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Unveiling the Nuances: The difference between Classification and Structuration

Explore the differences between classification and structuration in Natural Language Processing (NLP).

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Natural Language Processing (NLP) has witnessed remarkable advancements in recent years, enabling machines to comprehend and process human language more effectively. Among the various techniques in NLP, classification and structuration play pivotal roles in extracting valuable insights from textual data. While they both involve analyzing and organizing text, there are significant differences between these approaches. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of classification and structuration in NLP, highlighting their unique characteristics and use cases.

Classification vs. Structuration

Classification in NLP

Classification, in the context of NLP, involves categorizing text into predefined classes or categories. It is a supervised learning technique where machine learning algorithms are trained on labeled data to recognize patterns and make predictions about the class of unseen instances. Classification algorithms use a variety of features and techniques, such as bag-of-words, word embeddings, and deep learning models, to classify text accurately.

The primary objective of text classification is to assign appropriate labels or tags to documents based on their content. It finds applications in sentiment analysis, spam detection, topic classification, intent recognition, and more. By categorizing text, classification enables automation of tasks that require understanding and sorting large volumes of textual data quickly and efficiently.

Structuration in NLP

Structuration, on the other hand, focuses on extracting structured information from unstructured text. It involves identifying and organizing various elements within a document, such as entities, relationships, events, and concepts. Unlike classification, structuration is more concerned with capturing the semantic and structural meaning of the text rather than assigning predefined labels.

Named Entity Recognition (NER) is a commonly used technique for structuration, where the goal is to identify and classify named entities like persons, organizations, locations, dates, and more within a text. Relation extraction, another form of structuration, aims to discover relationships between entities and express them in a structured format. Structuration techniques are instrumental in applications such as information extraction, knowledge graph construction, question answering, and text summarization.

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Key Differences

Goal: Classification primarily aims to assign predefined labels or categories to documents based on their content, whereas structuration aims to extract structured information, such as entities and relationships, from unstructured text.

Level of Granularity: Classification operates at a higher level of granularity, focusing on the overall class or category to which a document belongs. In contrast, structuration dives deeper into the document's content, extracting specific entities, relationships, or events.

Supervision Requirement: Classification relies on labeled data for training, where each document is associated with a known class or category. In contrast, structuration techniques often require less supervision, as they aim to discover and extract patterns and structures from the text.

Output Format: Classification outputs a single label or category for a document, representing its overall class. Structuration, on the other hand, generates structured representations, such as labeled entities or structured knowledge graphs, that capture the relationships and semantic meaning within the text.


Both classification and structuration are integral components of NLP, each serving distinct purposes in understanding and extracting valuable information from textual data. While classification focuses on categorizing documents into predefined classes, structuration delves deeper into the content, extracting entities, relationships, and concepts. Understanding the nuances and differences between these two approaches enables practitioners to choose the most appropriate technique for their specific NLP tasks. By harnessing the power of both classification and structuration, NLP continues to revolutionize industries, enabling machines to comprehend and leverage the rich information present in human language.


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