Map of science with topic modeling: Comparison of unsupervised learning and human-assigned subject classification

Arho Suominen, Hannes Toivanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The delineation of coordinates is fundamental for the cartography of science, and accurate and credible classification of scientific knowledge presents a persistent challenge in this regard. We present a map of Finnish science based on unsupervised-learning classification, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this approach vis-à-vis those generated by human reasoning. We conclude that from theoretical and practical perspectives there exist several challenges for human reasoning-based classification frameworks of scientific knowledge, as they typically try to fit new-to-the-world knowledge into historical models of scientific knowledge, and cannot easily be deployed for new large-scale data sets. Automated classification schemes, in contrast, generate classification models only from the available text corpus, thereby identifying credibly novel bodies of knowledge. They also lend themselves to versatile large-scale data analysis, and enable a range of Big Data possibilities. However, we also argue that it is neither possible nor fruitful to declare one or another method a superior approach in terms of realism to classify scientific knowledge, and we believe that the merits of each approach are dependent on the practical objectives of analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2464-2476
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Volume67
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

Unsupervised learning
science
knowledge
learning
cartography
realism
data analysis
Scientific knowledge
Modeling

Keywords

  • machine learning
  • automatic classification
  • text mining
  • science

Cite this

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title = "Map of science with topic modeling: Comparison of unsupervised learning and human-assigned subject classification",
abstract = "The delineation of coordinates is fundamental for the cartography of science, and accurate and credible classification of scientific knowledge presents a persistent challenge in this regard. We present a map of Finnish science based on unsupervised-learning classification, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this approach vis-{\`a}-vis those generated by human reasoning. We conclude that from theoretical and practical perspectives there exist several challenges for human reasoning-based classification frameworks of scientific knowledge, as they typically try to fit new-to-the-world knowledge into historical models of scientific knowledge, and cannot easily be deployed for new large-scale data sets. Automated classification schemes, in contrast, generate classification models only from the available text corpus, thereby identifying credibly novel bodies of knowledge. They also lend themselves to versatile large-scale data analysis, and enable a range of Big Data possibilities. However, we also argue that it is neither possible nor fruitful to declare one or another method a superior approach in terms of realism to classify scientific knowledge, and we believe that the merits of each approach are dependent on the practical objectives of analysis.",
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Map of science with topic modeling: Comparison of unsupervised learning and human-assigned subject classification. / Suominen, Arho; Toivanen, Hannes.

In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 67, No. 10, 2016, p. 2464-2476.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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N2 - The delineation of coordinates is fundamental for the cartography of science, and accurate and credible classification of scientific knowledge presents a persistent challenge in this regard. We present a map of Finnish science based on unsupervised-learning classification, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this approach vis-à-vis those generated by human reasoning. We conclude that from theoretical and practical perspectives there exist several challenges for human reasoning-based classification frameworks of scientific knowledge, as they typically try to fit new-to-the-world knowledge into historical models of scientific knowledge, and cannot easily be deployed for new large-scale data sets. Automated classification schemes, in contrast, generate classification models only from the available text corpus, thereby identifying credibly novel bodies of knowledge. They also lend themselves to versatile large-scale data analysis, and enable a range of Big Data possibilities. However, we also argue that it is neither possible nor fruitful to declare one or another method a superior approach in terms of realism to classify scientific knowledge, and we believe that the merits of each approach are dependent on the practical objectives of analysis.

AB - The delineation of coordinates is fundamental for the cartography of science, and accurate and credible classification of scientific knowledge presents a persistent challenge in this regard. We present a map of Finnish science based on unsupervised-learning classification, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this approach vis-à-vis those generated by human reasoning. We conclude that from theoretical and practical perspectives there exist several challenges for human reasoning-based classification frameworks of scientific knowledge, as they typically try to fit new-to-the-world knowledge into historical models of scientific knowledge, and cannot easily be deployed for new large-scale data sets. Automated classification schemes, in contrast, generate classification models only from the available text corpus, thereby identifying credibly novel bodies of knowledge. They also lend themselves to versatile large-scale data analysis, and enable a range of Big Data possibilities. However, we also argue that it is neither possible nor fruitful to declare one or another method a superior approach in terms of realism to classify scientific knowledge, and we believe that the merits of each approach are dependent on the practical objectives of analysis.

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