This page contains some general notes about PETRARCH such as how the data is stored internally, how the configuration file is organized, and an outline of how PETRARCH differs from the previous-generation coder, TABARI.

Miscellaneous Operating Details

While PETRARCH is able to handle chunks of text as input, such as the first four sentences of a news story, the functional processing unit is the individual sentence. As can be seen in the section below, the data is organized within the program at the story level, but both the StanfordNLP and event coding process occurs stricly at the sentence level.

Command Line Interface

Primary options

Run the PETRARCH parser with all options specified in the config file. If combined with -c, configuration will be read from that file; default config file is PETR_config.ini.
NOTE: This command is deprecated in PETRARCH2. Run the PETRARCH parser specifying files in the command line

The following options can be used in the command line

-i, --inputs File, or directory of files, to parse.
-o, --output Output file for parsed events
-P, --parsed Input has already been parsed: all input records contain StanfordNLP-parsed <Parse>...</Parse> block. Defaults to False.
-c, --config Filepath for the PETRARCH configuration file. Defaults to PETR_config.ini.

Configuration File

The configuration file for PETRARCH currently has three sections: Dictionaries, Options, and StanfordNLP. An example config file is outlined below. This is the same setup as the default configuration used within PETRARCH.

# See the file for the purpose and format of these files
verbfile_name    = CAMEO.091003.master.verbs
#actorfile_list   = Phoenix.Countries.140227.actors.txt, Phoenix.Internatnl.140130.actors.txt, Phoenix.MNSA.140131.actors.txt
actorfile_list  = Phoenix.Countries.140227.actors.txt
agentfile_name   = Phoenix.140422.agents.txt
discardfile_name = Phoenix.140227.discards.txt
issuefile_name   = Phoenix.issues.140225.txt

# textfile_list is a comma-delimited list of text files to code. This list has priority if
#               both a textfile_list and textfile_name are present
textfile_list = GigaWord.sample.PETR.txt
#textfile_list = AFP0808-01.txt, AFP0909-01.txt, AFP1210-01.txt
# textfile_name is the name of a file containing a list of names of files to code, one
# file name per line.
#textfile_name  = PETR.textfiles.benchmark.txt

# eventfile_name is the output file for the events
eventfile_name = events.PETR-Devel.txt

# INTERFACE OPTIONS: uncomment to activate
# Default: set all of these false, which is equivalent to an A)utocode in TABARI

# code_by_sentence: show events after each sentence has been coded; default is to
#                   show events after all of the sentences in a story have been coded
code_by_sentence = True
# pause_by_sentence: pause after the coding of each sentence. Entering 'Return' will
#                    cause the next sentence to be coded; entering any character will
#                    cause the program to exit. Default is to code without any pausing.
pause_by_sentence = True
# pause_by_story: pause after the coding of each story.
#pause_by_story = True

# Defaults are more or less equivalent to TABARI

# new_actor_length: Maximum length for new actors extracted from noun phrases if no
#                   actor or agent generating a code is found. To disable and just
#                   use null codes "---", set to zero; this is the default.
#                   Setting this to a large number will extract anything found in a (NP
#                   noun phrase, though usually true actors contain a small number of words
#                   This must be an integer.
new_actor_length = 0

# write_actor_root: If True, the event record will include the text of the actor root:
#                   The root is the text at the head of the actor synonym set in the
#                   dictionary. Default is False
write_actor_root = False

# write_actor_text: If True, the event record will include include the complete text of
#                   the noun phrase that was used to identify the actor.  Default is False
write_actor_text = False

# require_dyad: Events require a non-null source and target: setting this false is likely
#               to result in a very large number of nonsense events. As happened with the
#               infamous GDELT data set of 2013-2014. And certainly no one wants to see
#               that again.
require_dyad = True

# stop_on_error: If True, parsing errors causing the program to halt; typically used for
#                debugging. With the default [false], the error is written to the error
#                file, record is skipped, and processing continues.
stop_on_error = False

stanford_dir = ~/stanford-corenlp/

Internal Data Structures

The main data format within PETRARCH is a Python dictionary that is structured around unique story IDs as the keys for the dictionary and another dictionary as the value. The value dictionary contains the relevant information for the sentences within the story, and the meta information about the story such as the date and source. The broad format of this internal dictionary is:

{story_id: {'sents': {0: {'content': 'String of content', 'parsed': 'StanfordNLP parse tree',
                          'coref': 'Optional list of corefs', 'events': 'List of coded events',
                          'issues': 'Optional list of issues'},
                      1: {'content': 'String of content', 'parsed': 'StanfordNLP parse tree',
                          'coref': 'Optional list of corefs', 'events': 'List of coded events',
                          'issues': 'Optional list of issues'}
            'meta': {'date': 'YYYYMMDD', 'other': "This is the holding dict for misc info."}
 story_id: {'sents': {0: {'content': 'String of content', 'parsed': 'StanfordNLP parse tree',
                          'coref': 'Optional list of corefs', 'events': 'List of coded events',
                          'issues': 'Optional list of issues'},
                      1: {'content': 'String of content', 'parsed': 'StanfordNLP parse tree',
                          'coref': 'Optional list of corefs', 'events': 'List of coded events',
                          'issues': 'Optional list of issues'}
            'meta': {'date': 'YYYYMMDD', 'other': "This is the holding dict for misc info."}

This consistent internal format allows for the easy extension of the program through external hooks.