Publication Abstract

Topic Modeling and Visualization for Big Data in Social Sciences

Sukhija, N., Callicott, S. I., Tatineni, M., Brown, N., Moer, M. V., & Rodriguez, P. (2017). Topic Modeling and Visualization for Big Data in Social Sciences. 2016 Intl IEEE Conferences on Ubiquitous Intelligence & Computing, Advanced and Trusted Computing, Scalable Computing and Communications, Cloud and Big Data Computing, Internet of People, and Smart World Congress (UIC/ATC/ScalCom/CBDCom/IoP/SmartWorld. Toulouse, France: IEEE. 1198-1205. DOI:10.1109/UIC-ATC-ScalCom-CBDCom-IoP-SmartWorld.2016.0183.


Topic modeling is a widely used approach for analyzing large text collections. In particular, Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) is one of the most popular topic modeling approaches to aggregate vocabulary from a document corpus to form latent "topics". However, learning meaningful topic models with massive document collections which contain millions of documents, billions of tokens is challenging, given the complexity of the data involved, the difficulty in distributing the computation across multiple computing nodes. In recent years some data processing frameworks, such as Spark, Mallet, others have been developed to address the issues associated with analyzing large volumes of unlabeled text pertaining to various domains in a scalable, efficient manner. In this paper, we will present a preliminary case study demonstrating the scholarship achieved in the study of political consumerism via XSEDE resources. The experimental study will showcase the use of digitized social sciences data, text analytics toolkits to generate topic models, visualize topics for empowering intersectional research engaging the relationship between consumption, race, class, gender in the area of sociology. Consequently, this comparative big data textual analysis involving use of JSTOR data, LDA modeling toolkit's, visualization techniques, computational components is of paramount importance, especially for researchers from academic domain dealing with social science applications involving big data.