QUAC documentation

Select your topic of interest at left. If you want to start at the beginning, try the installation instructions.


While we try to keep the documentation current and comprehensive, our main goal with QUAC is using it for science. Because of this, the documentation is known to have parts which are stale or erroneous, and there are significant omissions. Patches to improve it are very welcome.

About QUAC

QUAC (“Quantitative analysis of chatter” or any related acronym you like) is a package for acquiring and analyzing social internet content. Features:

  • Reliable data collection and conversion of raw data into into easy-to-parse, de-duplicated, and well-ordered formats. We support:
  • Estimate the origin location of tweets with no geotag. (But see issue #15.)
  • Careful preservation of Unicode throughout the processing pipeline.
  • Various cleanup steps to deal with tweet quirks, including very rare ones (we’ve seen certain weirdnesses in only one of our 1.3+ billion tweets). That is, we deal with the special cases so you don’t have to.
  • Parallel processing using various combinations of Make, joblib, and a simple map-reduce framework called QUACreduce which is included.

QUAC is copyright © 2012-2015 Los Alamos National Security, LLC, and others. It is open source under the Apache license and was formerly known as Twepi (“Twitter for epidemic analysis”).

Reporting bugs

Use our list of issues. To maximize the chances of your bug being understood and fixed, take a look at “Three parts to every good bug report” (scroll down).

That said, note that unlike many open source projects, we make a point of being friendly to bug reporters, even newbies. Therefore, please don’t hesitate to report a bug, even if you’re inexperienced with QUAC or feel unsure. In almost all cases you will tell us something useful, even if the issue turns out not to be a bug per se, and we will support your efforts in this regard.

If you find QUAC useful

Please send us a note at reidpr@lanl.gov if you use QUAC, even for small uses, and/or star the project on GitHub. This type of feedback is very important for continued justification of the project to our sponsors.

Note that for many uses of QUAC (especially research) you are ethically obligated to cite it. For guidelines on how to do this, see the Citing section of the documentation.


We use QUAC for scientific research. To promote reproducibility, which is one of the core values of science, we try to open-source the code that runs our related experiments as well as QUAC itself. This code, and further information about it, can be found in the directory experiments.

For more information

  • Documentation is online at <http://reidpr.github.io/quac>. (Note: this may describe a different version of QUAC than the one you have.)
  • Current documentation is rooted at doc/index.html. (You’ll probably need to build it first.)
  • Most scripts have pretty help which you can print using the --help option and/or look at in comments at the top of the script. Modules also usually have good docstrings.


This software is supported in part by:

  • NIH/NIGMS under the MIDAS program, grant U01-GM097658-01.
  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Joint Science and Technology Office, grant CB10007/DTRA10092-15351.
  • U.S. Department of Energy through the LANL LDRD program.