Log in Help
Homefamily 〉 process.html

The GATE Process

The GATE Process describes the steps you need to take if you want to create predictable and sustainable language processing capabilities in your organisation. The process is supported by software (most notably GATE Teamware), but it is not primarily based on tools. The process encapsulates expert knowledge and the use of that knowledge to build, educate and direct multi-role teams whose work involves the complex workflows (or business processes) necessary to do text analysis (etc.) in a cost-effective, sustainable and accurate manner.

The process covers four areas:

The process is specified as a set of UML activity diagrams which are supported by business process management tooling, GATE Teamware, GATE Developer and GATE embedded.

To implement the GATE process in your organisation, contact the GATE team.

Why a Process?

Three reasons:

First, successful deployment of language-based or semantic technology is most often not just about software but about sets of interlocking capabilities (both human and machine) working together over time.

Second, we need a process for the same reason that manufacturers now rely more on quality assurance (QA) than quality control: it is better to prevent errors from occurring (as in QA) than try to fix them when they do (as in quality control). QA relies on continual measurement of quality and on the implementation of workflow predictability; the GATE process brings these characteristics to the deployment of language processing.

Third, over the last 15 years the GATE team have been involved in numerous applications of text processing, from business intelligence to web mining, from voice of the customer to news indexing. Along the way we have built systems for clients as diverse as the BBC Archives or Oxford University's Sumerian corpus, British Telecom's digital library or MedCPU's decision support engine. We have also helped out or observed on a large number of projects for other people using GATE. In the early 2000s we came to understand that although we had produced some of the best tools available for supporting the development of these applications by specialists, in practice there were several other key stakeholders and staff roles involved that are crucial to success. In addition, these staff must participate in a complex workflow in order to guarantee success at predictable cost, and to establish performance beyond the lifetime of the initial development project.

Therefore we developed a process, and a set of workflow-driven web tools to support it. This process is a set of steps to follow in the definition, prototyping, development, deployment and maintenance of SA processes. (I.e.: this section is not about "get this great new bit of software and it will transform your life", but "this is how to implement robust and maintainable services".) The process helps answers questions such as:

Process Elements

The GATE Process is currently customised specifically for each client of the team. Below we list some example steps from previous processes; see also Text Analysis Lifecycles with GATE.