Skip to Main Content
Recent findings show that online reviews, blogs, and discussion forums on chronic diseases and drugs are becoming important supporting resources for patients. Extracting information from these substantial bodies of texts is useful and challenging. We developed a generative probabilistic aspect mining model (PAMM) for identifying the aspects/topics relating to class labels or categorical meta-information of a corpus. Unlike many other unsupervised approaches or supervised approaches, PAMM has a unique feature in that it focuses on finding aspects relating to one class only rather than finding aspects for all classes simultaneously in each execution. This reduces the chance of having aspects formed from mixing concepts of different classes; hence the identified aspects are easier to be interpreted by people. The aspects found also have the property that they are class distinguishing: They can be used to distinguish a class from other classes. An efficient EM-algorithm is developed for parameter estimation. Experimental results on reviews of four different drugs show that PAMM is able to find better aspects than other common approaches, when measured with mean pointwise mutual information and classification accuracy. In addition, the derived aspects were also assessed by humans based on different specified perspectives, and PAMM was found to be rated highest.