Data scientists need to be able to quickly and easily manipulate strings. The Accelerated Data Science (ADS) SDK provides an enhanced string class, called ADSString. It adds functionality like regular expression (RegEx) matching and natural language processing (NLP) parsing. The class can be expanded by registering custom plugins so that you can process a string in a way that it fits your specific needs. For example, you can register the OCI Language service plugin to bind functionalities from the Language service to ADSString.

import ads
import spacy

from ads.feature_engineering.adsstring.oci_language import OCILanguage
from ads.feature_engineering.adsstring.string import ADSString


Text analytics uses a set of powerful tools to understand the content of unstructured data, such as text. It’s becoming an increasingly more important tool in feature engineering as product reviews, media content, research papers, and more are being mined for their content. In many data science areas, such as marketing analytics, the use of unstructured text is becoming as popular as structured data. This is largely due to the relatively low cost of collection of the data. However, the downside is the complexity of working with the data. To work with unstructured that you need to clean, summarize, and create features from it before you create a model. The ADSString class provides tools that allow you to quickly do this work. More importantly, you can expand the tool to meet your specific needs.

Regular Expression Matching

Text documents are often parsed looking for specific patterns to extract information like emails, dates, times, web links, and so on. This pattern matching is often done using RegEx, which is hard to write, modify, and understand. Custom written RegEx often misses the edge cases. ADSString provides a number of common RegEx patterns so that your work is simplified. You can use the following patterns:

  • credit_card: Credit card number.

  • dates: Dates in a variety of standard formats.

  • email: Email address.

  • ip: IP addresses, versions IPV4 and IPV6.

  • link: Text that appears to be a link to a website.

  • phone_number_US: USA phone numbers including those with extensions.

  • price: Text that appears to be a price.

  • ssn: USA social security number.

  • street_address: Street address.

  • times: Text that appears to be a time and less than 24 hours.

  • zip_code: USA zip code.

The preceding ADSString properties return an array with each pattern that in matches. The following examples demonstrate how to extract email addresses, dates ,and links from the text. Note that the text is extracted as is. For example, the dates aren’t converted to a standard format. The returned value is the text as it is represented in the input text. Use the datetime.strptime() method to convert the date to a date time stamp.

s = ADSString("Get in touch with my associates and to schedule")
['', '']
s = ADSString("She is born on Jan. 19th, 2014 and died 2021-09-10")
['Jan. 19th, 2014', '2021-09-10']
s = ADSString("Follow the link to Oracle's homepage.")

NLP Parsing

ADSString also supports NLP parsing and is backed by Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) or spaCy. Unless otherwise specified, NLTK is used by default. You can extract properties, such as nouns, adjectives, word counts, parts of speech tags, and so on from text with NLP.

The ADSString class can have one backend enabled at a time. What properties are available depends on the backend, as do the results of calling the property. The following examples provide an overview of the available parsers, and how to use them. Generally, the parser supports the adjective, adverb, bigram, noun, pos, sentence, trigram, verb, word, and word_count base properties. Parsers can support additional parsers.

Natural Language Toolkit Backend

NLTK is a powerful platform for processing human language data. It supports all the base properties and in addition stem and token. The stem property returns a list of all the stemmed tokens. It reduces a token to its word stem that affixes to suffixes and prefixes, or to the roots of words that is the lemma. The token property is similar to the word property, except it returns non-alphanumeric tokens and doesn’t force tokens to be lowercase.

The following example use a sample of text about Larry Ellison to demonstrate the use of the NLTK properties.

test_text = """
            Lawrence Joseph Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is an American business magnate,
            investor, and philanthropist who is a co-founder, the executive chairman and
            chief technology officer (CTO) of Oracle Corporation. As of October 2019, he was
            listed by Forbes magazine as the fourth-wealthiest person in the United States
            and as the sixth-wealthiest in the world, with a fortune of $69.1 billion,
            increased from $54.5 billion in 2018.[4] He is also the owner of the 41st
            largest island in the United States, Lanai in the Hawaiian Islands with a
            population of just over 3000.
s = ADSString(test_text)
['Joseph', 'Ellison', 'August', 'business']
['American', 'chief', 'fourth-wealthiest', 'largest', 'Hawaiian']
['joseph', 'ellison', 'born', 'august']

By taking the difference between token and word, the token set contains non-alphanumeric tokes, and also the uppercase version of words.

list(set(s.token) - set(s.word))[1:5]
['Oracle', '1944', '41st', 'fourth-wealthiest']

The stem property takes the list of words and stems them. It produces morphological variations of a word’s root form. The following example stems some words, and shows some of the stemmed words that were changed.

