Web server and other requirements

The MAT UI requires that you be able to run a Web server. The Web server software is included with the MAT distribution. Instructions for starting and managing the Web server can be found here.  The Web server may also start up a second server for the Java Carafe engine, so that large tagging models don't have to be loaded every time you request that a document be tagged via the MAT UI.

What if I can't run a Web server?

We're aware that in some environments, you won't be able to run your own Web server. Unfortunately, the resources we have to devote to MAT do not permit us to create a server-free full version of MAT. Here's what you won't be able to do, and how you might work around it:

Without the Web server, you won't be able to hand-annotate documents. Obviously, if you're building a corpus of annotated documents, and you don't have your own hand annotation tool, you'll be out of luck. If you do have your own hand-annotation tool, you have two options: either ensure that the tool can read or write documents that MAT can understand, or augment MAT to understand the format of the documents your annotation tool creates. There's a Java API, for instance, that you can use to read and write MAT documents, and there's documentation on the MAT document format. However, your simplest option is most likely to read and write in-line XML, if possible, since MAT has a fairly sophisticated understanding of in-line XML. The documentation on readers and writers will tell you more. (It's also possible to write a new reader/writer and add it to MAT, but explaining how to do that is beyond the scope of this documentation.)

Without the Web server, you won't able to control the MAT engine via the MAT UI to perform any automated processing of documents. This is not a huge problem, since all the MAT engine operations are available via the command line using the MATEngine tool.

Without the Web server, you won't be able to view or control MAT workspaces via the MAT UI. This is a bit more of a problem, since the UI manages access to the workspaces during hand annotation. You'll have to be sure you only annotate documents that reside in the relevant folders in the MAT workspace, and save those documents back to the workspace.

We can't guarantee that this is the extent of the consequences of not being able to run the MAT Web server. We encourage you, if at all possible, to find an environment, such as a virtual machine, where you're permitted to run the server.