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Semantic Topic Models: Combining Word Distributional Statistics and
Dictionary Definitions

Guo, Weiwei; Diab, Mona

In this paper, we propose a novel topic model based on incorporating dictionary definitions. Traditional topic models treat words as surface strings without assuming predefined knowledge about word meaning. They infer topics only by observing surface word co-occurrence. However, the co-occurred words may not be semantically related in a manner that is relevant for topic coherence. Exploiting dictionary
definitions explicitly in our model yields a better understanding of word semantics leading to better text modeling. We exploit WordNet as a lexical resource for sense definitions. We show that explicitly modeling word definitions helps improve performance significantly over the baseline for a text categorization task.

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Computer Science
Published Here
April 26, 2013
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