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Theory and Modeling of "Concepts"

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 7 years, 3 months ago


The materials gathered here assist the WE1S project team in thinking about what it ultimately seeks in modeling the "humanities" as a "concept" or "discourse." These materials include, but are not limited to, the theory and practice of "topic modeling." For example, Peter de Bolla's theoretically and historically rich work on "the architecture of concepts" uses other methods (primarily word collocations as a preliminary algorithm) to think through the structure of "ideational" concepts that have a complexity and plasticity akin to the "humanities" concept that the WhatEvery1Says project is researching. (On topic modeling and systems/interfaces for topic modeling in particular, see Research on Topic Modeling).


Methodology and Theory of Concept Modeling

(readings related to understanding the structure of complex "concepts," "topics," and "discourses," including applied examples and visualizations with methodological implications)


  1. Adamo, Stefano. "On the Cultural Significance of Literary Themes: The Case of Physical Objects." Strumenti critici 24.3 (2009): 389-402. doi: 10.1419/30321. (Online preprint: "On the Cultural Significance of Literary Themes" [PDF]).
  2. Algee-Hewitt, Mark, Ryan Heuser, and Franco Moretti, "On Paragraphs: Scale,Themes, and Narrative Form" (2015) [PDF]
  3. de Bolla, Peter. The Architecture of Concepts: The Historical Formation of Human Rights. New York: Fordham University Press, 2013. (Press blurb)
         See also the site of the Cambridge Concept Lab that de Bolla directs.
    1. Michael Gavin's post in response: "The Arithmetic of Concepts: a response to Peter de Bolla" (2015)
  4. Bremond, Claude. "Concept and Theme." In The Return of Thematic Criticism, edited by Werner Sollors, 46-59. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993.
  5. Linguistic DNA Project:
    1. "A manifesto for studying conceptual change (pt. 1 of 3)"
    2. "Defining the content of a concept from below; or: How to recognize a concept in big data (pt. 2 of 3)" 
    3. "Operationalising concepts (pt. 3 of 3)" 
    4. "A Theoretical Background to Distributional Methods I" 
  6. Huijnen, Pim. "From Keyword Searching to Concept Mining" (2015)
  7. Roe, Glenn, Clovis Gladstone, and Robert Morrissey. "Discourses and Disciplines in the Enlightenment: Topic Modeling the French Encyclopédie." Frontiers in Digital  Humanities, 12 January 2016. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fdigh.2015.00008/full
  8. Shaw, Ryan.
    1. "Information Organization and the Philosophy of History" (2013)
    2. "From Facts to Judgments: Theorizing History for Information Science" (2009) HTML | PDF
      1. __________ and P Hjørland (2010), "Concepts: Classes and Colligation" (letter to editor about article and Shaw's response)


Methodology of Topic Modeling


  1. Emily Barry, "Applying Data Science to the Supreme Court: Topic Modeling Over Time with NMF (and a D3.js bonus)" (2016)


Innovative Visualization Paradigms Relate d to Concept/Topic Modeling 


    1. Heat-map visualization of topics overlaid on map (UCSB Space Time Knowledge Organization [STKO] Lab) -- click on "Geographic Mapping" tab
      1. Related blog posts:
        1. "Web@25: Exploring the Web-related research topics in space and time" (2014)
        2. "A cartographic approach to visualize research topics in the 2013 WWW conference" (2014)
    2. Unfiltered.news (Martin Wattenberg & Fernanda Viega) -- Innovative, powerful visualization interface for exploring news topics around the world. The default "topics less reported in [nation] is designed to break users out of their news bubbles/silos. Circles around nations on the map are populated by the leading topics on a particular date in that nation. Clicking on a topic shows where else in the world it is being discussed in the news and also what other topics it is associated with.









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