Four Keys to Topic Interpretability in Topic Modeling

  • Andrey Mavrin
  • Andrey FilchenkovEmail author
  • Sergei Koltcov
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 930)


Interpretability of topics built by topic modeling is an important issue for researchers applying this technique. We suggest a new interpretability score, which we select from an interpretability score parametric space defined by four components: a splitting method, a probability estimation method, a confirmation measure and an aggregation function. We designed a regularizer for topic modeling representing this score. The resulting topic modeling method shows significant superiority to all analogs in reflecting human assessments of topic interpretability.


Topic modeling Additive regularization for topic modeling Topic interpretability Human assessment 



Authors would like to thank Anton Belyy and Konstantin Vorontsov for useful conversation. Andrey Mavrin and Andrey Filchenkov were supported by the Government of the Russian Federation (Grant 08-08). Sergei Koltsov was supported by the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).


  1. 1.
    Aletras, N., Stevenson, M.: Evaluating topic coherence using distributional semantics. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Computational Semantics (IWCS 2013)-Long Papers, pp. 13–22 (2013)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Blei, D.M., Ng, A.Y., Jordan, M.I.: Latent dirichlet allocation. J. Mach. Learn. Res. 3(Jan), 993–1022 (2003)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bocharov, V., Bichineva, S., Granovsky, D., Ostapuk, N., Stepanova, M.: Quality assurance tools in the OpenCorpora project (2011)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chang, J., Gerrish, S., Wang, C., Boyd-Graber, J.L., Blei, D.M.: Reading tea leaves: how humans interpret topic models. In: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, pp. 288–296 (2009)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Daud, A., Li, J., Zhou, L., Muhammad, F.: Knowledge discovery through directed probabilistic topic models: a survey. Front. Comput. Sci. China 4(2), 280–301 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Douven, I., Meijs, W.: Measuring coherence. Synthese 156(3), 405–425 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fitelson, B.: A probabilistic theory of coherence. Analysis 63(3), 194–199 (2003)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hofmann, T.: Probabilistic latent semantic indexing. In: Proceedings of the 22nd Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, pp. 50–57. ACM (1999)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hong, L., Davison, B.D.: Empirical study of topic modeling in Twitter. In: Proceedings of the First Workshop on Social Media Analytics, SOMA 2010, pp. 80–88. ACM (2010)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Islam, A., Inkpen, D.: Second order co-occurrence PMI for determining the semantic similarity of words. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Genoa, Italy, pp. 1033–1038. Citeseer (2006)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jacobi, C., van Atteveldt, W., Welbers, K.: Quantitative analysis of large amounts of journalistic texts using topic modelling. Digit. Journalism 4(1), 89–106 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mimno, D., Wallach, H.M., Talley, E., Leenders, M., McCallum, A.: Optimizing semantic coherence in topic models. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, pp. 262–272. Association for Computational Linguistics (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Newman, D., Karimi, S., Cavedon, L.: External evaluation of topic models. In: 2009 Australasian Document Computing Symposium. Citeseer (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Newman, D., Lau, J.H., Grieser, K., Baldwin, T.: Automatic evaluation of topic coherence. In: Human Language Technologies: The 2010 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 100–108. Association for Computational Linguistics (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nikolenko, S.I.: Topic quality metrics based on distributed word representations. In: Proceedings of the 39th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, pp. 1029–1032. ACM (2016)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Papadimitriou, C.H., Tamaki, H., Raghavan, P., Vempala, S.: Latent semantic indexing: a probabilistic analysis. In: Proceedings of the Seventeenth ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD-SIGART Symposium on Principles of Database Systems, pp. 159–168. ACM (1998)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Perkio, J., Buntine, W., Perttu, S.: Exploring independent trends in a topic-based search engine. In: 2004 Proceedings of the IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence, WI 2004, pp. 664–668, September 2004Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Röder, M., Both, A., Hinneburg, A.: Exploring the space of topic coherence measures. In: Proceedings of the Eighth ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, pp. 399–408. ACM (2015)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Rubin, T.N., Chambers, A., Smyth, P., Steyvers, M.: Statistical topic models for multi-label document classification. Mach. Learn. 88, 157–208 (2012)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Steyvers, M., Griffiths, T.: Probabilistic topic models. Handb. Latent Semant. Anal. 427(7), 424–440 (2007)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Vorontsov, K., Frei, O., Apishev, M., Romov, P., Dudarenko, M.: BigARTM: open source library for regularized multimodal topic modeling of large collections. In: Khachay, M.Y., Konstantinova, N., Panchenko, A., Ignatov, D.I., Labunets, V.G. (eds.) AIST 2015. CCIS, vol. 542, pp. 370–381. Springer, Cham (2015). Scholar
  22. 22.
    Vorontsov, K., Potapenko, A.: Tutorial on probabilistic topic modeling: additive regularization for stochastic matrix factorization. In: Ignatov, D.I., Khachay, M.Y., Panchenko, A., Konstantinova, N., Yavorskiy, R.E. (eds.) AIST 2014. CCIS, vol. 436, pp. 29–46. Springer, Cham (2014). Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrey Mavrin
    • 1
  • Andrey Filchenkov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sergei Koltcov
    • 2
  1. 1.ITMO UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.National Research University Higher School of EconomicsSt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations