A new take on the trusty Finnish-dep-parser, a fully neural-network pipeline, considerably better accuracy than the previous pipeline

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Finnish neural dependency parser

A new take on the trusty old Finnish-dep-parser. The current pipeline is fully neural and has a substantially better accuracy in all layers of annotation. These are the current numbers, measured using the CoNLL18 ST evaluation script on Finnish-TDT UD ver 2.2 data. This is the “fi_tdt” model distributed with the parser

Metric     | Precision |    Recall |  F1 Score | AligndAcc
Tokens     |    100.00 |    100.00 |    100.00 |
Sentences  |    100.00 |    100.00 |    100.00 |
Words      |    100.00 |    100.00 |    100.00 |
UPOS       |     96.92 |     96.92 |     96.92 |     96.92
XPOS       |     97.89 |     97.89 |     97.89 |     97.89
UFeats     |     95.69 |     95.69 |     95.69 |     95.69
AllTags    |     94.28 |     94.28 |     94.28 |     94.28
Lemmas     |     94.91 |     94.91 |     94.91 |     94.91
UAS        |     90.90 |     90.90 |     90.90 |     90.90
LAS        |     88.37 |     88.37 |     88.37 |     88.37
CLAS       |     86.95 |     86.92 |     86.93 |     86.92
MLAS       |     81.46 |     81.44 |     81.45 |     81.44
BLEX       |     81.91 |     81.88 |     81.89 |     81.88

Without lemmatization, the throughput of the parser is on the order of 250 sentences a second on a GPU. Lemmatization is currently a major bottleneck and needs special treatment when the data sizes are massive.


Download the code

Clone the parser as well as all of its submodules as follows:

git clone
cd Finnish-dep-parser-neural
git submodule update --init --recursive

Setup Python environment

We highly recommend that you make a virtual environment for the parser:

python3 -m venv venv-parser-neural
source venv-parser-neural/bin/activate

Then you need to install the necessary libraries:

pip3 install -r requirements-gpu.txt


pip3 install -r requirements-cpu.txt

Install pytorch

You also need to install PyTorch by selecting the appropriate options from For a typical GPU install you would select something like “Linux - pip - 3.5 - CUDA 9.1” matching the version of your python and CUDA. If you run on CPU and have no CUDA, then select None.

  1. Run the commands which gives
  2. Run yet pip3 install torchtext when (1) is ready and you’re done

Download the models

All models are available here and you can use the following utility script to fetch the model you need:

python3 fi_tdt

Running the parser

The parser has these properties:

  • a long start-up cost when it’s loading the models (see the server mode to prevent model reloading)
  • very fast when parsing large documents because of the mini-batch style of computing
  • efficient use of GPU, about 5x faster than the previous Finnish-dep-parser (which could not use GPU for anything)
  • transparent passing through metadata

Metadata in input

In the input data, all lines which start with ###C: are treated as metadata and will be passed through the pipeline unmodified, and attached in the conllu output to the following sentence. This is an easy way to pass metadata through the pipeline. Note that since the conllu format attaches metadata to sentences, the last line of a file cannot be the ###C: comment. It is fine to have several comment lines one after another.


Various pipelines can be built out of the components of the parser and these are generally defined in model_directory/pipelines.yaml. You can also list what you have like so:

python3 --conf models_fi_tdt/pipelines.yaml list

For Finnish these are:

  • parse_plaintext read plain text, tokenize, split into sentences, tag, parse, lemmatize
  • parse_sentlines read text one sentence per line, tokenize, tag, parse, lemmatize
  • parse_wsline read whitespace tokenized text one sentence per line, tag, parse, lemmatize
  • parse_conllu read conllu, tag, parse, lemmatize

Other pipelines (which skip some of these steps etc) can be built easily by mimicking the existing pipelines in the pipelines.yaml (also see below)

Stream mode

In the stream mode, the parser reads from stdin, outputs to stdout. You need to give it the file with pipelines and you need to tell it which pipeline to run (parse_plaintext is the default). So you can run the parser as:

cat myfile.txt | python3 --conf models_fi_tdt/pipelines.yaml > myfile.conllu

Server mode


pipelines.yaml file

For those who wish to hack the pipelines.yaml file. You can add extraoptions to enforce some parameters applied as if you gave them on the command line. This is curently only used to enforce batching on empty lines in pipelines that parse conllu, making sure the input is not cut in the middle of the line. As you can probably figure out, the pipeline simply specifies which modules are launched and their parameters, new steps to the pipeline are easy to add by mimicking the * files.