Jointly Learning Word Embeddings and Latent Topics

Bei Shi, Wai Lam, Shoaib Jameel, Steven Schockaert, Kwun Ping Lai

Word embedding models such as Skip-gram learn a vector-space representation for each word, based on the local word collocation patterns that are observed in a text corpus. Latent topic models, on the other hand, take a more global view, looking at the word distributions across the corpus to assign a topic to each word occurrence. These two paradigms are complementary in how they represent the meaning of word occurrences. While some previous works have already looked at using word embeddings for improving the quality of latent topics, and conversely, at using latent topics for improving word embeddings, such "two-step" methods cannot capture the mutual interaction between the two paradigms. In this paper, we propose STE, a framework which can learn word embeddings and latent topics in a unified manner. STE naturally obtains topic-specific word embeddings, and thus addresses the issue of polysemy. At the same time, it also learns the term distributions of the topics, and the topic distributions of the documents. Our experimental results demonstrate that the STE model can indeed generate useful topic-specific word embeddings and coherent latent topics in an effective and efficient way.

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