The Power of WordNet and How to Use It in Python

In this post, I am going to talk about the relations in WordNet ( and how you can use these in a Python project. WordNet is a database of English words with different relations between the words.

Take a look at the next four sentences.

  1.  “She went home and had pasta.”
  2. “Then she cleaned the kitchen and sat on the sofa.”
  3. “A little while later, she got up from the couch.”
  4. “She walked to her bed and in a few minutes she was snoring loudly.”

In Natural Language Processing, we try to use computer programs to find the meaning of sentences. In the above four sentences, with the help of WordNet, a computer program will be able to identify the following –

  1. “pasta” is a type of dish.
  2. “kitchen” is a part of “home”.
  3. “sofa” is the same thing as “couch”.
  4. “snoring” implies “sleeping”.

Let’s get started with using WordNet in Python. It is included as a part of the NLTK ( corpus. To use it, we need to import it first.

>>> from nltk.corpus import wordnet as wn

Continue reading

Build your own Natural Language Processing based Intelligent Assistant using Python, It’s easy!

Before we begin, let us talk about how Mike (a fictional character) spends a typical morning. Mike begins his day by searching for breakfast recipes on Google Now ( After a filling breakfast, Mike starts getting ready for work. He asks Siri ( to tell him the weather and traffic conditions for his drive to work. Finally, as Mike gets ready to leave the house, he asks Alexa ( to dim the lights and thermostat. It is not even 10 a.m. yet, but Mike like many of us has already used three intelligent personal assistant applications using Natural Language Processing (NLP). We will unravel the mysteries of building intelligent personal assistants with a simple example to build such an assistant quite easily using NLP.

Continue reading

The Pythonic Way

Python is a very powerful programming language that understands structural, functional and object oriented programming paradigms. New comers to Python from other languages tend to carry with them their mother (programming) tongue culture. Although they achieve the required task, they might have fallen in the trap of using Python the wrong way. In this post, we cover some efficient tricks to achieve tasks in Python; we call it the Pythonic way. Find an IPython Notebook for all tricks here on our GitHub repository.

Lists, Tuples, Dictionaries and Sets

Continue reading

Neural Networks and Recent Accomplishments (and how to train your own NN: a Python based DIY)

Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) are computational models inspired from one of nature’s most splendid creations – the neuron. It seems our quest to make the machines smarter has converged onto the realization that we ought to code the ‘smartness’ into them, literally. What better way than to draw parallels from the source of our own intelligence, our brains?

Continue reading

Querying Hacking Incidents with Style (Python)

Some months ago I attended a presentation where one of my colleagues, Panos, showed how he used Python to process data in a meaningful way. In particular, he showed how he extracted some interesting findings from a .csv file coming from the Boston Mayor’s 24 Hour Constituent Service web site. Such findings involved incidents that were still open by then, how many incidents were closed in a justifiable amount of time and others. Continue reading