllEntry represents an annotated token.

ConllEntry Input Mode

Supply a list of sentences, where each sentence is a list of annotated tokens, represented by ConllEntry instances.

predictions = parser.predict(conll='/path/to/test.conllu')

The output format is the same as in file input mode.

Evaluating Predictions

Running an evaluation requires the following: - Inference must be run in file input mode - The input file must be annotated with dependencies as well

To evaluate predictions immediately after they’re generated, type the following:

predictions = parser.predict(dataset='/path/to/test.conllu', evaluate=True)

This will produce 2 files in your input dataset’s directory:

  • test_pred.conllu - predictions file in CoNLL-U format

  • test_pred_eval.txt - evaluation report text file

Saving and Loading a Model

To save a BISTModel to some path, type:'/path/to/bist.model')

This operation will also produce a model parameters file named params.json, in the same directory. This file is required for loading the model afterwards.

To load a BISTModel from some path, type:


Note that this operation will also look for the params.json in the same directory.



Kiperwasser, E., & Goldberg, Y. (2016). Simple and Accurate Dependency Parsing Using Bidirectional LSTM Feature Representations. Transactions Of The Association For Computational Linguistics, 4, 313-327.