Periodic Table of NLP Tasks

Periodic Table of Natural Language Processing Tasks

A project to build a mini guide with more than 80 helpful NLP task descriptions! Structured in the format of the Periodic Table.

Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev published the first Periodic Table in 1869. Now it’s time for the NLP tasks to be organized in the Periodic Table style!

The variation and structure of NLP tasks is endless. Still, you can think about building NLP Pipelines out of standard NLP tasks and dividing them into groups. But what do these tasks entail?

More than 80 NLP tasks are explained and subdivided into 15 groups!


👆 click links for tasks

  1. Source Data Loading 💾 Tasks from this group care about the textual data to do NLP analysis on.
  2. Training Data Generation 💎 Generating gold data which is needed for training language models.
  3. Word Parsing 🔬 Splitting text to tokens and creating the first structured metadata per token.
  4. Word Processing 🛠 Improving the token format on a lexical level.
  5. Phrases and Entities 🗣 Recognizing multi-token phrases.
  6. Entity Enriching 🏛 Enriching entities with structured meta-data.
  7. Sentences and Paragraphs 📃 Working with the sense and coherence of words on a sentence- and paragraph-level.
  8. Documents 📚 Handling the unity of textual data on the level of documents.
  9. Natural Language Models 💃 Steps for building a respectable language model.
  10. Supervised Classification 🚩 Classifying textual data on all kinds of levels.
  11. Unsupervised Signaling 🙈 Unsupervised discovery of important signals.
  12. Similarity 👯 Calculating the closeness of different chunks of text.
  13. Natural Language Generation 🤖 Producing content as if it’s written by humans.
  14. Systems 🚀 NLP systems as a basis for interactive applications.
  15. Information Visualization ✨ Visualizing textual information to better understand complex textual data.


I have tried to make the Periodic Table of NLP tasks as complete as possible. It’s therefore more a long-read than some self-contained blog articles.

The set-up and composition of the Periodic Table is subjective. The division of tasks and categories could have been done in multiple other ways. I appreciate your feedback and new ideas in the form below. I tried to make a clear and short description for each task. I omitted the deeper details, but provided links to extra information where possible. If you have improvements, you can send them in the form below or you can contact me on LinkedIn.


After continuously editing the project table, I made a ‘Periodic Table Creator’ to dynamically rebuild the figure over and over again. The code is available on I build it with the help of Streamlit and inspired by Bokeh-examples it became a dynamic creator that can be customized to your Periodic Table!

Feel free to use the Periodic Table Creator!

Click to enlarge! Click image to enlarge or download.