Chen Li edited this page Aug 27, 2018 · 80 revisions

Synopsis

Texera is a system to support big text analytics as a Web-based service by using declarative GUI-based interactive workflows.

Motivation

  • Many text analysts need to spend a significant amount of effort on low-level computation such as keyword search, regular expressions and dictionary-based matching. and natural language processing (NLP). There are new ML and NLP algorithms and packages available for text analysis, resulting in a higher demand for analysts to use these techniques in their domain. These tasks are especially tough for non-IT community due to their lack of IT background, limited programming skills, and no knowledge to set up and maintain a computing infrastructure for large-scale text analytics.

  • The available workflow based analysis systems are not scalable. They are mostly softwares that run on a single machine and their architecture doesn't support huge data. Also, the existing systems support little or no interaction during the execution of the workflow. They face the long running time and lack of debugging tools, and need to re-run the program after making just some minor changes.

  • Cloud-based services and technologies have emerged and advanced significantly in the past decade. Emerging browser-based techniques including Javascript and its libraries such as Angular and JQuery make it possible to develop powerful browser-based interfaces, which also benefit from high-speed networks.

Goals

  • Provide text analytics as cloud services so users do not need to download software and do periodic updates and patches. Plus sharing becomes much easier;
  • Provide a browser-based GUI for developers to form a workflow plan declaratively without writing code;
  • Allow non-IT people to do text anlytics.
  • Increase productivity of text analytics.
  • Support huge volumes of data efficiently.
  • Allow users to interact with the workflow, pause/resume and debug it during the execution.

Sample Workflow Plan

The following is a workflow formulated using the Texera GUI in a Web browser. It consists of a workflow of basic operators, such as keyword search, sentiment analysis, and NLP.

Texera GUI Query Plan

Diagram Source

Check this video to see Texera in action! (Texera was formally known as "TextDB" before August 28, 2017.)

System Architecture

Texera architecture

Diagram Source

Getting Started

Development Tools

Acknowledgements

This project is supported by the National Science FoundationNSF under the grant III 1745673.

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