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This repository contains a framework for generating annotations for command invocations. It comprises a parser which turns a string into a command invocation data structure. For the time being, there are two sets of annotation generators:

  • input-output information which specifies how a command invocation interacts with the files, pipes, stdin, stdout, etc.
  • parallelizability information which describes how a command invocation can be parallelized - containing information about how to split inputs, mappers and aggregators, etc.

Command-line tool contains a command line tool which, provided a command invocation returns:

  • the parsed command invocation data structure
  • the input-output information generated
  • the parallelizability information generated

Adding an annotation


Use command_flag_option_info JSON files to parse xbd-type terminal commands. Will split on spaces (" ") and equal signs ("=").

Flag and Option Information

The folder command_flag_option_info contains [command_name].json files with list of flags and options for each command. For arguments that have two options (e.g. -a and --all), store them as a pair in the format [short version, long version]. In addition, we store here in which way an argument is accessed if applicable, e.g., if it is a file.

We also have a regex-based script that can be used to generate initial JSON files with parsed arguments. Since there is no standard for man-pages, the quality of results varies but it usually provides a good skeleton and saves quite some time.

Annotation Generation

Currently, annotation generators for input-output information and parallelizability information has been implemented. Each annotation generator implements a specific generator interface (e.g., which specializes a more general generator interface ( The general generator interface contains functions that help to check conditions on the command invocation while the more specific generator interface provides functionality to change the respective information (object) generated.


  • flag = takes no arguments, e.g. --verbose
  • option = takes arguments, e.g. -n 10
  • operand = argument with no flag, e.g. input.txt



We strive to use types and typecheck with pyright (v1.1.232). This does not only help to catch bugs but shall also help future developers to understand the code more easily.


Use pytest to run tests. It will run all tests found (recursively) in the current directory.


For clean imports, we add empty modules in all non-root directories. Thus, pytest will add the root directory to sys.path and we can import modules by prefixing the path from there. For instance, to import, we use

from annotation_generation.parallelizers.Parallelizer import Parallelizer

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