A journal-topic-model browser

DH

I have pushed up a new version of dfr-browser, the d3-based topic-model browser I put together while working on topic-modeling journals from JSTOR. This version has more visualization options and a somewhat richer interface, thanks to bootstrap CSS.

Though I do hope others may be able to adapt the code to share and explore their own topic models, the main use of this project is to help me, and I hope others in the humanities/social sciences who are interested in this technique, to develop a stronger sense of what a topic model is and how it slices and dices a corpus of documents. For a fuller discussion of what dfr-browser does, see the new project page hosted on the handy-dandy Github Pages. Also part of the presentation is a demo of the tool, showing a (ragged though not totally uninteresting) 64-topic model of PMLA articles since 1889.

d3 is kind of addictively fun, and goes very well with the game of writing Javascript as “Lisp in C’s clothing” (as Douglas Crockford says). I wouldn’t have done this at all, but for the pleasure I had working through Crockford’s Javascript: The Good Parts and Scott Murray’s introduction to d3, Interactive Data Visualization for the Web.