This page gives information for the ERS tutorials at LREC and NAACL 2016.


The NAACL tutorial was recorded and is now available (in three parts) at

English Resource Semantics: Getting Started

This page describes how to get the support software for the ERS tutorial onto your computer. We recommend tutorial attendees start with the VirtualBox appliance, to reduce variability for hands-on portions of the tutorial.

VirtualBox Appliance

Here are the steps to get started with the VirtualBox appliance:

  1. Install the VirtualBox installer, either from or from the tutorial USB key. You may be prompted to (automatically) install drivers or be warned that Microsoft has not tested the software.

  2. Obtain the tutorial appliance OVA file, either from here (64-bit) or here (32-bit) or from the tutorial USB key.

  3. Launch VirtualBox and choose "Import Appliance..." from the File menu.

  4. Select the .ova file and follow the onscreen instructions; default options are fine. You will need at least 2GB of additional RAM beyond what your OS and other running programs require, and 8GB of hard disk space.
  5. Select the new virtual machine and start it up.

Running the parser interactively

  1. In the terminal window in VirtualBox, start the parser:  ace -g erg/erg-1214.dat -1l 

  2. Type a simple test sentence, and hit Enter: Most fierce dogs chase cats.

  3. A separate parse tree window pops up.
  4. Right-click within the parse tree window, and choose “Indexed MRS” to see a compressed view of the ERS.
  5. Alternatively, to get the ERS as a string written to the terminal, start the parser without LUI:  ace -g erg/erg-1214.dat -1Tf 

  6. Type a simple test sentence and hit Enter: Most fierce dogs chase cats.

Known issues

Windows users who have Hyper-V/Hypervision will have to uninstall it (or maybe just disable it) to run the VM (coreinfo.exe may be useful in checking what is happening - see also If you obtain an error about USB 2.0 support, install the VirtualBox extensions (just download and launch the extensions, no need to reimport the appliance). If you get an error about 64-bit mode, you may need to enable virtualization in the BIOS of your laptop (a symptom of this is that the Acceleration Tab is greyed out in Settings / System in VirtualBox).

Other Options

If you use Linux or MacOS X, you can install the ACE parser/generator and the English Resource Grammar natively on your machine (i.e. without using VirtualBox); however, file names and support software may not be configured as assumed for the tutorial. The ACE homepage has the relevant links and some instructions; you may also find AceTop (in particular AceInstall and AceLui) useful.

Serious users will also find the so-called LOGON tree of interest. This collection of software includes tools for grammar engineering, converting between output formats, inspecting and annotating treebanks, parsing and generating, and more. See ErgProcessing and LogonTop (especially LogonInstallation) for instructions and more details.


The above instructions for setting up VirtualBox are largely inspired by these instructions for KnoppixLKB. Our thanks go to David Brodbeck for his assistance in preparing the tutorial VirtualBox appliance.

ErsTutorial (last edited 2016-11-01 21:25:02 by EmilyBender)

(The DELPH-IN infrastructure is hosted at the University of Oslo)