A segmented topic model based on the two-parameter Poisson-Dirichlet process

Lan Du*, Wray Buntine, Huidong Jin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)


Documents come naturally with structure: a section contains paragraphs which itself contains sentences; a blog page contains a sequence of comments and links to related blogs. Structure, of course, implies something about shared topics. In this paper we take the simplest form of structure, a document consisting of multiple segments, as the basis for a new form of topic model. To make this computationally feasible, and to allow the form of collapsed Gibbs sampling that has worked well to date with topic models, we use the marginalized posterior of a two-parameter Poisson-Dirichlet process (or Pitman-Yor process) to handle the hierarchical modelling. Experiments using either paragraphs or sentences as segments show the method significantly outperforms standard topic models on either whole document or segment, and previous segmented models, based on the held-out perplexity measure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-19
Number of pages15
JournalMachine Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Document structure
  • Latent Dirichlet allocation
  • Segmented topic model
  • Two-parameter Poisson-Dirichlet process

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