Parsimonious Topic Models with Salient Word Discovery

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Authors Hossein Soleimani, David J. Miller
Journal/Conference Name IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Paper Category
Paper Abstract We propose a parsimonious topic model for text corpora. In related models such as Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), all words are modeled topic-specifically, even though many words occur with similar frequencies across different topics. Our modeling determines salient words for each topic, which have topic-specific probabilities, with the rest explained by a universal shared model. Further, in LDA all topics are in principle present in every document. By contrast our model gives sparse topic representation, determining the (small) subset of relevant topics for each document. We derive a Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC), balancing model complexity and goodness of fit. Here, interestingly, we identify an effective sample size and corresponding penalty specific to each parameter type in our model. We minimize BIC to jointly determine our entire model -- the topic-specific words, document-specific topics, all model parameter values, {\it and} the total number of topics -- in a wholly unsupervised fashion. Results on three text corpora and an image dataset show that our model achieves higher test set likelihood and better agreement with ground-truth class labels, compared to LDA and to a model designed to incorporate sparsity.
Date of publication 2014
Code Programming Language C
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