How to evaluate a novel topic modeling method.

Tiya Vaj
2 min readJul 31, 2023

To evaluate and validate the quality of your topic modeling results and demonstrate that your topic modeling is reasonable, you can perform the following steps:

1. Coherence Score: Calculate the coherence score for your topics. Coherence measures the semantic similarity between high-scoring words in each topic and helps ensure that the words within a topic are meaningful and related. Higher coherence scores indicate better-defined topics. Common coherence measures include UMass and CV coherence.

2. Topic Interpretability: Manually inspect and interpret the topics generated by the model. Ensure that the words within each topic are coherent, meaningful, and relevant to the topic label. If the topics make sense and are interpretable, it indicates reasonable topic modeling.

3. Visualizations: Use visualizations like word clouds, bar plots, or heatmaps to display the most important words for each topic and their relative frequencies. Visualizations can help you understand the distribution of topics and assess their quality.

4. Human Evaluation:Conduct human evaluation or expert judgment to rate the quality and interpretability of topics. Show the topics to domain experts and ask them to provide feedback and evaluate the relevance of topics to the given domain.

5. Perplexity and Likelihood: Calculate perplexity and likelihood scores on held-out data (not used during model training) to assess how well the model generalizes to new unseen data. Lower perplexity and higher likelihood scores indicate better generalization.

6. Topic Labeling: Assign human-readable labels to each topic based on the most representative words. Make sure the topic labels accurately describe the main theme of the topic.

7. Topic Stability: Check for topic stability by running the topic modeling process multiple times with different random seeds and verify if the topics remain consistent.

8. Comparisons: Compare the results with other topic modeling methods, like Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), Non-negative Matrix Factorization (NMF), or BERT-based approaches, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen method.

9. Application: Evaluate the utility of the topics in solving a specific problem or use case. If the topics are useful in extracting insights or aiding in a particular task, it demonstrates the reasonableness of the topic modeling.

Remember that topic modeling is an exploratory process, and the evaluation should not solely rely on quantitative metrics. A combination of quantitative measures and qualitative assessment is crucial to ensure that the generated topics are meaningful and align with the domain knowledge or application requirements. It’s also essential to consider the intended use of the topic model and how well it fulfills the specific objectives.



Tiya Vaj

Ph.D. Research Scholar in Informatics and my passionate towards data-driven for social good.Let's connect here