Interactive Distillation of Large Single-Topic Corpora of Scientific Papers


Highly specific datasets of scientific literature are important for both research and education. However, it is difficult to build such datasets at scale. A common approach is to build these datasets reductively by applying topic modeling on an established corpus and selecting specific topics. A more robust but time-consuming approach is to build the dataset constructively in which a subject matter expert (SME) handpicks documents. This method does not scale and is prone to error as the dataset grows. Here we showcase a new tool, based on machine learning, for constructively generating targeted datasets of scientific literature. Given a small initial “core” corpus of papers, we build a citation network of documents. At each step of the citation network, we generate text embeddings and visualize the embeddings through dimensionality reduction. Papers are kept in the dataset if they are “similar” to the core or are otherwise pruned through human-in-the-loop selection. Additional insight into the papers is gained through SUb-topic modeling using SeNMFk. We demonstrate our new tool for literature review by applying it to two different fields in machine learning.

2023 International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA)