Mallet and Sherlock Holmes

Using MALLET, the quality of the output is a balancing act. The more topics, the more interpretation there can be. With less topics, it makes it easier to specify one term for topic modeling. With too few topics, however, it becomes a bit uncertain and hard to pinpoint a term. The higher the iteration numbers allows us to work with more precise word combinations. The settings I recommend using for MALLET when topic modeling would be 20 topics/250 iterations/10 words printed. I chose this setting because I felt that when I used a narrower search, MALLET provided me with an easier to read a less complicated set of results. I was able to pinpoint a key term when I was provided with less material to look at.

Three Topics

Hallway/Setting:     Empty House (EMPT)

Angela – room, door, open, window, entered, opened, key, rushed, closed, bedroom, passage, instant, locked, floor, stair, pushed, lock, stairs, led, safe

Mike – door, room, opened, open, heard, key, light, sound, passage, stood, inside, closed, hall, entered, locked, steps, pass, lock, dressing, stair

Office/Text:             The Stockbroker’s Clerk (STOC)

Mike – small, pocket, put, study, drew, cut, papers, attention, eye, safe, examination, bird, piece, left, cigar, mark, thumb, finger, seat, interest

Angela – paper, note, read, letter, letters, book, handed, table, papers, written, message, writing, wrote, address, short, sheet, post, write, importance, document

Attributes:                     Creeping Man Story (CREE)

Mike – face, man, head, hand, dark, black, cried, instant, turned, white, suddenly, figure, opened, quick, sight

Angela – man, face, eyes, dark, figure, looked, tall, head, drawn, black, features, mouth, thin, middle, appearance, deep, huge, beard, nose, lines

The story “Empty House” uses the topic Hallway/Seting the most to describe the appearance and the locations that take place within the story. The story “The Stockbroker’s Clerk” uses the topic Office/Text the least amount of times throughout the story. The topic is used to describe a few locations but other than that it isn’t mentioned that much.

Sample Questions

  1. How does the setting and descriptions reflect on the tone of the scene/tone of the overall plot?
  1. How does Conan Doyle incorporate description differently than other 19th century authors?

Angela and Mike


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