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Seminar: Building the Bridge: Topic Modeling for Comparative Research

Building the Bridge: Topic Modeling for Comparative Research

Speaker: Fabienne Lind (University of Vienna)

Wednesday, January 19, 14:00–14:45 (GMT)

Please register here to receive the link and password to the online meeting and information on the room at UCD.

Abstract: In communication research, topic modeling is primarily used for discovering systematic patterns in monolingual text corpora. To advance the usage, we provide an overview of recently presented strategies to extract topics from multilingual text collections for the purpose of comparative research. Moreover, we discuss, demonstrate, and facilitate the usability of the “Polylingual Topic Model” (PLTM) for such analyses. The appeal of this model is that it derives lists of related clustered words in different languages with little reliance on translation or multilingual dictionaries and without the need for manual post-hoc matching of topics. PLTM bridges the gap between languages by making use of document connections in training documents. As these training documents are the crucial resource for the model, we compare model evaluation metrics for different strategies to build training documents. By discussing the advantages and limitations of the different strategies in respect to different scenarios, our study contributes to the methodological discussion on automated content analysis of multilingual text corpora.

About the speaker: Fabienne Lind is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna. Her dissertation (defended June 2021) deals with methods of automated multilingual text analysis for comparative research. As project manager of the H2020 project OPTED, she is collaborating with researchers from 17 research institutions to develop an infrastructure that will serve as a major hub for political text analysis in Europe.