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MWMWN18

Abstract:

Latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) topic models are increasingly being used in communication research. Yet, questions regarding reliability and validity of the approach have received little attention thus far. In applying LDA to textual data, researchers need to tackle at least four major challenges that affect these criteria: (a) appropriate pre-processing of the text collection; (b) adequate selection of model parameters, including the number of topics to be generated; © evaluation of the model’s reliability; and (d) the process of validly interpreting the resulting topics. We review the research literature dealing with these questions and propose a methodology that approaches these challenges. Our overall goal is to make LDA topic modeling more accessible to communication researchers and to ensure compliance with disciplinary standards. Consequently, we develop a brief hands-on user guide for applying LDA topic modeling. We demonstrate the value of our approach with empirical data from an ongoing research project.

Type: Article

Author: Daniel Maier, Annie Waldherr, Peter Miltner, Gregor Wiedemann, Andreas Niekler, A Keinert, B Pfetsch, G Heyer, U Reber, T Häussler, H Schmid-Petri & S Adam
Title: Applying LDA topic modeling in communication research: Toward a valid and reliable methodology
Journal: Communication Methods and Measures
Year: 2018
Pages:1-26
@ARTICLE{MWMWN18,
AUTHOR = {Daniel Maier, Annie Waldherr, Peter Miltner, Gregor Wiedemann, Andreas Niekler, A Keinert, B Pfetsch, G Heyer, U Reber, T Häussler, H Schmid-Petri & S Adam},
TITLE = {Applying LDA topic modeling in communication research: Toward a valid and reliable methodology},
JOURNAL = {Communication Methods and Measures},
YEAR = {2018},
PAGES = {1-26}
}