Network-based procedures for topic detection in huge text collections offer an intuitive alternative to probabilistic topic models. We present in detail a method that is especially designed with the requirements of domain experts in mind. Like similar methods, it employs community detection in term co-occurrence graphs, but it is enhanced by including a resolution parameter that can be used for changing the targeted topic granularity. We also establish a term ranking and use semantic word-embedding for presenting term communities in a way that facilitates their interpretation. We demonstrate the application of our method with a widely used corpus of general news articles and show the results of detailed social-sciences expert evaluations of detected topics at various resolutions. A comparison with topics detected by Latent Dirichlet Allocation is also included. Finally, we discuss factors that influence topic interpretation.
This note is a short description of TeCoMiner, an interactive tool for exploring the topic content of text collections. Unlike other topic modeling tools, TeCoMiner is not based on some generative probabilistic model but on topological considerations about co-occurrence networks of terms. We outline the methods used for identifying topics, describe the features of the tool, and sketch an application, using a corpus of policy related scientific news on environmental issues published by the European Commission over the last decade.