Multimodal Topic Modeling by Exploring Characteristics of Short Text Social Media

Huakui Zhang, Cai Yi, Bingshan Zhu, Haopeng Ren, Qing Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Millions of people post images and texts to express their feelings and point of views on social media everyday, especially on the short text social media such as Twitter or Weibo. As the images can provide important supplementary information for the text, many multimodal topic models have been developed to mine the topics from the multimodal social media content. We summarize three fundamental characteristics of the short text multimodal social media. The first is that the text of a short social media document generally belong to only one topic. The second is that the attached images can be relevant to multiple topics due to the rich information expressed in the images. The last is that although in most cases, text and images in social media posts are relevant, it should be noted that in a small number of cases, text and pictures are not relevant. However, most of the current multimodal topic models fail to model the these characteristics, and thus may produce low-quality topics. Based on these characteristics, we propose an unsupervised multimodal topic model SMMTM to model the short text multimodal social media documents. In the SMMTM model, only one topic is sampled for the the text while an image can belong to different topics. The correlation of the topics between the text and the images in a document are also formulated in an appropriate way. The experiments on three short text social media datasets with four evaluation metrics show the advantages of our model over the existing models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2430 - 2445
JournalIEEE Transactions on Multimedia
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Automobiles
  • Blogs
  • Correlation
  • Data models
  • Multimodal
  • social media
  • Social networking (online)
  • topic models
  • Videos
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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