Exploring Topic-Metadata Relationships with the STM: A Bayesian Approach

04/06/2021 ∙ by P. Schulze, et al. ∙ 0

Topic models such as the Structural Topic Model (STM) estimate latent topical clusters within text. An important step in many topic modeling applications is to explore relationships between the discovered topical structure and metadata associated with the text documents. Methods used to estimate such relationships must take into account that the topical structure is not directly observed, but instead being estimated itself. The authors of the STM, for instance, perform repeated OLS regressions of sampled topic proportions on metadata covariates by using a Monte Carlo sampling technique known as the method of composition. In this paper, we propose two improvements: first, we replace OLS with more appropriate Beta regression. Second, we suggest a fully Bayesian approach instead of the current blending of frequentist and Bayesian methods. We demonstrate our improved methodology by exploring relationships between Twitter posts by German members of parliament (MPs) and different metadata covariates.

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