Lauren Gao’s: Topic Modeling II

After performing last week’s topic modeling on all 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories, 10 out of the 100 topics generated from last week were put into Google’s Fusion Tables to check for trends in the 10 particular topics of our choice. I chose to mainly look at the time period from January 1892 to July 1893 being that it contained a high concentration of published Sherlock Holmes stories.

The first two topics I looked at and compared were,

Murder and Villains

Screenshot (56)

Unsurprisingly, these two topics appear to be occur in conjunction with each other and share very similar peak points. Upon looking further into historical evidence for possible peaks through the BRANCH and, I was unable to find relevant events that may explain the highest peak for “Murder”. However, this graph was more intended to test whether or not topics may have acted in a predictable manner based on the surface level.

Next, the two topics I wanted to look at next was,

Men and Women in Sherlock Holmes

Screenshot (57)

At first glance, it does not appear that men or women take a dominant presence in Sherlock Holmes stories but rather alternate when either sex is taking a more prominent role within an individual story. According to the graph, when “Women” appear to be the prominent topic in a story, the “Men’s” line tend to drop on the same instances. Once again however, I was unable to find a historic event that might help explain the sudden spike on the “Women’s” topic that happened approximately on Feb/March 1893.

 The next topic I chose to compare with “Men” and “Women” proved to be a bit more interesting in terms of correlation with the trends of the latter two.

Smoking in Sherlock Holmes

Screenshot (59)Screenshot (60)


In popular culture, smoking, is sometimes regarded as a masculine activity, especially if it is the kind done with an old fashion curved pipe made famous by the many renditions of Sherlock Holmes over the years. One would assume that the topic “Men” would look similar to the topic of “Smoking”. However, it actually seems that the topic “Women” better mirror’s the topic “Smoking” in the line graph shown above than the “Men” one. However, this does not say that women are seen smoking more often in Sherlock Holmes stories, but rather calls for looking at the individual stories in which the two topics peak and determining what relation the two topics might have with each other.


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