list(set(s.stem) - set(s.word))[1:5]
['fortun', 'technolog', 'increas', 'popul']

Part of Speech Tags

Part of speech (POS) is a category in which a word is assigned based on its syntactic function. POS depends on the language. For English, the most common POS are adjective, adverb, conjunction, determiner, interjection, noun, preposition, pronoun, and verb. However, each POS system has its own set of POS tags that vary based on their respective training set. The NLTK parsers produce the following POS tags:

  • CC: coordinating conjunction

  • CD: cardinal digit

  • DT: determiner

  • EX: existential there; like “there is” ; think of it like “there


  • FW: foreign word

  • IN: preposition/subordinating conjunction

  • JJ: adjective; “big”

  • JJR: adjective, comparative; “bigger”

  • JJS: adjective, superlative; “biggest”

  • LS: list marker 1)

  • MD: modal could, will

  • NN: noun, singular; “desk”

  • NNS: noun plural; “desks”

  • NNP: proper noun, singular; “Harrison”

  • NNPS: proper noun, plural; “Americans”

  • PDT: predeterminer; “all the kids”

  • POS: possessive ending; “parent’s”

  • PRP: personal pronoun; I, he, she

  • PRP$: possessive pronoun; my, his, hers

  • RB: adverb; very, silently

  • RBR: adverb; comparative better

  • RBS: adverb; superlative best

  • RP: particle; give up

  • TO: to go; “to” the store.

  • UH: interjection; errrrrrrrm

  • VB: verb, base form; take

  • VBD: verb, past tense; took

  • VBG: verb, gerund/present participle; taking

  • VBN: verb, past participle; taken

  • VBP: verb, singular present; non-3d take

  • VBZ: verb, 3rd person singular present; takes

  • WDT: wh-determiner; which

  • WP: wh-pronoun; who, what

  • WP$: possessive wh-pronoun; whose

  • WRB: wh-adverb; where, when

Listing of Part-of-Speech tags


spaCy is in an advanced NLP toolkit. It helps you understand what the words mean in context, and who is doing what to whom. It helps you determine what companies and products are mentioned in a document. The spaCy backend is used to parses the adjective, adverb, bigram, noun, pos, sentence, trigram, verb, word, and word_count base properties. It also supports the following additional properties:

  • entity: All entities in the text.

  • entity_artwork: The titles of books, songs, and so on.

  • entity_location: Locations, facilities, and geopolitical entities,

    such as countries, cities, and states.

  • entity_organization: Companies, agencies, and institutions.

  • entity_person: Fictional and real people.

  • entity_product: Product names and so on.

  • lemmas: A rule-based estimation of the roots of a word.

  • tokens: The base tokens of the tokenization process. This is

    similar to word, but it includes non-alphanumeric values and the word case is preserved.

If the spacy module is installed ,you can change the NLP backend using the ADSString.nlp_backend('spacy') command.

s = ADSString(test_text)
['magnate', 'investor', 'philanthropist', 'co']
['American', 'executive', 'chief', 'fourth', 'wealthiest', 'largest']
['Joseph', 'Ellison', 'born', 'August']

You can identify all the locations that are mentioned in the text.

['the United States', 'the Hawaiian Islands']

Also, the organizations that were mentioned.

['CTO', 'Oracle Corporation', 'Forbes', 'Lanai']

Part of Speech Tags

The POS tagger in spaCy uses a smaller number of categories. For example, spaCy has the ADJ POS for all adjectives, while NLTK has JJ to mean an adjective. JJR refers to a comparative adjective, and JJS refers to a superlative adjective. For fine grain analysis of different parts of speech, NLTK is the preferred backend. However, spaCy’s reduced category set tends to produce fewer errors,at the cost of not being as specific.

The spaCy parsers produce the following POS tags:

  • ADJ: adjective; big, old, green, incomprehensible, first

  • ADP: adposition; in, to, during

  • ADV: adverb; very, tomorrow, down, where, there

  • AUX: auxiliary; is, has (done), will (do), should (do)

  • CONJ: conjunction; and, or, but

  • CCONJ: coordinating conjunction; and, or, but

  • DET: determiner; a, an, the

  • INTJ: interjection; psst, ouch, bravo, hello

  • NOUN: noun; girl, cat, tree, air, beauty

  • NUM: numeral; 1, 2017, one, seventy-seven, IV, MMXIV

  • PART: particle; ’s, not,

  • PRON: pronoun; I, you, he, she, myself, themselves, somebody

  • PROPN: proper noun; Mary, John, London, NATO, HBO

  • PUNCT: punctuation; ., (, ), ?

