wbj0110 / jacana

Automatically exported from code.google.com/p/jacana

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Note: Original repo was at Google Code (https://code.google.com/p/jacana/). It was too big and after conversion, commit history was lost. Also, the data files had to be separated. Please download the data files and untar it to the same folder as the project files.

Jacana (/dʒəˈkɑːnə/) consists of three parts:

  • jacana-qa, a Question Answering engine for TREC-style questions, written in Java.
  • jacana-align, a monolingual word aligner for English, written in Java and Scala.
  • jacana-freebase, a Question Answering engine for web-style questions on Freebase, written in Java and Scala.


[http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~xuchen/packages/jacana-align.bin.20141029.tar.bz2 jacana-align.bin.20141029.tar.bz2] (103M, just the binary version of the aligner)

[http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~xuchen/packages/jacana.20141029.tar.bz2 jacana.20141029.tar.bz2] (660MB, everything (qa+align+freebase, source code only, no compiled jars), mostly data files and lexical resources)



  • a ranker for ranking whether a sentence contains an answer for a given question,
  • an answer extractor for extracting exact answer segments from sentences.

It provides software implementation and dataset for the following two papers:

[http://cs.jhu.edu/~xuchen/paper/yao-jacana-qa-naacl2013.pdf Answer Extraction as Sequence Tagging with Tree Edit Distance]. Xuchen Yao, Benjamin Van Durme, Peter Clark and Chris Callison-Burch. Proceedings of NAACL 2013.

[http://cs.jhu.edu/~xuchen/paper/yao-jacana-ir-acl2013.pdf Automatic Coupling of Answer Extraction and Information Retrieval]. Xuchen Yao, Benjamin Van Durme and Peter Clark. Proceedings of ACL 2013, short papers.



is a token-based aligner described in the following paper:

[http://cs.jhu.edu/~xuchen/paper/yao-jacana-wordalign-acl2013.pdf A Lightweight and High Performance Monolingual Word Aligner]. Xuchen Yao, Benjamin Van Durme, Chris Callison-Burch and Peter Clark. Proceedings of ACL 2013, short papers.

[http://jacana.clsp.jhu.edu/ online demo]

HOWTO: JacanaAlign


is a question answering engine that extracts answers from Freebase:

Information Extraction over Structured Data: Question Answering with Freebase. Xuchen Yao and Benjamin Van Durme. Proceedings of ACL 2014.

HOWTO: JacanaFreebase

Change Log


  • imported from Google Code. Original repo exceeded GitHub limit (less 1G repo, single file less than 100MB). Had to separate data from main repo and lost commit history.


  • jacana-align: is now thread-safe, model is also updated/re-trained


  • jacana-align: removed word2vec since it's too slow
  • jacana-align: added parallel support (by default), use the "--single" parameter to disable it


  • released jacana-freebase


  • added more lexical resources: word2vec, wiktionary, better PPDB support
  • feature tuning for token alignment
  • full UTF-8 support in AJAX demo


  • retrained model on larger alignment corpus
  • now compiles with Scala-2.10.2
  • fixed Windows compatability issue of several lexical models
  • demo pre-loads model first


  • Initial release


Automatically exported from code.google.com/p/jacana


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