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Code of Biterm Topic Model

Biterm Topic Model (BTM) is a word co-occurrence based topic model that learns topics by modeling word-word co-occurrences patterns (e.g., biterms). (In constrast, LDA and PLSA are word-document co-occurrence topic models, since they model word-document co-occurrences.)

A biterm consists of two words co-occurring in the same context, for example, in the same short text window. Unlike LDA models the word occurrences, BTM models the biterm occurrences in a corpus. In generation procedure, a biterm is generated by drawn two words independently from a same topic. In other words, the distribution of a biterm b=(wi,wj) is defined as:

   P(b) = \sum_k{P(wi|z)*P(wj|z)*P(z)}.

With Gibbs sampling algorithm, we can learn topics by estimate P(w|k) and P(z).

More detail can be referred to the following paper:

Xiaohui Yan, Jiafeng Guo, Yanyan Lan, Xueqi Cheng. A Biterm Topic Model For Short Text. WWW2013.


The code has been test on linux. If you on windows, please install cygwin (with bc, wc, make).

The code includes a runnable example, you can run it on Linux by:

   $ cd script
   $ sh

It trains BTM over the documents in sample-data/doc_info.txt and output the topics. The doc_info.txt contains all the training documents, where each line represents one document with words separated by space as:

word1 word2 word3 ....

(Note: the sample data is only used for illustration of the usage of the code. It is not the data set used in the paper.)

You can change the paths of data files and parameters in script/ to run over your own data.

Indeed, the processes the input documents in 4 steps.

1. Index the words in the documents
To simplify the main code, we provide a python script to map each word to a unique ID (starts from 0) in the documents.

$ python script/ <doc_pt> <dwid_pt> <voca_pt>
	doc_pt    input docs to be indexed, each line is a doc with the format "word word ..."
	dwid_pt   output docs after indexing, each line is a doc with the format "wordId wordId ..."
	voca_pt   output vocabulary file, each line is a word with the format "wordId     word"

2. Topic learning
The next step is to train the model using the documents represented by word ids.

$ ./src/btm est <K> <W> <alpha> <beta> <n_iter> <save_step> <docs_pt> <model_dir> 
  K	int, number of topics
  W	int, size of vocabulary
  alpha	double, Symmetric Dirichlet prior of P(z), like 1
  beta	double, Symmetric Dirichlet prior of P(w|z), like 0.01
  n_iter	int, number of iterations of Gibbs sampling
  save_step	int, steps to save the results
  docs_pt	string, path of training docs
  model_dir	string, output directory

The results will be written into the directory "model_dir":

  • k20.pw_z: a K*M matrix for P(w|z), suppose K=20
  • k20.pz: a K*1 matrix for P(z), suppose K=20

3. Inference topic proportions for documents, i.e., P(z|d)
If you need to analysis the topic proportions of each documents, just run the following common to infer that using the model estimated.

$ ./src/btm inf <type> <K> <docs_pt> <model_dir>
  K	int, number of topics, like 20
  type	 string, 4 choices:sum_w, sum_b, lda, mix. sum_b is used in our  paper.
  docs_pt	string, path of docs to be inferred
  model_dir	string, output directory

The result will be output to "model_dir":

  • k20.pz_d: a N*K matrix for P(z|d), suppose K=20

4. Results display
Finally, we also provide a python script to illustrate the top words of the topics and their proportions in the collection.

$ python script/ <model_dir> <K> <voca_pt>
  model_dirthe output dir of BTM
  Kthe number of topics
  voca_ptthe vocabulary file

Related codes


  • 2015-01-12, v0.5, improve the usability of the code
  • 2012-09-25, v0.1

If there is any question, feel free to contact: Xiaohui Yan(