AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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A Two-Dimensional Topic-Aspect Model for Discovering Multi-Faceted Topics
Michael Paul, Roxana Girju

Last modified: 2010-07-03


This paper presents the Topic-Aspect Model (TAM), a Bayesian mixture model which jointly discovers topics and aspects. We broadly define an aspect of a document as a characteristic that spans the document, such as an underlying theme or perspective. Unlike previous models which cluster words by topic or aspect, our model can generate token assignments in both of these dimensions, rather than assuming words come from only one of two orthogonal models. We present two applications of the model. First, we model a corpus of computational linguistics abstracts, and find that the scientific topics identified in the data tend to include both a computational aspect and a linguistic aspect. For example, the computational aspect of GRAMMAR emphasizes parsing, whereas the linguistic aspect focuses on formal languages. Secondly, we show that the model can capture different viewpoints on a variety of topics in a corpus of editorials about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We show both qualitative and quantitative improvements in TAM over two other state-of-the-art topic models.

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