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Ralf Krestel

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JCDL 18b

WELDA: Enhancing Topic Models by Incorporating Local Word Context


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.

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