Finding scientific topics

Thomas L. Griffiths, Mark Steyvers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3478 Scopus citations

Abstract

A first step in identifying the content of a document is determining which topics that document addresses. We describe a generative model for documents, introduced by Blei, Ng, and Jordan [Blei, D. M., Ng, A. Y. & Jordan, M. I. (2003) J. Machine Learn. Res. 3, 993-1022], in which each document is generated by choosing a distribution over topics and then choosing each word in the document from a topic selected according to this distribution. We then present a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm for inference in this model. We use this algorithm to analyze abstracts from PNAS by using Bayesian model selection to establish the number of topics. We show that the extracted topics capture meaningful structure in the data, consistent with the class designations provided by the authors of the articles, and outline further applications of this analysis, including identifying "hot topics" by examining temporal dynamics and tagging abstracts to illustrate semantic content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5228-5235
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume101
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 6 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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