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"Topic Modeling": models, code, and papers

A Joint Learning Approach for Semi-supervised Neural Topic Modeling

Apr 07, 2022
Jeffrey Chiu, Rajat Mittal, Neehal Tumma, Abhishek Sharma, Finale Doshi-Velez

Topic models are some of the most popular ways to represent textual data in an interpret-able manner. Recently, advances in deep generative models, specifically auto-encoding variational Bayes (AEVB), have led to the introduction of unsupervised neural topic models, which leverage deep generative models as opposed to traditional statistics-based topic models. We extend upon these neural topic models by introducing the Label-Indexed Neural Topic Model (LI-NTM), which is, to the extent of our knowledge, the first effective upstream semi-supervised neural topic model. We find that LI-NTM outperforms existing neural topic models in document reconstruction benchmarks, with the most notable results in low labeled data regimes and for data-sets with informative labels; furthermore, our jointly learned classifier outperforms baseline classifiers in ablation studies.

* To appear in the 6th ACL Workshop on Structured Prediction for NLP (SPNLP) 

Hierarchical Topic Presence Models

Apr 16, 2021
Jason Wang, Robert E. Weiss

Topic models analyze text from a set of documents. Documents are modeled as a mixture of topics, with topics defined as probability distributions on words. Inferences of interest include the most probable topics and characterization of a topic by inspecting the topic's highest probability words. Motivated by a data set of web pages (documents) nested in web sites, we extend the Poisson factor analysis topic model to hierarchical topic presence models for analyzing text from documents nested in known groups. We incorporate an unknown binary topic presence parameter for each topic at the web site and/or the web page level to allow web sites and/or web pages to be sparse mixtures of topics and we propose logistic regression modeling of topic presence conditional on web site covariates. We introduce local topics into the Poisson factor analysis framework, where each web site has a local topic not found in other web sites. Two data augmentation methods, the Chinese table distribution and P\'{o}lya-Gamma augmentation, aid in constructing our sampler. We analyze text from web pages nested in United States local public health department web sites to abstract topical information and understand national patterns in topic presence.


Semiparametric Latent Topic Modeling on Consumer-Generated Corpora

Jul 13, 2021
Dominic B. Dayta, Erniel B. Barrios

Legacy procedures for topic modelling have generally suffered problems of overfitting and a weakness towards reconstructing sparse topic structures. With motivation from a consumer-generated corpora, this paper proposes semiparametric topic model, a two-step approach utilizing nonnegative matrix factorization and semiparametric regression in topic modeling. The model enables the reconstruction of sparse topic structures in the corpus and provides a generative model for predicting topics in new documents entering the corpus. Assuming the presence of auxiliary information related to the topics, this approach exhibits better performance in discovering underlying topic structures in cases where the corpora are small and limited in vocabulary. In an actual consumer feedback corpus, the model also demonstrably provides interpretable and useful topic definitions comparable with those produced by other methods.


BERTopic: Neural topic modeling with a class-based TF-IDF procedure

Mar 11, 2022
Maarten Grootendorst

Topic models can be useful tools to discover latent topics in collections of documents. Recent studies have shown the feasibility of approach topic modeling as a clustering task. We present BERTopic, a topic model that extends this process by extracting coherent topic representation through the development of a class-based variation of TF-IDF. More specifically, BERTopic generates document embedding with pre-trained transformer-based language models, clusters these embeddings, and finally, generates topic representations with the class-based TF-IDF procedure. BERTopic generates coherent topics and remains competitive across a variety of benchmarks involving classical models and those that follow the more recent clustering approach of topic modeling.

* BERTopic has a python implementation, see 

Neural Topic Modeling with Bidirectional Adversarial Training

Apr 26, 2020
Rui Wang, Xuemeng Hu, Deyu Zhou, Yulan He, Yuxuan Xiong, Chenchen Ye, Haiyang Xu

Recent years have witnessed a surge of interests of using neural topic models for automatic topic extraction from text, since they avoid the complicated mathematical derivations for model inference as in traditional topic models such as Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA). However, these models either typically assume improper prior (e.g. Gaussian or Logistic Normal) over latent topic space or could not infer topic distribution for a given document. To address these limitations, we propose a neural topic modeling approach, called Bidirectional Adversarial Topic (BAT) model, which represents the first attempt of applying bidirectional adversarial training for neural topic modeling. The proposed BAT builds a two-way projection between the document-topic distribution and the document-word distribution. It uses a generator to capture the semantic patterns from texts and an encoder for topic inference. Furthermore, to incorporate word relatedness information, the Bidirectional Adversarial Topic model with Gaussian (Gaussian-BAT) is extended from BAT. To verify the effectiveness of BAT and Gaussian-BAT, three benchmark corpora are used in our experiments. The experimental results show that BAT and Gaussian-BAT obtain more coherent topics, outperforming several competitive baselines. Moreover, when performing text clustering based on the extracted topics, our models outperform all the baselines, with more significant improvements achieved by Gaussian-BAT where an increase of near 6\% is observed in accuracy.

* To appear at ACL2020 

Deep NMF Topic Modeling

Feb 24, 2021
JianYu Wang, Xiao-Lei Zhang

Nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) based topic modeling methods do not rely on model- or data-assumptions much. However, they are usually formulated as difficult optimization problems, which may suffer from bad local minima and high computational complexity. In this paper, we propose a deep NMF (DNMF) topic modeling framework to alleviate the aforementioned problems. It first applies an unsupervised deep learning method to learn latent hierarchical structures of documents, under the assumption that if we could learn a good representation of documents by, e.g. a deep model, then the topic word discovery problem can be boosted. Then, it takes the output of the deep model to constrain a topic-document distribution for the discovery of the discriminant topic words, which not only improves the efficacy but also reduces the computational complexity over conventional unsupervised NMF methods. We constrain the topic-document distribution in three ways, which takes the advantages of the three major sub-categories of NMF -- basic NMF, structured NMF, and constrained NMF respectively. To overcome the weaknesses of deep neural networks in unsupervised topic modeling, we adopt a non-neural-network deep model -- multilayer bootstrap network. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a deep NMF model is used for unsupervised topic modeling. We have compared the proposed method with a number of representative references covering major branches of topic modeling on a variety of real-world text corpora. Experimental results illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method under various evaluation metrics.


