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Incorporating Lexical Priors into Topic Models

Jagadeesh Jagarlamudi, Hal Daume, and Raghavendra Udupa


Topic models have great potential for helping users understand document corpora. This potential is stymied by their purely unsupervised nature, which often leads to topics that are neither entirely meaningful nor effective in extrinsic tasks (Chang et al., 2009). We propose a simple and effective way to guide topic models to learn topics of specific interest to a user. We achieve this by providing sets of seed words that a user believes are representative of the underlying topics in a corpus. Our model uses these seeds to improve both topicword distributions (by biasing topics to produce appropriate seed words) and to improve document-topic distributions (by biasing documents to select topics related to the seed words they contain). Extrinsic evaluation on a document clustering task reveals a significant improvement when using seed information, even over other models that use seed information naively.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inEACL 2012
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