Skip to content
Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

============== Flax Clade PoC

Flax Clade PoC is a proof-of-concept open source taxonomy management and document classification system, based on Apache Solr. In its current state it should be considered pre-alpha. As open-source software you are welcome to try, use, copy and modify Clade as you like. We would love to hear any constructive suggestions you might have.

Taxonomies and document classification

Clade taxonomies have a tree structure, with a single top-level category (e.g. in the example data, "Social Psychology"). There is no distinction between parent and child nodes (except that the former has children) and the hierachical structure of the taxonomy is completely orthogonal from the node data. The structure may be freely edited.

Each node represents a category, which is represented by a set of "keywords" (words or phrases) which should be present in a document belonging to that category. Not all the keywords have to be present - they are joined with Boolean OR rather than AND. A document may belong to multiple categories, which are ranked according to standard Solr (TF-IDF) scoring. It is also possible to exclude certain keywords from categories.

Clade will also suggest keywords to add to a category, based on the content of the documents already in the category. This feature is currently slow as it uses the standard Solr MoreLikeThis component to analyse a large number of documents. We plan to improve this for a future release by writing a custom Solr plugin.

Documents are stored in a standard Solr index and are categorised dynamically as taxonomy nodes are selected. There is currently no way of writing the categorisation results to the documents in SOLR, but see below for how to export the document categorisation to an XML or CSV file.

Installation prerequisites

On Windows you can download binaries of httplib2 from

Download the latest versions from these sites and follow the installation instructions. The system has been developed on Linux and the following instructions assume a Linux environment, but Windows alternative syntax is included where necessary. Mac OS installation should be the same (or very similar to) Linux.

Note: For Mac OS, if you get the “unknown argument: '-mno-fused-madd’” when installing Python modules, then execute the following (substituting the module as appropriate):

$ export CFLAGS=-Qunused-arguments
$ export CPPFLAGS=-Qunused-arguments
$ sudo -E pip install lxml	

Windows quick start

On Windows, you can use the demo.bat file to run all the various parts of Clade with the supplied example data. You will need to edit paths.bat to match your configuration first.

The demo_noclassify.bat file also runs Clade, but doesn't repeat the initial classification to avoid duplicates. If you need it, cleanup.bat clears all the indexes.

Example data

The Clade distribution includes an example taxonomy and documents derived from Wikipedia and on the topic of Social Psychology. The taxonomy is provided as a CSV file to illustrate how to import existing taxonomies.

To import the taxonomy, run on the command line:

$ python import data/socpsy.csv

on Windows:

C:\> python import data\socpsy.csv

This will create a Python data structure, and pickle it as data/tax.

To import the documents, first copy the Clade Solr configuration files into your Solr home, e.g.:

$ cp -f clade/solr-conf/* apache-solr-4.6.2/example/solr/collection1/conf

on Windows:

C:\> copy clade\solr-conf\*.* apache-solr-4.6.2\example\solr\collection1\conf

Then [re]start Solr, e.g.:

$ cd apache-solr-4.6.2/example
$ java -jar start.jar &

on Windows:

C:\> cd apache-solr-4.6.2\example
C:\> java -jar start.jar &

Now start the Stanford Named Entity Recognition server, which is used to pull names, places etc. out of the source data:

$ cd stanford-ner-2011-09-14
$ ./ &

or on Windows:

C:\ cd stanford-ner-2011-09-14
C:\ server.bat

Finally, add the example documents (which are provided as plaintext files):

$ python textdir data/socpsy-pages

on Windows:

C:\> python textdir data\socpsy-pages

This will output the name of each file as it is processed, and will take a few minutes to complete.

Running the UI

The Clade UI is implemented as a web application. To start it, run:

$ python

on Windows:

C:\> python

Then point a browser at


Taxonomy import/export

As noted above, the taxonomy may be imported from a CSV file. It is also possible to import from an XML file (in a custom format) and to export the taxonomy (and optionally the document categorisations) to CSV or XML.

To import from CSV:

$ python import taxonomy.csv

on Windows:

C:\> python import taxonomy.csv

To import from XML, use the .xml file extension. The extension must be either .csv or .xml and is used to determine the type of file read.

To export to CSV:

$ python export taxonomy.csv

on Windows:

C:\> python export taxonomy.csv

To export to XML, use the .xml file extension. Again, the extension determines the type of file written. In the case of exported to XML, document classifications may be written to the file by specifying the number of document ids that should be exported per category, e.g.:

$ python export taxonomy.xml 100

on Windows:

C:\> python export taxonomy.xml 100

UI Controls

The Clade UI has two modes: Taxonomy and Document. It starts up in the former.

Taxonomy mode

The page is divided into two halves: the taxonomy tree on the left, and information about the current selected category on the right. Clade can support multiple taxonomies, which can be selected from the drop-down in the upper left. Selecting a taxonomy will load it into the tree view, where nodes can be expanded or collapsed, selected and manipulated.

The taxonomy tree display has three small icons in the upper right. The + icon causes a new category to be added as a child of the currently selected node. The "pen" icon allows the current node name to be edited, and the X icon deletes the current node (with no warning!)

Nodes and sub-trees may be dragged and dropped onto other nodes, allowing the taxonomy structure to be rapidly edited.

On the right: the currently selected category name is listed, along with the number of documents which fit the category. Under this is two keyword lists.

The list on the left contains the keywords which are active for this category. This list has icons to (from left to right):

- add a new keyword
- edit the selected keyword
- toggle the sense of the selected keyword from positive to negative
- delete the selected keyword

Negative (NOT) keywords are displayed with a strikethrough. On the right, there is a list of automatically-generated suggested keywords for this category. To add one to the active keywords, select it and click the "left arrow" icon.

Below the two keyword lists is a list of the documents which match the current category, showing the document ID, the title, the current rank and the previous rank (before changing the active keywords). To view a document, click the title, which will switch the UI into document mode.

To add a new taxonomy, make sure the taxonomy drop-down has no taxonomy selected, then click the Create button. Enter a name for the new taxonomy and click OK. You can then create the taxonomy by adding nodes to the root node. All changes will be immediately saved to the data/tax file.

To rename the current taxonomy, click the Rename button, edit the name in the dialog box, and click OK.

To delete the current taxonomy, click the Delete button and then OK in the confirm dialog.

To import or export the taxonomy, click on Import or Export on the panel below the taxonomy tree. You can select the maximum number of document ids to export for each category, or you can choose not to export any document ids. When importing and exported you can choose CSV or XML files, but the file extension must be .csv or .xml to reflect the file type.

Document mode

Again, in document mode the page has a left section and a right section. On the left is a list of taxonomy categories which match the document, ranked in decreasing score order. The document ID and full text are displayed on the right, together with a list of keywords from the selected category. The document text is highlighted for matching keywords.

To go back to the taxonomy display, click the Back button in the upper right. Don't use your browser back button - it won't work, as the UI is implemented in Javascript/AJAX.


Simple taxonomy management tool and document classifier.




No releases published


No packages published