Infrastructure/software/eosc

From Nordic Language Processing Laboratory
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(Software)
(Software)
Line 28: Line 28:
 
= Software =
 
= Software =
  
Relevant software modules comprise general-purpose frameworks like Java and Python,
+
Relevant software modules comprise general-purpose run-time environments like Java and Python,
machine learning
+
machine learning frameworks like DyNet, PyTorch, SciPy, or TensorFlow, and a myriad of
 +
discipline-specific tools like CoreNLP, Gensim, Marian, NLTK, Open NMT, spaCy, and others.
 +
NLPL users typically ‘mix and match’ several of these components, to then build their own
 +
code on top.
 +
They will often require specific versions of individual modules, sometimes for good reasons.
 +
Between 2017 and 2019, the NLPL infrastructure task force has received installation requests
 +
for individual Python add-ons against language versions 2.7, 3.5, and 3.7, sometimes with
 +
addition constraints regarding supported versions of, for example, NumPy, PyTorch, or
 +
TensorFlow.
 +
 
 +
For reasons of compatibility with third-party code and reproducibility, users should largely
 +
be free (within reason) to pick the module versions they (believe they) require, modules must
 +
not change once installed (and announced), and historic or older module versions should
 +
remain functional over time, ideally many years into the future.
 +
The NLPL approach to meeting these demands has been to ‘unbundle’ to a high degree, i.e.
 +
provision separate add-ons (like Gensim, NumPy, SciPy, TensorFlow, etc.) as separate
 +
modules and inasmuch as possible provide each module for multiple base language
 +
versions.
 +
Abstractly, this design appears adequate and scalable, but module installation needs to be
 +
automated further, uniformity across different computing environments improved, and users
 +
supported better in navigating the resulting (large) space of partially interoperable
 +
modules.
  
 
= Data =
 
= Data =

Revision as of 20:49, 1 September 2019

Background

This page provides a working document for requirements in the NLP(L) use case in the EOSC Nordic project.

The NLPL research community (in late 2019) is comprised of many dozens of active users, ranging from MSc students to professors; there is much variation in computational experience and ‘Un*x foo’. Likewise, computing tasks vary a lot, ranging from maybe a handful of single-cpu jobs to thousands of (mildly) parallel or multi-gpu tasks; NLP research quite generally is both data- and compute-intensive.

Typical types of data include potentially large document collections (for example 130 billion words of English extracted from the Common Crawl or vast collections of translated texts in multiple languages), pre-computed representations of word or sentence meaning (so-called word embeddings), or more specialized training and evaluation sets for supervised machine learning tasks like parsing or machine translation.

After some two years of activity in the NLPL project, its community has collectively installed some 80 shared software modules and around six terabytes of primary source data. In May 2019, module load operations for NLPL-maintained software accounted for close to five percent of the total on the Norwegian Abel supercluster. In sum, preparing the software and data environment for the ‘average’ NLP experiment is no small task; duplication of data, software, and effort should be minimized. Further, reproducibility and replicability play an increasingly important role in NLP research. Other researchers must be enabled to re-run the same experiment (and obtain the same results), ideally also several years after the original publication.

Software

Relevant software modules comprise general-purpose run-time environments like Java and Python, machine learning frameworks like DyNet, PyTorch, SciPy, or TensorFlow, and a myriad of discipline-specific tools like CoreNLP, Gensim, Marian, NLTK, Open NMT, spaCy, and others. NLPL users typically ‘mix and match’ several of these components, to then build their own code on top. They will often require specific versions of individual modules, sometimes for good reasons. Between 2017 and 2019, the NLPL infrastructure task force has received installation requests for individual Python add-ons against language versions 2.7, 3.5, and 3.7, sometimes with addition constraints regarding supported versions of, for example, NumPy, PyTorch, or TensorFlow.

For reasons of compatibility with third-party code and reproducibility, users should largely be free (within reason) to pick the module versions they (believe they) require, modules must not change once installed (and announced), and historic or older module versions should remain functional over time, ideally many years into the future. The NLPL approach to meeting these demands has been to ‘unbundle’ to a high degree, i.e. provision separate add-ons (like Gensim, NumPy, SciPy, TensorFlow, etc.) as separate modules and inasmuch as possible provide each module for multiple base language versions. Abstractly, this design appears adequate and scalable, but module installation needs to be automated further, uniformity across different computing environments improved, and users supported better in navigating the resulting (large) space of partially interoperable modules.

Data

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