Topic Discovery via Latent Space Clustering of Pretrained Language Model Representations

Feb 09, 2022
Yu Meng, Yunyi Zhang, Jiaxin Huang, Yu Zhang, Jiawei Han

Topic models have been the prominent tools for automatic topic discovery from text corpora. Despite their effectiveness, topic models suffer from several limitations including the inability of modeling word ordering information in documents, the difficulty of incorporating external linguistic knowledge, and the lack of both accurate and efficient inference methods for approximating the intractable posterior. Recently, pretrained language models (PLMs) have brought astonishing performance improvements to a wide variety of tasks due to their superior representations of text. Interestingly, there have not been standard approaches to deploy PLMs for topic discovery as better alternatives to topic models. In this paper, we begin by analyzing the challenges of using PLM representations for topic discovery, and then propose a joint latent space learning and clustering framework built upon PLM embeddings. In the latent space, topic-word and document-topic distributions are jointly modeled so that the discovered topics can be interpreted by coherent and distinctive terms and meanwhile serve as meaningful summaries of the documents. Our model effectively leverages the strong representation power and superb linguistic features brought by PLMs for topic discovery, and is conceptually simpler than topic models. On two benchmark datasets in different domains, our model generates significantly more coherent and diverse topics than strong topic models, and offers better topic-wise document representations, based on both automatic and human evaluations.

* WWW 2022. (Code:

Local and Global Topics in Text Modeling of Web Pages Nested in Web Sites

Mar 30, 2021
Jason Wang, Robert E. Weiss

Topic models are popular models for analyzing a collection of text documents. The models assert that documents are distributions over latent topics and latent topics are distributions over words. A nested document collection is where documents are nested inside a higher order structure such as stories in a book, articles in a journal, or web pages in a web site. In a single collection of documents, topics are global, or shared across all documents. For web pages nested in web sites, topic frequencies likely vary between web sites. Within a web site, topic frequencies almost certainly vary between web pages. A hierarchical prior for topic frequencies models this hierarchical structure and specifies a global topic distribution. Web site topic distributions vary around the global topic distribution and web page topic distributions vary around the web site topic distribution. In a nested collection of web pages, some topics are likely unique to a single web site. Local topics in a nested collection of web pages are topics unique to one web site. For US local health department web sites, brief inspection of the text shows local geographic and news topics specific to each department that are not present in others. Topic models that ignore the nesting may identify local topics, but do not label topics as local nor do they explicitly identify the web site owner of the local topic. For web pages nested inside web sites, local topic models explicitly label local topics and identifies the owning web site. This identification can be used to adjust inferences about global topics. In the US public health web site data, topic coverage is defined at the web site level after removing local topic words from pages. Hierarchical local topic models can be used to identify local topics, adjust inferences about if web sites cover particular health topics, and study how well health topics are covered.


Is Automated Topic Model Evaluation Broken?: The Incoherence of Coherence

Jul 05, 2021
Alexander Hoyle, Pranav Goel, Denis Peskov, Andrew Hian-Cheong, Jordan Boyd-Graber, Philip Resnik

Topic model evaluation, like evaluation of other unsupervised methods, can be contentious. However, the field has coalesced around automated estimates of topic coherence, which rely on the frequency of word co-occurrences in a reference corpus. Recent models relying on neural components surpass classical topic models according to these metrics. At the same time, unlike classical models, the practice of neural topic model evaluation suffers from a validation gap: automatic coherence for neural models has not been validated using human experimentation. In addition, as we show via a meta-analysis of topic modeling literature, there is a substantial standardization gap in the use of automated topic modeling benchmarks. We address both the standardization gap and the validation gap. Using two of the most widely used topic model evaluation datasets, we assess a dominant classical model and two state-of-the-art neural models in a systematic, clearly documented, reproducible way. We use automatic coherence along with the two most widely accepted human judgment tasks, namely, topic rating and word intrusion. Automated evaluation will declare one model significantly different from another when corresponding human evaluations do not, calling into question the validity of fully automatic evaluations independent of human judgments.


Fine-tuning Encoders for Improved Monolingual and Zero-shot Polylingual Neural Topic Modeling

Apr 11, 2021
Aaron Mueller, Mark Dredze

Neural topic models can augment or replace bag-of-words inputs with the learned representations of deep pre-trained transformer-based word prediction models. One added benefit when using representations from multilingual models is that they facilitate zero-shot polylingual topic modeling. However, while it has been widely observed that pre-trained embeddings should be fine-tuned to a given task, it is not immediately clear what supervision should look like for an unsupervised task such as topic modeling. Thus, we propose several methods for fine-tuning encoders to improve both monolingual and zero-shot polylingual neural topic modeling. We consider fine-tuning on auxiliary tasks, constructing a new topic classification task, integrating the topic classification objective directly into topic model training, and continued pre-training. We find that fine-tuning encoder representations on topic classification and integrating the topic classification task directly into topic modeling improves topic quality, and that fine-tuning encoder representations on any task is the most important factor for facilitating cross-lingual transfer.

* Accepted to NAACL 2021