Multi-language support in Salience

October 12th, 2012

At Lexalytics, we know it’s not only a global marketplace, but a multi-lingual global marketplace. It’s this understanding which has driven us to extend the capabilities of Salience beyond analysis of only English content. This article details the evolution and current state of our support for performing text analytics on English and non-English content.

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Support Notes: Apache configuration support

October 2nd, 2012

At times, problems may be encountered when setting up Apache to host PHP pages containing Salience PHP wrapper method call which includes a “HTTP/1.0 500 Internal Server Error” when visiting the PHP page and a corresponding /var/log/httpd/error_log “PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined function…” error message entry.

Figure 1: Visiting PHP page with Salience PHP method calls locally hosted by Apache

Figure 2

Figure 2: 1st error—HTTP/1.0 500 Internal Server Error

Figure 3

Figure 3: 2nd error—"PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined function…" in error_log

This is even after verifying the dynamic extension to the has been added in the php.ini configuration file loaded by Apache.

Under this circumstance, it is observed that the start, stop, or restart of Apache daemon produces the warning message, “httpd: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName”

Figure 4: httpd start/stop/restart warning

This warning indicates that httpd (Apache daemon) was unable to determine its own name and it may raise no concern since the message informs that Apache would automatically assign a domain name. However, the server needs to know its own name under certain circumstances in order to generate self-referential redirects. This is the main cause for the PHP page hosting problems.

To eliminate the errors, add a fully-qualified ServerName defined in the main httpd configuration file (typically located in /etc/httpd/conf/).

SeverName localhost
ServerName (substitute for actual server IP address)

Figure 5: Adding ServerName entry to httpd.conf

Figure 6: Successfully reaching PHP page

Sizing your Salience Five deployment

December 22nd, 2011

This is another extract from our customer files. Not something that comes up all the time, but often enough that it warranted a blog article with a good worked example.

In general, Salience Engine has been and continues to be very economical in terms of hardware requirements. Text analytics with Salience Engine is more CPU intensive than I/O or memory intensive, though the inclusion of the Concept Matrix™ in Salience Five has increased the memory footprint.

So let’s say you’re looking to process 2 million documents per day, where half are tweets and half are news articles of 4kb or less. What kind of hardware spec are you looking at? Read on to see how you could spec out handling this amount of content with Salience Five.

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Entity extraction in Salience Five

December 21st, 2011

I wanted to write up a detailed explanation of the methods of entity extraction available in Salience Five for a client, where they overlap and where they differ. And as I did, I thought, “That would make for a bloody useful blog post for the dev blog.” So here it is.

Prior to Salience 4.x, entity extraction was solely list-based. Salience 4.0 introduced model-based entity extraction, which allowed for novel entity extraction. In other words, “I didn’t think to add ‘John Smith’ to my list of people to extract, but Salience Engine found him in today’s news magically because it knows what names of people look like.” Very powerful stuff.

Salience Five continues to provide model-based and list-based entity extraction found in Salience 4.x, with some of the same cross-over between the two and modification to the terminology.

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Using Salience via PowerShell (part 3): Text Files

August 5th, 2011

Today’s assignment: Convert some docx files to txt and then time how long it takes to process them, getting document sentiment and entities. Use PowerShell.

So first, lets convert the Word documents to text files:

function Save-AsText($fn) {
  $doc = $$fn.ToString())
  $txtName = $fn.ToString().Replace('docx', 'txt')
  $doc.SaveAs([ref] $txtName, [ref] 2)
  echo $txtName

$c = Get-ChildItem -recurse -include *.docx
foreach ($fn in $c) {

Now that we’ve got our text files, we can use Measure-Command and Measure-Object to do the measuring:

Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Lexalytics\Salience\bin\SalienceEngineFour.NET.dll"
$se = New-Object Lexalytics.SalienceEngine(
             'C:\Program Files\Lexalytics\license.dat',
             "C:\Program Files\Lexalytics\data")
$timings = @()
$c = Get-ChildItem -recurse -include *.txt
$cnt = 0
$s = 0
foreach ($fn in $c) {
   $m = Measure-Command -OutVariable t {
     $rc = $se.PrepareTextFromFile($fn.toString())
     if ($rc -ne 0) {
       echo "Failed to prepare text with code $rc on $fn"
     $cnt = $se.GetEntities(0, 0, 0, 0, 50, 5) | Measure-Object | Select-Object Count
     $s = $se.GetDocumentSentiment(0).fScore
   $timings += $t[0].TotalMilliseconds
   Write-Host $fn $cnt $s $t[0].TotalMilliseconds

$timings | Measure-Object -minimum -maximum -average -sum

And you’ll end up with a summary at the end like this:

Count    : 100
Average  : 511.2
Sum      : 51120
Maximum  : 999
Minimum  : 63

An average of 511 milliseconds per document for the 100 documents processed.

Analyzing collections with Salience Five

July 25th, 2011

This is a bit of a forward-looking blog post about new features that we’re debuting in Salience Five. At our Lexalytics User Group meeting in New York in April, we introduced the “collections” functionality that will be provided in Salience Five. Salience Five is in beta right now, so I decided to put together a worked example of collection functionality using some customer review data for Bally’s in Las Vegas gathered from a public website.

Read on to see how you’ll be able to use collections to analyze a group of documents as a cohesive set, extract the commonly occurring themes (with rollup using our concept matrix), and other pieces of actionable data we’re calling facets.

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Salience .NET via IronPython

April 29th, 2011

To round out my overview of ways to get quickly up and running with scripting Salience on Windows, I’ll conclude with another way to take advantage of the .NET wrapper: IronPython

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Using Salience via PowerShell (part 2): Tabular data

April 23rd, 2011

A common request from customers looking to evaluate Salience Engine is to process sample set of data.  Often this will take the form of an Excel or CSV file where there is a column that contains the text to be processed.   I’m going to show one way of tackling this problem, using PowerShell.

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Ten things to know about Salience (part 2)

April 22nd, 2011

This is a follow-on to our list of ten things to know about Salience Engine. Together, these two articles are intended to guide developers in some of the main aspects of working with Salience Engine when they first start out.

In the first part, most of the topics focused on deployment strategies and approaches. In this second part, we’ll look at areas of tuning results from Salience Engine. So let’s roll up our shirt-sleeves and get back into it…

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Ten things to know about Salience (part 1)

April 22nd, 2011

I had a meeting with a client recently, and one of the suggestions they raised was a list of the top 10 things that an engineer should know when they start working with Salience Engine. Some of these may seem basic, however it’s not safe to assume that things which seem obvious actually are. With all due respect to David Letterman and his Late Night Top Ten lists, here we go…

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