Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Visualize the Dictionary of Obscure Words with T-SNE

I recently published on a wrapper around The Dictionary of Obscure Words (originally from this website for Python and in this post we'll see how to create a visualization to highlight few entries from the dictionary using the dimensionality reduction technique called T-SNE. The dictionary is available on github at this address and can be installed as follows:
pip install git+
We can now import the dictionary and create a vectorial representation of each word:
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
from obscure_words import load_obscure_words
from sklearn.feature_extraction.text import TfidfVectorizer, CountVectorizer
from sklearn.manifold import TSNE

obscure_dict = load_obscure_words()
words = np.array(list(obscure_dict.keys()))
definitions = np.array(list(obscure_dict.values()))

vectorizer = TfidfVectorizer(stop_words=None)
X = vectorizer.fit_transform(definitions)

projector = TSNE(random_state=0)
XX = projector.fit_transform(X)
In the snippet above, we compute a Tf-Idf representation using the definition of each word. This gives us a vector for each word in our dictionary, but each of these vectors has many elements as the total number of words used in all the definitions. Since we can't plot all the features extracted, we reduce our data to 2 dimensions we use T-SNE. We have now a mapping that allows us to place each word in a point of a bi-dimensional space. There's one problem remaining, how can we plot the words in a way that we can still read them? Here's a solution:
from sklearn.cluster import KMeans
from sklearn.preprocessing import StandardScaler
from sklearn.metrics import pairwise_distances

def textscatter(x, y, text, k=10):
    X = np.array([x, y]).T
    clustering = KMeans(n_clusters=k)
    scaler = StandardScaler()
    centers = scaler.inverse_transform(clustering.cluster_centers_)
    selected = np.argmin(pairwise_distances(X, centers), axis=0)
    plt.scatter(x, y, s=6, c=clustering.predict(scaler.transform(X)), alpha=.05)
    for i in selected:
        plt.text(x[i], y[i], text[i], fontsize=10)

plt.figure(figsize=(16, 16))
textscatter(XX[:, 0], XX[:, 1], 
            [w+'\n'+d for w, d in zip(words, definitions)], 20)
In the function textscatter we segment all the points created at the previous steps in k clusters using K-Means, then we plot the word related to the center of cluster (and also its definion). Given the properties of K-Means we know that the centers are distant from each other and with the right choice of k we can maximize the number of words we can display. This is the result of the snippet above:
(click on the figure to see the entire chart)

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