For bachelor students we offer German lectures on database systems in addition with paper- or project-oriented seminars. Within a one-year bachelor project students finalize their studies in cooperation with external partners. For master students we offer courses on information integration, data profiling, search engines and information retrieval enhanced by specialized seminars, master projects and advised master theses.
The Web Science group focuses on various topics related to the Web, such as Information Retrieval, Natural Language Processing, Data Mining, Knowledge Discovery, Social Network Analysis, Entity Linking, and Recommender Systems. The group is particularly interested in Text Mining to deal with the vast amount of unstructured and semi-structured information available on the Web.
Most of our research is conducted in the context of larger research projects, in collaboration across students, across groups, and across universities. We strive to make available most of our data sets and source code.
Topic models automatically learn probabilistic representations for documents and their underlying semantic topics. In this project, we extend state-of-the-art topic models for new applications and compare and combine them with other document representations.
Combining several text collections into a joint, large dataset can reveal connections between apparently unrelated documents. However, usual text mining approaches cannot deal with different document styles and collection-specific language use. In this project, we jointly model documents despite linguistic differences for various tasks, such as clustering, classification, recommendation, or retrieval. For example, we allow to measure document similarity on a semantic level across patents and scientific papers or newspaper articles and tweets.
The distributional hypothesis states that similar words tend to have similar contexts in which they occur. Word embedding models exploit this hypothesis by learning word vectors based on the local context of words. Probabilistic topic models on the other hand utilize word co-occurrences across documents to identify topically related words. Due to their complementary nature, these models define different notions of word similarity, which, when combined, can produce better topical representations. In this paper we propose WELDA, a new type of topic model, which combines word embeddings (WE) with latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) to improve topic quality. We achieve this by estimating topic distributions in the word embedding space and exchanging selected topic words via Gibbs sampling from this space. We present an extensive evaluation showing that WELDA cuts runtime by at least 30% while outperforming other combined approaches with respect to topic coherence and for solving word intrusion tasks.
Risch, J., Krestel, R.: My Approach = Your Apparatus? Entropy-Based Topic Modeling on Multiple Domain-Specific Text Collections.Proceedings of the 18th ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) (2018).
Comparative text mining extends from genre analysis and political bias detection to the revelation of cultural and geographic differences, through to the search for prior art across patents and scientific papers. These applications use cross-collection topic modeling for the exploration, clustering, and comparison of large sets of documents, such as digital libraries. However, topic modeling on documents from different collections is challenging because of domain-specific vocabulary. We present a cross-collection topic model combined with automatic domain term extraction and phrase segmentation. This model distinguishes collection-specific and collection-independent words based on information entropy and reveals commonalities and differences of multiple text collections. We evaluate our model on patents, scientific papers, newspaper articles, forum posts, and Wikipedia articles. In comparison to state-of-the-art cross-collection topic modeling, our model achieves up to 13% higher topic coherence, up to 4% lower perplexity, and up to 31% higher document classification accuracy. More importantly, our approach is the first topic model that ensures disjunct general and specific word distributions, resulting in clear-cut topic representations.
Risch, J., Krestel, R.: What Should I Cite? Cross-Collection Reference Recommendation of Patents and Papers.Proceedings of the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL). pp. 40-46 (2017).
Research results manifest in large corpora of patents and scientific papers. However, both corpora lack a consistent taxonomy and references across different document types are sparse. Therefore, and because of contrastive, domain-specific language, recommending similar papers for a given patent (or vice versa) is challenging. We propose a hybrid recommender system that leverages topic distributions and key terms to recommend related work despite these challenges. As a case study, we evaluate our approach on patents and papers of two fields: medical and computer science. We find that topic-based recommenders complement term-based recommenders for documents with collection-specific language and increase mean average precision by up to 23%. As a result of our work, publications from both corpora form a joint digital library, which connects academia and industry.
Park, J., Blume-Kohout, M., Krestel, R., Nalisnick, E., Smyth, P.: Analyzing NIH Funding Patterns over Time with Statistical Text Analysis.Scholarly Big Data: AI Perspectives, Challenges, and Ideas (SBD 2016) Workshop at AAAI 2016. AAAI (2016).
In the past few years various government funding organizations such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the U.S. National Science Foundation have provided access to large publicly-available on-line databases documenting the grants that they have funded over the past few decades. These databases provide an excellent opportunity for the application of statistical text analysis techniques to infer useful quantitative information about how funding patterns have changed over time. In this paper we analyze data from the National Cancer Institute (part of National Institutes of Health) and show how text classification techniques provide a useful starting point for analyzing how funding for cancer research has evolved over the past 20 years in the United States.