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This README gives a broad overview on the procedures required to reproduce the results described in my master's thesis:

Michael Haas: "Weakly Supervised Learning for Compositional Sentiment
Recognition in German", 2014. Supervised by Dr. Yannick Versley


The experiments and supporting software are mainly written in Bash, Python 2 and Java.

Bash Setup

The bash scripts require that you set the location of the code and the data directories. Open scripts/ in your favorite editor and set the paths. An example:


$CODEDIR refers to the package containing this README file.

Python Setup

I recommend that you set up a virtualenv to install the dependencies to ensure that you start from a clean slate. The list of required python software along with the exact version specification is noted in requirements.txt.

If you do not have the virtualenv package, install it from your distribution's package repository:

# For Debian and Ubuntu
apt-get install python-virtualenv

Or use a package manager for Python such as pip to install it to your home directory:

pip install --user virtualenv
# You might want to add this to .~/bashrc
export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/.local/bin/

Then create a new and active a new virtualenv:

virtualenv $HOME/haas-thesis-env/
source $HOME/haas-thesis-env/bin/activate

From this clean slate, install the required dependencies.

pip install nltk==2.0.4
pip install numpy
pip install -r requirements.txt

NLTK is installed separately to work around somewhat lackluster dependency declaration by the packages listed in requirements.txt.

Java Setup

To compile the java code, run the script:

source scripts/
cd MA/

Note that this script also extracts the Stanford CoreNLP package located in $DATADIR/3rdparty/.

GNÚ Parallel Setup

The scripts which run the experiments depend on GNU parallel. I recommend you install version 20140822 or newer. Either get it from your package manager or from GNU. Please make sure your version is not too old.

GNU parallel greatly speeds up training by distributing tasks across multiple CPUs or even across multiple nodes on a cluster. If you have multiple compute nodes, you will need to set up password-less SSH logins. Refer to the documentation on 'Using Remote Computers'. Then edit scripts/common/ and add your compute nodes to the HOST variable like this:


The experiments expect that the data is available on every node in the same location. This is a typical setup for computer labels where home directories are stored on a central server and exported via NFS to the workstations. If you do not have such a setup, consider using the --transfer flag for parallel.

Finally, if you do not want to use remote compute nodes, just tell parallel to only use the local host:


Run the experiments

To run all experiments, execute

cd scripts/

To run individual experiments, look at all files starting with thesis_run:

ls scripts/thesis_run*sh

The results will be located in the data directory, one subdirectory per experiment. A file all.csv or all-combined.csv will reside in each subdirectory. There, you can find the node F1 and root accuracy measures in the combinedLabelFMacro and combinedRootLabelAccMacro columns. all.csv contains the results of all splits in a ten-fold cross-validation experiments. The last row contains the averages across all splits, which is what is reported in my thesis and in all-combined.csv. Files named contrastive_conjunctions.csv contain the results of the contrastive conjunctions task. Likewise, accuracy_at_length.csv is the file name for the accuracy at length measures. evaluate_productions.txt is the file name for the rule-base task.

If you'd like to re-create the HeiST-592 data set from annotations and parse trees, run:

cd scripts/

Directory Listing

  • MA/: Java code. Contains various tree handling routines and contrastive conjunctions test.
  • cf/: Code relating to CrowdFlower
  • german_movie_reviews/: Crawling and processing for reviews
  • google_translate/: Interface to Google Translate, required for Projection
  • ml/: Various machine-learning tools, e.g. Ensemble
  • projection:/ Projection of sentiment labels for parse trees
  • requirements.txt: List of dependencies
  • scripts/: Support scripts and main experiments
  • sentiws/: Naive sentiment analysis using sentiment lexicons