Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Saeid Belkasim

Second Advisor

Raj Sunderraman

Third Advisor

Yanqing Zhang

Fourth Advisor

Hendricus Van Der Holst


Over the last decades, there have been remarkable shifts in the area of Information Retrieval (IR) as huge amount of information is increasingly accumulated on the Web. The gigantic information explosion increases the need for discovering new tools that retrieve meaningful knowledge from various complex information sources. Thus, techniques primarily used to search and extract important information from numerous database sources have been a key challenge in current IR systems.

Topic modeling is one of the most recent techniquesthat discover hidden thematic structures from large data collections without human supervision. Several topic models have been proposed in various fields of study and have been utilized extensively for many applications. Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) is the most well-known topic model that generates topics from large corpus of resources, such as text, images, and audio.It has been widely used in many areas in information retrieval and data mining, providing efficient way of identifying latent topics among document collections. However, LDA has a drawback that topic cohesion within a concept is attenuated when estimating infrequently occurring words. Moreover, LDAseems not to consider the meaning of words, but rather to infer hidden topics based on a statisticalapproach. However, LDA can cause either reduction in the quality of topic words or increase in loose relations between topics.

In order to solve the previous problems, we propose a domain specific topic model that combines domain concepts with LDA. Two domain specific algorithms are suggested for solving the difficulties associated with LDA. The main strength of our proposed model comes from the fact that it narrows semantic concepts from broad domain knowledge to a specific one which solves the unknown domain problem. Our proposed model is extensively tested on various applications, query expansion, classification, and summarization, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model. Experimental results show that the proposed model significantly increasesthe performance of applications.