Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16 (NIPS 2003)
Thomas Griffiths, Michael Jordan, Joshua Tenenbaum, David Blei
We address the problem of learning topic hierarchies from data. The model selection problem in this domain is daunting—which of the large collection of possible trees to use? We take a Bayesian approach, gen- erating an appropriate prior via a distribution on partitions that we refer to as the nested Chinese restaurant process. This nonparametric prior al- lows arbitrarily large branching factors and readily accommodates grow- ing data collections. We build a hierarchical topic model by combining this prior with a likelihood that is based on a hierarchical variant of latent Dirichlet allocation. We illustrate our approach on simulated data and with an application to the modeling of NIPS abstracts.