Improving text categorization bootstrapping via unsupervised learning

Alfio Gliozzo, Carlo Strapparava, Ido Dagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We propose a text-categorization bootstrapping algorithm in which categories are described by relevant seed words. Our method introduces two unsupervised techniques to improve the initial categorization step of the bootstrapping scheme: (i) using latent semantic spaces to estimate the similarity among documents and words, and (ii) the Gaussian mixture algorithm, which differentiates relevant and nonrelevant category information using statistics from unlabeled examples. In particular, this second step maps the similarity scores to class posterior probabilities, and therefore reduces sensitivity to keyword-dependent variations in scores. The algorithm was evaluated on two text categorization tasks, and obtained good performance using only the category names as initial seeds. In particular, the performance of the proposed method proved to be equivalent to a pure supervised approach trained on 70 - 160 labeled documents per category.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalACM Transactions on Speech and Language Processing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2009


  • Bootstrapping
  • Text categorization
  • Unsupervised machine learning


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