Topic Model Diagnostics: Assessing Domain Relevance via Topical Alignment


Jason Chuang, Sonal Gupta, Christopher Manning, Jeffrey Heer ;
Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 28(3):612-620, 2013.


The use of topic models to analyze domain-specific texts often requires manual validation of the latent topics to ensure they are meaningful. We introduce a framework to support large-scale assessment of topical relevance. We measure the correspondence between a set of latent topics and a set of reference concepts to quantify four types of topical misalignment: junk, fused, missing, and repeated topics. Our analysis compares 10,000 topic model variants to 200 expert-provided domain concepts, and demonstrates how our framework can inform choices of model parameters, inference algorithms, and intrinsic measures of topical quality.

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