Documents as multiple overlapping windows into grids of counts

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26 (NIPS 2013)

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Alessandro Perina, Nebojsa Jojic, Manuele Bicego, Andrzej Truski


In text analysis documents are represented as disorganized bags of words, models of count features are typically based on mixing a small number of topics \cite{lda,sam}. Recently, it has been observed that for many text corpora documents evolve into one another in a smooth way, with some features dropping and new ones being introduced. The counting grid \cite{cgUai} models this spatial metaphor literally: it is multidimensional grid of word distributions learned in such a way that a document's own distribution of features can be modeled as the sum of the histograms found in a window into the grid. The major drawback of this method is that it is essentially a mixture and all the content much be generated by a single contiguous area on the grid. This may be problematic especially for lower dimensional grids. In this paper, we overcome to this issue with the \emph{Componential Counting Grid} which brings the componential nature of topic models to the basic counting grid. We also introduce a generative kernel based on the document's grid usage and a visualization strategy useful for understanding large text corpora. We evaluate our approach on document classification and multimodal retrieval obtaining state of the art results on standard benchmarks.