Natural Language Processing

16 Best Free and Open Source Natural Language Processing Tools

Natural language processing (NLP) is a field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages. It includes word and sentence tokenization, text classification and sentiment analysis, spelling correction, information extraction, parsing, meaning extraction, and question answering.

In our formative years, we master the basics of spoken and written language. However, the vast majority of us do not progress past some basic processing rules when we learn how to handle text in our applications. Yet unstructured software comprises the majority of the data we see. NLP is the technology for dealing with our all-pervasive product: human language, as it appears in social media, emails, web pages, tweets, product descriptions, newspaper stories, and scientific articles, in thousands of languages and variants.

Many challenges in NLP involve natural language understanding. In other words, computers learn how to determine meaning from human or natural language input, and others involve natural language generation.

There are some excellent open source software to solve common problems in text processing like sentiment analysis, topic identification, automatic labeling of content, and more.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 16 excellent open source NLP tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to use these tools to solve practical problems. Our recommendations are captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-style ratings chart.

Ratings chart

Click the links in the table below to learn all about each tool.

Natural Language Processing
PyTorch-TransformersLibrary of state-of-the-art pre-trained models
Natural Language ToolkitSuite of open source Python modules, data sets and tutorials
Stanford CoreNLPExtensible annotation-based NLP pipeline
spaCyIndustrial strength natural language processing
MITIEMIT Information Extraction
scikit-learnMachine learning library for Python
GensimPython-based vector space modeling and topic modeling toolkit
flairSimple framework for state-of-the-art NLP
Apache OpenNLPMachine learning based toolkit
Apache LuceneFull-featured information retrieval software library
UIMAImplementation of the UIMA specification
tidytextText mining using dplyr, ggplot2, and other tidy tools
GATEGeneral Architecture for Text Engineering
text2vecFramework with API for text analysis and NLP
quantedaR package for Quantitative Analysis of Textual Data
MosesStatistical machine translation system

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