  • SCONJ: subordinating conjunction; if, while, that

  • SYM: symbol; $, %, §, ©, +, −, ×, ÷, =, :), 😝

  • VERB: verb; run, runs, running, eat, ate, eating

  • X: other; sfpksdpsxmsa

  • SPACE: space

Listing of Part-of-Speech tags


One of the most powerful features of ADSString is that you can expand and customize it. The .plugin_register() method allows you to add properties to the ADSString class. These plugins can be provided by third-party providers or developed by you. This section demonstrates how to connect the to the Language service, and how to create a custom plugin.

OCI Language Services

The Language service provides pretrained models that provide sophisticated text analysis at scale.

The Language service contains these pretrained language processing capabilities:

  • Aspect-Based Sentiment Analysis: Identifies aspects from the given text and classifies each into positive, negative, or neutral polarity.

  • Key Phrase Extraction: Extracts an important set of phrases from a block of text.

  • Language Detection: Detects languages based on the given text, and includes a confidence score.

  • Named Entity Recognition: Identifies common entities, people, places, locations, email, and so on.

  • Text Classification: Identifies the document category and subcategory that the text belongs to.

Those are accessible in ADS using the OCILanguage plugin.


Aspect-Based Sentiment Analysis

Aspect-based sentiment analysis can be used to gauge the mood or the tone of the text.

The aspect-based sentiment analysis (ABSA) supports fine-grained sentiment analysis by extracting the individual aspects in the input document. For example, a restaurant review “The driver was really friendly, but the taxi was falling apart.” contains positive sentiment toward the taxi driver aspect. Also, it has a strong negative sentiment toward the service mechanical aspect of the taxi. Classifying the overall sentiment as negative would neglect the fact that the taxi driver was nice.

ABSA classifies each of the aspects into one of the three polarity classes, positive, negative, mixed, and neutral. With the predicted sentiment for each aspect. It also provides a confidence score for each of the classes and their corresponding offsets in the input. The range of the confidence score for each class is between 0 – 1, and the cumulative scores of all the three classes sum to 1.

In the next example, the sample sentence is analyzed. The two aspects, taxi cab and driver, have their sentiments determined. It defines the location of the aspect by giving its offset position in the text, and the length of the aspect in characters. It also gives the text that defines the aspect along with the sentiment scores and which sentiment is dominant.

t = ADSString("The driver was really friendly, but the taxi was falling apart.")
Results of Aspect-Based Sentiment analysis

Named Entity Recognition

Named entity recognition (NER) detects named entities in text. The NER model uses NLP, which uses machine learning to find predefined named entities. This model also provides a confidence score for each entity and is a value from 0 - 1. The returned data is the text of the entity, its position in the document, and its length. It also identifies the type of entity, a probability score that it is an entity of the stated type.

The following are the supported entity types:

  • DATE: Absolute or relative dates, periods, and date range.

  • EMAIL: Email address.

  • EVENT: Named hurricanes, sports events, and so on.

  • FAC: Facilities; Buildings, airports, highways, bridges, and so


  • GPE: Geopolitical entity; Countries, cities, and states.

  • IPADDRESS: IP address according to IPv4 and IPv6 standards.

  • LANGUAGE: Any named language.

  • LOCATION: Non-GPE locations, mountain ranges, and bodies of


  • MONEY: Monetary values, including the unit.

  • NORP: Nationalities, religious, and political groups.

  • ORG: Organization; Companies, agencies, institutions, and so on.

  • PERCENT: Percentage.

  • PERSON: People, including fictional characters.

  • PHONE_NUMBER: Supported phone numbers.

    • (“GB”) - United Kingdom

    • (“AU”) - Australia

    • (“NZ”) - New Zealand

    • (“SG”) - Singapore

    • (“IN”) - India

    • (“US”) - United States

  • PRODUCT: Vehicles, tools, foods, and so on (not services).

  • QUANTITY: Measurements, as weight or distance.

  • TIME: Anything less than 24 hours (time, duration, and so on).

  • URL: URL

The following example lists the named entities in the “Lawrence Joseph Ellison…” test_text. The output gives the named entity, its location, and offset position in the text. It also gives a probability and score that this text is actually a named entity along with the type.

s = ADSString(test_text)
Results of Named entity recognition

Key Phrase Extraction

Key phrase (KP) extraction is the process of extracting the words with the most relevance, and expressions from the input text. It helps summarize the content and recognizes the main topics. The KP extraction finds insights related to the main points of the text. It understands the unstructured input text, and returns keywords and KPs. The KPs consist of subjects and objects that are being talked about in the document. Any modifiers, like adjectives associated with these subjects and objects, are also included in the output. Confidence scores for each key phrase that signify how confident the algorithm is that the identified phrase is a KP. Confidence scores are a value from 0 - 1.

