Released November 5, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Solutions to common problems will be posted here as we become aware of them. If you need help with something, please check our support group for a solution, or post a new question.

I get a message stating: “no ken in java.library.path”

This occurs when KenLM failed to build. This can occur for a number of reasons:

  • Boost isn’t installed. Boost is available through most package management tools, so try that first. You can also build it from source.

  • Boost is installed, but not in your path. The easiest solution is to add the boost library directory to your $LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable. You can also edit the file $JOSHUA/src/joshua/decoder/ff/lm/kenlm/Makefile and define BOOST_ROOT to point to your boost location. Then rebuild KenLM with the command

    ant -f $JOSHUA/build.xml kenlm
  • You have run into boost’s weird naming of multi-threaded libraries. For some reason, boost libraries sometimes have a -mt extension applied when they are built with multi-threaded support. This will cause the linker to fail, since it is looking for, e.g., -lboost_system instead of -lboost_system-mt. Edit the same Makefile as above and uncomment the BOOST_MT = -mt line, then try to compile again with

    ant -f $ kenlm

You may find the following reference URLs to be useful.!topic/joshua_support/SiGO41tkpsw

How do I make Joshua produce better results?

One way is to add a larger language model. Build on Gigaword, news crawl data, etc. lmplz makes it easy to build and efficient to represent (especially if you compress it with `build_binary). To include it in Joshua, there are two ways:

  • Pipeline. By default, Joshua’s pipeline builds a language model on the target side of your parallel training data. But Joshua can decode with any number of additional language models as well. So you can build a language model separately, presumably on much more data (since you won’t be constrained only to one side of parallel data, which is much more scarce than monolingual data). Once you’ve built extra language models and compiled them with KenLM’s build_binary script, you can tell the pipeline to use them with any number of --lmfile /path/to/lm/file flags.

  • Joshua (directly). This file documents the Joshua configuration file format.

I have already run the pipeline once. How do I run it again, skipping the early stages and just retuning the model?

You would need to do this if, for example, you added a language model, or changed some other parameter (e.g., an improvement to the decoder). To do this, follow the following steps:

  • Re-run the pipeline giving it a new --rundir N+1 (where N is the last run, and N+1 is a new, non-existent directory).
  • Give it all the other flags that you gave before, such as the tuning data, testing data, source and target flags, etc. You don’t have to give it the training data.
  • Tell it to start at the tuning step with --first-step TUNE
  • Tell it where all of your language model files are with --lmfile /path/to/lm lines. You also have to tell it where the main language model is, which is usually --lmfile N/lm.kenlm (paths are relative to the directory above the run directory.
  • Tell it where the main grammar is, e.g., --grammar N/grammar.gz. If the tuning and test data hasn’t changed, you can also point it to the filtered and packed versions to save a little time using --tune-grammar N/data/tune/grammar.packed and --test-grammar N/data/test/grammar.packed, where N here again is the previous run (or some other run; it can be anywhere).

Here’s an example. Let’s say you ran a full pipeline as run 1, and now added a new language model and want to see how it affects the decoder. Your first run might have been invoked like this:

$JOSHUA/scripts/training/ \
  --rundir 1 \
  --readme "Baseline French--English Europarl hiero system" \
  --corpus /path/to/europarl \
  --tune /path/to/europarl/tune \
  --test /path/to/europarl/test \
  --source fr \
  --target en \
  --threads 8 \
  --joshua-mem 30g \
  --tuner mira \
  --type hiero \
  --aligner berkeley

Your new run will look like this:

$JOSHUA/scripts/training/ \
  --rundir 2 \
  --readme "Adding in a huge language model" \
  --tune /path/to/europarl/tune \
  --test /path/to/europarl/test \
  --source fr \
  --target en \
  --threads 8 \
  --joshua-mem 30g \
  --tuner mira \
  --type hiero \
  --aligner berkeley \
  --first-step TUNE \
  --lmfile 1/lm.kenlm \
  --lmfile /path/to/huge/new/lm \
  --tune-grammar 1/data/tune/grammar.packed \
  --test-grammar 1/data/test/grammar.packed

Notice the changes: we removed the --corpus (though it would have been fine to have left it, it would have just been skipped), specified the first step, changed the run directory and README comments, and pointed to the grammars and both language model files.

How can I enable specific feature functions?

Let’s say you created a new feature function, OracleFeature, and you want to enable it. You can do this in two ways. Through the pipeline, simply pass it the argument --joshua-args "list of joshua args". These will then be passed to the decoder when it is invoked. You can enable your feature functions, then using something like

$JOSHUA/bin/ --joshua-args '-feature-function OracleFeature'   

If you call the decoder directly, you can just put that line in the configuration file, e.g.,

feature-function = OracleFeature

or you can pass it directly to Joshua on the command line using the standard notation, e.g.,

$JOSHUA/bin/joshua-decoder -feature-function OracleFeature

These could be stacked, e.g.,

$JOSHUA/bin/joshua-decoder -feature-function OracleFeature \
    -feature-function MagicFeature \
    -feature-function MTSolverFeature \