Hidden Topic Markov Models

Posted in Science on September 16, 2008

Hidden Topic Markov Models

Algorithms such as Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) have achieved significant progress in modeling word document relationships. These algorithms assume each word in the document was generated by a hidden topic and explicitly model the word distribution of each topic as well as the prior distribution over topics in the document. Given these parameters, the topics of all words in the same document are assumed to be independent.

In this work, we propose modeling the topics of words in the document as a Markov chain. Specifically, we assume that all words in the same sentence have the same topic, and successive sentences are more likely to have the same topics. Since the topics are hidden, this leads to using the well-known tools of Hidden Markov Models for learning and inference. We show that incorporating this dependency allows us to learn better topics and to disambiguate words that can belong to different topics. Quantitatively, we show that we obtain better perplexity in modeling documents with only a modest increase in learning and inference complexity.

Joint work with Michal Rosen-Zvi and Yair Weiss.

Author: Amit Gruber, Hebrew University Of Jerusalem

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