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TOSOM: A Topic-Oriented Self-Organizing Map for Text Organization

Authors: Hsin-Chang Yang, Chung-Hong Lee, Kuo-Lung Ke


The self-organizing map (SOM) model is a well-known neural network model with wide spread of applications. The main characteristics of SOM are two-fold, namely dimension reduction and topology preservation. Using SOM, a high-dimensional data space will be mapped to some low-dimensional space. Meanwhile, the topological relations among data will be preserved. With such characteristics, the SOM was usually applied on data clustering and visualization tasks. However, the SOM has main disadvantage of the need to know the number and structure of neurons prior to training, which are difficult to be determined. Several schemes have been proposed to tackle such deficiency. Examples are growing/expandable SOM, hierarchical SOM, and growing hierarchical SOM. These schemes could dynamically expand the map, even generate hierarchical maps, during training. Encouraging results were reported. Basically, these schemes adapt the size and structure of the map according to the distribution of training data. That is, they are data-driven or dataoriented SOM schemes. In this work, a topic-oriented SOM scheme which is suitable for document clustering and organization will be developed. The proposed SOM will automatically adapt the number as well as the structure of the map according to identified topics. Unlike other data-oriented SOMs, our approach expands the map and generates the hierarchies both according to the topics and their characteristics of the neurons. The preliminary experiments give promising result and demonstrate the plausibility of the method.

Keywords: learning algorithm, self-organizing map, topic identification, text clustering

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