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Constructing topical hierarchies in heterogeneous information networks


Many digital documentary data collections (e.g., scientific publications, enterprise reports, news articles, and social media) can be modeled as a heterogeneous information network, linking text with multiple types of entities. Constructing high-quality hierarchies that can represent topics at multiple granularities benefits tasks such as search, information browsing, and pattern mining. In this work, we present an algorithm for recursively constructing multi-typed topical hierarchies. Contrary to traditional text-based topic modeling, our approach handles both textual phrases and multiple types of entities by a newly designed clustering and ranking algorithm for heterogeneous network data, as well as mining and ranking topical patterns of different types. Our experiments on datasets from two different domains demonstrate that our algorithm yields high-quality, multi-typed topical hierarchies.

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  1. We chose papers published in 20 conferences related to the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Databases, Data Mining, Information Retrieval, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing from

  2. As a paper is always published in exactly one venue, there can naturally be no venue–venue links.

  3. The 16 topics chosen were: Bill Clinton, Boston Marathon, Earthquake, Egypt, Gaza, Iran, Israel, Joe Biden, Microsoft, Mitt Romney, Nuclear power, Steve Jobs, Sudan, Syria, Unemployment, US Crime.

  4. The one exception is venues, as there are only 20 venues in the DBLP dataset, so we set \(K=3\) in this case.


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Research was sponsored in part by the Army Research Lab. under Cooperative Agreement No. W911NF-09-2-0053 (NSCTA), the Army Research Office under Cooperative Agreement No. W911NF-13-1-0193, National Science Foundation IIS-1017362, IIS-1320617, and IIS-1354329, DTRA, and MIAS, a DHS-IDS Center for Multimodal Information Access and Synthesis at UIUC. Chi Wang was supported by a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship. Marina Danilevsky was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Grant NSF DGE 07-15088.

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Wang, C., Liu, J., Desai, N. et al. Constructing topical hierarchies in heterogeneous information networks. Knowl Inf Syst 44, 529–558 (2015).

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  • Topic hierarchy
  • Information network
  • Link mining
  • Text mining
  • Topic modeling