Termite: Visualization Techniques for Assessing Textual Topic Models

Jason Chuang, Christopher D. Manning, Jeffrey Heer
AVI: Advanced Visual Interfaces, 2012
Topic models aid analysis of text corpora by identifying latent topics based on co-occurring words. Real-world deployments of topic models, however, often require intensive expert verification and model refinement. In this paper we present Termite, a visual analysis tool for assessing topic model quality. Termite uses a tabular layout to promote comparison of terms both within and across latent topics. We contribute a novel saliency measure for selecting relevant terms and a seriation algorithm that both reveals clustering structure and promotes the legibility of related terms. In a series of examples, we demonstrate how Termite allows analysts to identify coherent and significant themes.