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IBM Developer Model Asset Exchange: Text Sentiment Classifier

This repository contains code to instantiate and deploy a text sentiment classifier. This model is able to detect whether a text fragment leans towards a positive or a negative sentiment. Optimal input examples for this model are short strings (preferably a single sentence) with correct grammar, although not a requirement.

The model is based on the pre-trained BERT-Base, English Uncased model and was fine-tuned on the IBM Claim Stance Dataset. The model files are hosted on IBM Cloud Object Storage. The code in this repository deploys the model as a web service in a Docker container. This repository was developed as part of the IBM Developer Model Asset Exchange and the public API is powered by IBM Cloud.

Model Metadata

Domain Application Industry Framework Training Data Input Data
Natural Language Processing (NLP) Sentiment Analysis General TensorFlow IBM Claim Stance Dataset Text


In the table below, the prediction accuracy of the model on the test sets of three different datasets is listed.

The first row showcases the generalization power of our model after fine-tuning on the IBM Claims Dataset. The Sentiment140 (Tweets) and IMDB Reviews datasets are only used for evaluating the transfer-learning capabilities of this model. The implementation in this repository was not trained or fine-tuned on the Sentiment140 or IMDB reviews datasets.

The second row describes the performance of the BERT-Base (English - Uncased) model when fine-tuned on the specific task. This was done simply for reference, and the weights are therefore not made available.

The generalization results (first row) are very good when the input data is similar to the data used for fine-tuning (e.g. Sentiment140 (tweets) when fine-tuned on the IBM Claims Dataset). However, when a different style of text is given as input, and with a longer median length (e.g. multi-sentence IMDB reviews), the results are not as good.

Model Type IBM Claims Sentiment140 IMDB Reviews
This model (fine-tuned on IBM Claims) 94% 83.84% 81%
Models fine-tuned on the specific dataset 94% 84% 90%



Component License Link
This repository Apache 2.0 LICENSE
Fine-tuned Model Weights Apache 2.0 LICENSE
Pre-trained Model Weights Apache 2.0 LICENSE
Model Code (3rd party) Apache 2.0 LICENSE
IBM Claims Stance Dataset for fine-tuning CC-BY-SA LICENSE 1


  • docker: The Docker command-line interface. Follow the installation instructions for your system.
  • The minimum recommended resources for this model is 4GB Memory and 4 CPUs.
  • If you are on x86-64/AMD64, your CPU must support AVX at the minimum.

Deployment options

Deploy from Quay

To run the docker image, which automatically starts the model serving API, run:

$ docker run -it -p 5000:5000

This will pull a pre-built image from the container registry (or use an existing image if already cachedlocally) and run it. If you'd rather checkout and build the model locally you can follow the run locally steps below.

Deploy on Red Hat OpenShift

You can deploy the model-serving microservice on Red Hat OpenShift by following the instructions for the OpenShift web console or the OpenShift Container Platform CLI in this tutorial, specifying as the image name.

Note that this model requires at least 4GB of RAM. Therefore this model will not run in a cluster that was provisioned under the OpenShift Online starter plan, which is capped at 2GB.

Deploy on Kubernetes

You can also deploy the model on Kubernetes using the latest docker image on Quay.

On your Kubernetes cluster, run the following commands:

$ kubectl apply -f

The model will be available internally at port 5000, but can also be accessed externally through the NodePort.

A more elaborate tutorial on how to deploy this MAX model to production on IBM Cloud can be found here.

Run Locally

  1. Build the Model
  2. Deploy the Model
  3. Use the Model
  4. Development
  5. Cleanup

1. Build the Model

Clone this repository locally. In a terminal, run the following command:

$ git clone

Change directory into the repository base folder:

$ cd MAX-Text-Sentiment-Classifier

To build the docker image locally, run:

$ docker build -t max-text-sentiment-classifier .

All required model assets will be downloaded during the build process. Note that currently this docker image is CPU only (we will add support for GPU images later).

2. Deploy the Model

To run the docker image, which automatically starts the model serving API, run:

$ docker run -it -p 5000:5000 max-text-sentiment-classifier

3. Use the Model

The API server automatically generates an interactive Swagger documentation page. Go to http://localhost:5000 to load it. From there you can explore the API and also create test requests.

"The Model Asset Exchange is a crucial element of a developer's toolkit.",
"2008 was a dark, dark year for stock markets worldwide."

    "positive": 0.9977352619171143,
    "negative": 0.002264695707708597
    "positive": 0.001138084102421999,
    "negative": 0.9988619089126587

Use the model/predict endpoint to submit input text in json format. The json structure should have one key, text, with as value a list of input strings to be analyzed. An example can be found in the image below.

Submitting proper json data triggers the model and will return a json file with a status and a predictions key. With this predictions field, a list of class labels and their corresponding probabilities will be associated. The first element in the list corresponds to the prediction for the first string in the input list.

Swagger UI Screenshot

You can also test it on the command line, for example:

$ curl -d "{ \"text\": [ \"The Model Asset Exchange is a crucial element of a developer's toolkit.\" ]}" -X POST "http://localhost:5000/model/predict" -H "Content-Type: application/json"

You should see a JSON response like that below:

  "status": "ok",
  "predictions": [
        "positive": 0.9977352619171143,
        "negative": 0.0022646968718618155

4. Development

To run the Flask API app in debug mode, edit to set DEBUG = True under the application settings. You will then need to rebuild the docker image (see step 1).

5. Cleanup

To stop the Docker container, type CTRL + C in your terminal.

Train this Model on Watson Machine Learning

This model supports both fine-tuning with transfer learning and training from scratch on a custom dataset. Please follow the steps listed under the training README to retrain the model on Watson Machine Learning, a deep learning as a service offering of IBM Cloud.

Resources and Contributions

If you are interested in contributing to the Model Asset Exchange project or have any queries, please follow the instructions here.

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