Topic Modeling using Topics from Many Domains, Lifelong Learning and Big Data


Zhiyuan Chen, Bing Liu ;
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 32(2):703-711, 2014.


Topic modeling has been commonly used to discover topics from document collections. However, unsupervised models can generate many incoherent topics. To address this problem, several knowledge-based topic models have been proposed to incorporate prior domain knowledge from the user. This work advances this research much further and shows that without any user input, we can mine the prior knowledge automatically and dynamically from topics already found from a large number of domains. This paper first proposes a novel method to mine such prior knowledge dynamically in the modeling process, and then a new topic model to use the knowledge to guide the model inference. What is also interesting is that this approach offers a novel lifelong learning algorithm for topic discovery, which exploits the big (past) data and knowledge gained from such data for subsequent modeling. Our experimental results using product reviews from 50 domains demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

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