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Kernel Topic Models

Philipp Hennig, David Stern, Ralf Herbrich, and Thore Graepel


Latent Dirichlet Allocation models discrete data as a mixture of discrete distributions, using Dirichlet beliefs over the mixture weights. We study a variation of this concept, in which the documents' mixture weight beliefs are replaced with squashed Gaussian distributions. This allows documents to be associated with elements of a Hilbert space, admitting kernel topic models (KTM), modelling temporal, spatial, hierarchical, social and other structure between documents. The main challenge is effifficient approximate inference on the latent Gaussian. We present an approximate algorithm cast around a Laplace approximation in a transformed basis. The KTM can also be interpreted as a type of Gaussian process latent variable model, or as a topic model conditional on document features, uncovering links between earlier work in these areas.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, JMLR W&CP 22: 511-519
PublisherJournal of Machine Learning Research
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