Run an experiment given a parameter file. Does grammar extraction, parsing, and evaluation.

Usage: discodop runexp <parameter file> [--rerun]

If a parameter file is given, an experiment is run. Given the parameter file sample.prm, a new directory will be created with the base name of the parameter file, i.e., sample/ in this case. This directory must not exist yet, to avoid accidentally overwriting previous results. To this directory the grammar rules and lexicon will be written in a text format, as well as the parsing results and the gold standard parse trees in the same format.

To repeat an experiment with an existing grammar, pass the option --rerun. The directory with the name of the parameter file without extension must exist in the current path; its results will be overwritten.

Parameter file and example invocation

See the reference documentation on parameter files. A minimal parameter file:

    name='pcfg',  # an identifier, used as filename when writing results
    mode='pcfg',  # use the PCFG CKY parser

evalparam='proper.prm',  # EVALB-style parameter file
# train / test sets
corpusfmt='bracket',  # choices: export, bracket, discbracket, alpino, tiger
    maxwords=100,  # max number of words for sentences in train corpus
    maxwords=100,  # max number of words for sentences in test corpus

See sample.prm in the code repository for a more extensive example. The file proper.prm can also be found there, which is a version of the COLLINS.prm file typically used with EVALB, adapted for discontinuous parsing. Ensure that all referenced files are in the current directory or specified with a path, and run as:

$ discodop runexp sample.prm

Parsing statistics

After running discodop runexp, a number of additional files are produced with parsing statistics:


a log file with all messages displayed during parsing. This file contains ANSI codes for colors, so view it with less -R in a terminal, or remove them: sed "s,\x1B\[[0-9;]*[a-zA-Z],,g" output.log | less.


shows the distribution of parsing complexity (cf. Gildea, NAACL 2010 for the definition) among the grammar rules.


is a tab-separated file with additional information. For each tuple of sentid, len, stage, the following columns are given:

elapsedtime:CPU time to complete a given stage (not including any required preceding stages)
logprob:the log probability of the selected parse tree.
frags:the number of fragments in the best derivation of the selected parse tree. If this grammar did not use tree fragments, this number will equal the number of non-terminal nodes in the tree.
numitems:the total number of items (label, span) in the chart of this stage.
golditems:if this stage is pruned by the previous stage, the number of items from the gold tree that remain after pruning. if this stage is not pruned, the number of gold items in the chart.
totalgolditems:the number of items in the gold tree, for the binarized tree; the discontinuities in the tree are splitted to make the number of items between discontinuous trees and splitted trees comparable.