Topic Modeling

Topic Modeling produces a topic representation of any corpus’ textual field using the popular LDA model. Each topic is defined by a probability distribution of words. Conversely, each document is also defined as a probabilistic distribution of topics.

In CorText Manager, a topic model is inferred given a total number of topics users have to define. The composition of topics is accessible using the library pyLDAvis (see below how to cite this work) allowing to visualize the most relevant words fitting in each topic. Topics are positioned in 2d according to their distances using a multidimensional scaling algorithm. The script also produces a new table storing the assignments of topics to documents. The distribution is flattened such that each document is assigned to topics it is already linked to with a probability superior to the inverse number of topics.

The linguistic processing can be customized in the second panel. It’s quite straightforward. Be aware that by default  Snowball Stemmer is the algorithm used for stemming.

Additionally one can modify the number of iterations which can be helpful if your corpus is small. It is also possible to set the document-topic density prior to  asymmetric (which is usually advised or to auto if needed.

Finally a graph is also produced showing the evolution of perplexity and log likelihood.

An example of outcome is shown using a dream dataset (data courtesy of dreamscloud):

Access the dynamic version of the above image by clicking this here! Where saliency for topics (Chuang et. al, 2012) and relevance for terms (Sievert & Shirley, 2014) are computed.

Topic Modeling parameters

Data Description


Field used for analysis

Number of Topics

Number of topics you define, which will be determine the makeup of the analysis. If you type 0, then the optimal number of topics will be assessed optimizing over the number of topics which would produce the model with the highest topic coherence possible. You will still be required to set the minimum and maximum number of topics over which the optimization is made (as well as the resolution of the search interval)

Custom name for storing topics

Indicate a custom name to identify the resulting variable.

Maximum number of topics per document

Only the n most prevalent topic per document will be stored.

Text Cleaning Parameters

Lower Case

Will keep all label names as lower case


Select language if stemming or/and stop word removal is active.

Stop-words Removal

Will remove stop words, including words like “the”, “and” or “be” in the selected language . These are high-frequency grammatical words which are usually ignored in text retrieval applications. See here for the list of stop-words per language.

Remove punctuation

Remove punctuation.


This option will trigger the script to return the basic form of a word (M. Porter, 1980). This may help avoid orthographically different words which are actually the same. Only working if the original language you are working with is listed.

Minimum frequency of words

Threshold for the words in the vocabulary defined by number of occurrences.

Maximum frequency of words

This parameter will discard any word which overall frequency in the corpus is above the indicated percentage (useful to get rid of uninformative very frequent words).