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Oct 19, 2018
Sep 26, 2018
Oct 19, 2018

Graph Convolution over Pruned Dependency Trees for Relation Extraction

This repo contains the PyTorch code for the paper Graph Convolution over Pruned Dependency Trees Improves Relation Extraction.

This paper/code introduces a graph convolutional neural network (GCN) over pruned dependency trees for the task of relation extraction. A special tree pruning technique called the Path-centric Pruning is also introduced to eliminate irrelevant information from the trees while maximally maintaining relevant information. Compared to sequence models such as various LSTM-based models, this GCN model makes use of dependency structures to bridge remote words, therefore improves performance for long-range relations. Compared to previous recursive models such as the TreeLSTM, this GCN model achieves better performance while being much eariser to parallelize and therefore much more efficient.

See below for an overview of the model architecture:

GCN Architecture


  • Python 3 (tested on 3.6.5)
  • PyTorch (tested on 0.4.0)
  • tqdm
  • unzip, wget (for downloading only)


The code requires that you have access to the TACRED dataset (LDC license required). The TACRED dataset is currently scheduled for public release via LDC in December 2018. For possible early access to this data please contact us at yuhao.zhang ~at~ Once you have the TACRED data, please put the JSON files under the directory dataset/tacred. For completeness, we only include sample data files from the TACRED dataset in this repo.

First, download and unzip GloVe vectors from the Stanford NLP group website, with:

chmod +x; ./

Then prepare vocabulary and initial word vectors with:

python dataset/tacred dataset/vocab --glove_dir dataset/glove

This will write vocabulary and word vectors as a numpy matrix into the dir dataset/vocab.


To train a graph convolutional neural network (GCN) model, run:

bash 0

Model checkpoints and logs will be saved to ./saved_models/00.

To train a Contextualized GCN (C-GCN) model, run:

bash 1

Model checkpoints and logs will be saved to ./saved_models/01.

For details on the use of other parameters, such as the pruning distance k, please refer to


To run evaluation on the test set, run:

python saved_models/00 --dataset test

This will use the file by default. Use --model to specify a model checkpoint file.


Reload a pretrained model and finetune it, run:

python --load --model_file saved_models/01/ --optim sgd --lr 0.001

Related Repo

The paper also includes comparisons to the position-aware attention LSTM (PA-LSTM) model for relation extraction. To reproduce the corresponding results, please refer to this repo.


 author = {Zhang, Yuhao and Qi, Peng and Manning, Christopher D.},
 booktitle = {Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)},
 title = {Graph Convolution over Pruned Dependency Trees Improves Relation Extraction},
 url = {},
 year = {2018}


All work contained in this package is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. See the included LICENSE file.

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