When we first discussed topic modeling in class, I was a little bit confused. But, after we did some group work on it I began to grasp the basic concept. Doing it myself proved to be a little bit more difficult. In the beginning, I had a hard time with the application that we were working with, Mallet. It was more technical stuff that I just hadn’t realized. But once I figured it out and was able to make my lists I was a bit more comfortable. Picking out good lists, however, was also challenging. For many of the groups it was hard to figure out what they had in common without seeing the context from the text.
However, eventually it became easier. The more I figured out, the easier it became to put the words into categories. For instance, the group “cried hands god face voice sake moment soul burst truth” were clearly words of desperation, so I filed them under anguish. Similarly, there was a group of words, “cried god voice sake hope words soul heaven speak heavens jack frightened swear suggestion truth heart despair manner aid quick” that had many words in common with the previous group, but this group seemed more religion-related, so I filed it under “praying”. I think if someone were to see these topic models, the would grasp the basic idea behind the Sherlock stories. He would realize that they were detective stories and that Sherlock sometimes had to do tricky things to figure out his cases.