The following example determines the key phrases and the importance of these phrases.

Results of Key phrase (KP) extraction

Language Detection

The language detection tool identifies which natural language the input text is in. If the document contains more than one language, the results may not be what you expect. Language detection can help make customer support interactions more personable and quicker. Customer service chatbots can interact with customers based on the language of their input text and respond accordingly. If a customer needs help with a product, the chatbot server can field the corresponding language product manual, or transfer it to a call center for the specific language.

The following is a list of some of the supported languages:

  • Afrikaans

  • Albanian

  • Arabic

  • Armenian

  • Azerbaijani

  • Basque

  • Belarusian

  • Bengali

  • Bosnian

  • Bulgarian

  • Burmese

  • Cantonese

  • Catalan

  • Cebuano

  • Chinese

  • Croatian

  • Czech

  • Danish

  • Dutch

  • Eastern Punjabi

  • Egyptian Arabic

  • English

  • Esperanto

  • Estonian

  • Finnish

  • French

  • Georgian

  • German

  • Greek

  • Hebrew

  • Hindi

  • Hungarian

  • Icelandic

  • Indonesian

  • Irish

  • Italian

  • Japanese

  • Javanese

  • Kannada

  • Kazakh

  • Korean

  • Kurdish (Sorani)

  • Latin

  • Latvian

  • Lithuanian

  • Macedonian

  • Malay

  • Malayalam

  • Marathi

  • Minangkabau

  • Nepali

  • Norwegian (Bokmal)

  • Norwegian (Nynorsk)

  • Persian

  • Polish

  • Portuguese

  • Romanian

  • Russian

  • Serbian

  • Serbo-Croatian

  • Slovak

  • Slovene

  • Spanish

  • Swahili

  • Swedish

  • Tagalog

  • Tamil

  • Telugu

  • Thai

  • Turkish

  • Ukrainian

  • Urdu

  • Uzbek

  • Vietnamese

  • Welsh

The next example determines the language of the text, the ISO 639-1 language code, and a probability score.

Results of language detection

Text Classification

Text classification analyses the text and identifies categories for the content with a confidence score. Text classification uses NLP techniques to find insights from textual data. It returns a category from a set of predefined categories. This text classification uses NLP and relies on the main objective lies on zero-shot learning. It classifies text with no or minimal data to train. The content of a collection of documents is analyzed to determine common themes.

The next example classifies the text and gives a probability score that the text is in that category.

Results of text classification analysis

Custom Plugin

You can bind additional properties to ADSString using custom plugins. This allows you to create custom text processing extensions. A plugin has access to the self.string property in ADSString class. You can define functions that perform a transformation on the text in the object. All functions defined in a plugin are bound to ADSString and accessible across all objects of that class.

Assume that your text is "I purchased the gift on this card 4532640527811543 and the dinner on 340984902710890" and you want to know what credit cards were used. The .credit_card property returns the entire credit card number. However, for privacy reasons you don’t what the entire credit card number, but the last four digits.

To solve this problem, you can create the class CreditCardLast4 and use the self.string property in ADSString to access the text associated with the object. It then calls the .credit_card method to get the credit card numbers. Then it parses this to return the last four characters in each credit card.

The first step is to define the class that you want to bind to ADSString. Use the @property decorator and define a property function. This function only takes self. The self.string is accessible with the text that is defined for a given object. The property returns a list.

class CreditCardLast4:
    def credit_card_last_4(self):
        return [x[len(x)-4:len(x)] for x in ADSString(self.string).credit_card]

After the class is defined, it must be registered with ADSString using the .register_plugin() method.


Take the text and make it an ADSString object, and call the .credit_card_last_4 property to obtain the last four digits of the credit cards that were used.

creditcard_numbers = "I purchased the gift on this card 4532640527811543 and the dinner on 340984902710890"
s = ADSString(creditcard_numbers)
['1543', '0890']

ADSString is Still a String

While ADSString expands your feature engineering capabilities, it can still be treated as a str object. Any standard operation on str is preserved in ADSString. For instance, you can convert it to lowercase:

hello_world = "HELLO WORLD"
s = ADSString(hello_world)
'hello world'

You could split a text string.


You can use all the str methods, such as the .replace() method, to replace text.

s.replace("L", "N")

You can perform a number of str manipulation operations, such as .lower() and .upper() to get an ADSString object back.

isinstance(s.lower().upper(), ADSString)

While a new ADSString object is created with str manipulation operations, the equality operation holds.

s.lower().upper() == s

The equality operation even holds between ADSString objects (s) and str objects (hello_world).

s == hello_world