Topic modeling for sequential documents based on hybrid inter-document topic dependency


We propose two new topic modeling methods for sequential documents based on hybrid inter-document topic dependency. Topic modeling for sequential documents is the basis of many attractive applications such as emerging topic clustering and novel topic detection. For these tasks, most of the existing models introduce inter-document dependencies between topic distributions. However, in a real situation, adjacent emerging topics are often intertwined and mixed with outliers. These single-dependency based models have difficulties in handling the topic evolution in such multi-topic and outlier mixed sequential documents. To solve this problem, our first method considers three kinds of topic dependencies for each document to handle its probabilities of belonging to a fading topic, an emerging topic, or an independent topic. Secondly, we extend our first method by considering fine-grained dependencies in a given context for more complex topic evolution sequences. Our experiments conducted on six standard datasets on topic modeling show that our proposals outperform state-of-the-art models in terms of the accuracy of topic modeling, the quality of topic clustering, and the effectiveness of outlier detection.

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    The emerging topic clustering task is to group the sequential documents belonging to the same emerging topic into a set known as a cluster without knowing their category (Fiscus and Doddington 2002).

  2. 2.

    The Novel Topic Detection (also called First Story Detection) refers to detecting the first document to discuss a topic, which allows us to know when to start a new cluster (Fiscus and Doddington 2002).

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    Citizen Journalism (also known as “We Media”) is a media based on public citizens who collect, report, analyze and disseminate news or information (Bowman and Willis 2015).

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    These two equations are our definitions for the target problems based on the similar definitions in those two studies (Sisodia et al. 2012; Em et al. 2017).

  5. 5.

    The topic k in these equations is the ground-truth topic of a document, which is determined by the topic label or topic keyword of the dataset.

  6. 6.

    The “Bag-of-Words” (BoW) assumes that a document is a multiset of words, disregarding grammar and even word order but keeping multiplicity (Sivic and Zisserman 2008).

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    We used the Gaussian kernel function and set σ = 0.5.


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A part of this research was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research JP18H03290 from JSPS and the State Scholarship Fund 201706680067 from China Scholarship Council.

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Correspondence to Wenbo Li.

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Li, W., Saigo, H., Tong, B. et al. Topic modeling for sequential documents based on hybrid inter-document topic dependency. J Intell Inf Syst (2021).

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  • Topic model
  • Sequential documents
  • Topic evolution
  • Outlier detection
  • Latent Dirichlet Allocation