Minimally Supervised Categorization of Text with Metadata

Yu Zhang, Yu Meng, Jiaxin Huang, Frank F. Xu, Xuan Wang, Jiawei Han

Document categorization, which aims to assign a topic label to each document, plays a fundamental role in a wide variety of applications. Despite the success of existing studies in conventional supervised document classification, they are less concerned with two real problems: (1) \textit{the presence of metadata}: in many domains, text is accompanied by various additional information such as authors and tags. Such metadata serve as compelling topic indicators and should be leveraged into the categorization framework; (2) \textit{label scarcity}: labeled training samples are expensive to obtain in some cases, where categorization needs to be performed using only a small set of annotated data. In recognition of these two challenges, we propose \textsc{MetaCat}, a minimally supervised framework to categorize text with metadata. Specifically, we develop a generative process describing the relationships between words, documents, labels, and metadata. Guided by the generative model, we embed text and metadata into the same semantic space to encode heterogeneous signals. Then, based on the same generative process, we synthesize training samples to address the bottleneck of label scarcity. We conduct a thorough evaluation on a wide range of datasets. Experimental results prove the effectiveness of \textsc{MetaCat} over many competitive baselines.

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