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Natural Language Toolkit
or, more commonly, NLTK
is a suite of libraries
In computer science, a library is a collection of resources used to develop software. These may include pre-written code and subroutines, classes, values or type specifications....
and programs for symbolic and statistical natural language processing
Natural language processing is a field of computer science and linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human languages; it began as a branch of artificial intelligence....
(NLP) for the Python programming language
Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language whose design philosophy emphasizes code readability. Python claims to "[combine] remarkable power with very clear syntax", and its standard library is large and comprehensive...
. NLTK includes graphical demonstrations and sample data. It is accompanied by extensive documentation, including a book that explains the underlying concepts behind the language processing tasks supported by the toolkit.
NLTK is ideally suited to students who are learning NLP or conducting research in NLP or closely related areas, including empirical linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....
, cognitive science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on how information is processed , represented, and transformed in behaviour, nervous system or machine...
, artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...
, information retrieval
Information retrieval is the area of study concerned with searching for documents, for information within documents, and for metadata about documents, as well as that of searching structured storage, relational databases, and the World Wide Web...
, and machine learning
Machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, is a scientific discipline concerned with the design and development of algorithms that allow computers to evolve behaviors based on empirical data, such as from sensor data or databases...
NLTK has been used successfully as a teaching tool, as an individual study tool, and as a platform for prototyping and building research systems. The NLTK Project is led by Steven Bird.