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Turku Event Extraction System

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Turku Event Extraction System 2.3

Turku Event Extraction System (TEES) is a free and open source natural language processing system developed for the extraction of events and relations from biomedical text. It is written mostly in Python, and should work in generic Unix/Linux environments.

TEES has been evaluated in the following Shared Tasks and models for predicting their targets are included in this release.

  • BioNLP 2009 Shared Task (1st place)
  • BioNLP 2011 Shared Task (1st place in 4/8 tasks, only system to participate in all tasks)
  • DDI 2011 (Drug-drug interactions) Challenge (4th place, at 96% of the performance of the best system)
  • DDI 2013 (Drug-drug interactions) Challenge (2nd and 3rd place)
  • BioNLP 2013 Shared Task (1st place in 4/8 tasks)

For more information and documentation, see the TEES wiki at

Quick Start

To get started with TEES, download the latest stable release from or the current version from the repository. After downloading, TEES can optionally be installed as a module using "", but this is not required, and the program can simply be used from the unpacked archive.

However, before using TEES the external programs and datafiles need to be installed using the interactive configuration tool "", located in the package root directory:


After TEES had been configured, you can predict events or relations for text with Using the "-m" (model) switch, you can select one of the pre-computed models (listed at For example, to run TEES prediction for the BioNLP 2011 GENIA development corpus, use:

python -m GE11-devel -i GE11-devel -o OUTSTEM

where "OUTSTEM" is the output file stem. To try TEES on unannotated text, you can give "" a PubMed citation id, such as:

python -m GE11 -i 9668063 -o OUTSTEM

TEES will download the abstract and use the integrated preprocessing pipeline to split the text into sentences (with the GENIA Sentence Splitter,, detect named entities (with BANNER, and parse the text (with BLLIP Parser using David McClosky's biomodel, and Stanford format conversion,, after which events are detected from the document.

Using TEES

The primary user interface to TEES consists of the following programs

  • - Predict events/relations with an existing model
  • - Train a new event/relation extraction model
  • - Batch process large sets of input files
  • - Install TEES models, external tools and corpora
  • - Visualize the events and parse for a sentence
  • - Format conversion, sentence splitting, parsing, NER etc.

For information on using these programs, see the TEES wiki at

TEES also has a number of modules that can be used as standalone executables, including the wrappers for external tools such as parsers. A list of these executables can be found at


If you use TEES in a publication, please cite the following book:

@phdthesis{bjorne2014biomedical, title={Biomedical Event Extraction with Machine Learning}, author={Bj{\"o}rne, Jari}, year={2014}, school={University of Turku}, publisher={TUCS Dissertations} }

TEES uses several external components, for more information on their licensing terms please see

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