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wondering if it makes sense to use ratio of the frequency of term in the conversation / number of posts in a conversation? Wouldn't change the results for a specific conversation, but would make comparison easier...

Also - I'd expect that "topic" should be well represented with Sigmind picture for the given terms.


My own definition is:
A topic is a semantic annotation of a document that people instinctively use to search and organize information. While we can semantically annotate many facets of a document, the notion of topic covers the document as a whole: it is the conceptualization of the document with the greatest breadth. When we seek information, our primary intention is usually to discover information on the same topic as is the topic of our problem. Topic can be distinguished from other descriptors of a document, such as language, style, punctuation, grammar, reputation, graphical design, author, date, and so on.

BTW, you can see how topics can be visualized graphically at [cosco.hiit.fi]. This is based on the open-source software for identification of topics from [componentanalysis.org].


Lilia, I'm using the ratio. Stupid I missed the Sigmund metric on first hand (perhaps I am on holiday :-)).

Aleks, I think your definition is sort of the right direction, but fail to see how to operationalise it in any rigorous manner. Browsing the links you provided I became a little wiser :-). Thanks.


Perhaps one cannot dissociate the definition of what is a "topic" from what does "going off-topic" mean in a specific context. Topics can grow, evolve, as further aspects are unearthed or perceived, and they can be contested... that is, you cannot take the topic as a given, it is shaped by the ongoing conversation.


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Handbags are no longer just items of practicality, but have become a symbol of style and self-identification and the demand for fashionable designer handbags shows no sign of slowing.

From practical to flamboyant, fashionable brand names create any and every size, style or color to pique every woman's unique desire for style. As with any accessory, handbags also serve as an extension of the wearer's personality; whether or not you're flashy or low-key, you can find a bag that suits every outfit or mood.

Today's fashion designer handbags cost upward of $1000 or more, and even if you can afford one, it's inevitable that a new "it" bag will come along next month, making yours dated. Not only are designer replica handbags a fraction of the price, many even have the signature designer insignia - making them practically identical to each other.

Most women long for a brand name to wear on their arm, but most cannot afford the $1000 or more price tags on these designer handbags. There are many designer inspired handbags just as good looking as the originals.

Some advantages of designer inspired handbags are that they're vastly more affordable than a major designer label. They match the current trend, and the craftsmanship of some is so good that distinguishing between a replica and a real bag is becoming increasingly difficult.

If you're worried about the lack of authenticity, designer inspired handbags are by no means cheap knockoffs of a real bag. They serve the same purpose and, in many cases, are made from the same material as an original, which means the only thing you're paying extra for is the name and where it's made (usually China or Italy).

Online is a great place to search for designer handbags (replica or non), including styles made popular by Luis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach and Christian Dior. Since replicas have become such a big trend, manufacturers and retailers give more attention to detail, ensuring that your bag will look identical to the most popular designer labels.

The major concern when buying designer handbags of the replica variety is figuring out if they share the quality of an original. Here are some tips:

Only buy replica handbags labeled "inspired by" instead of those that claim to be authentic. There should be small, but visible differences so that the replica bag has the look and feel of the designer bag that inspired it.

Still be prepared to pay a good amount of money for a quality replica designer purse ($200-$500 range). The "designer inspired" version will not require thousands of dollars, but still expect to pay for things like quality and hand stitching.

When shopping online look for disclaimers. If the disclaimer states that the handbag is inspired by or in the style of the designer, rather than a copy of the designer original or falsely claiming to be authentic, you won't be breaking any laws by buying one. Reputable companies will issue valid disclaimers and they will sell quality merchandise. Carefully examine any company selling replica purses for the quality, workmanship and customer service feedback.

Replica handbags will still cost you a weeks' salary - so make sure the quality is worth it. Just because you are buying a replica doesn't mean you should settle for poor construction or cheap materials. Know the quality of the original to know if the quality of the replica is acceptable.

Choosing replica handbags involves more than thinking you've found a deal that's too good to be true from a street vendor for $50. Just do a little homework - understand the disclaimer statement, become familiar with designer quality and carefully examine replica handbags before purchasing.

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Car Recommendations When Buying a New, Used Car

When looking for a car to buy, there are many options out there. I have owned or driven just about every major manufacturer of imports that there are. Subaru makes one of the best all around vehicles for the money. I live in upstate New York and we get a good amount of snow here. The standard AWD that comes in all Subaru's is key to getting around in the winter. Business doesn't stop when it snows a foot. I have seen and been in many car accidents due to the snow, but never in my Subaru. It is safe to say that Subaru makes one of the best cars for snowy conditions in the world.

Buy a vehicle that has a Standard Transmission

Vehicles with Standard Transmissions rather than a Automatic Transmission give you a lot more control over the vehicle. The Standard Transmission allows you to down shift when slowing down. This helps in snowy or rainy conditions. Down shifting also helps to make the brakes on your car last longer. Along with those two points, a Standard Transmission car is just fun to drive all around. The driver is actually engaged in the driving experience rather than just tapping the gas pedal or brake pedal, the driver actually makes the car move and change gears physically by using the clutch.

Look at many options

Don't focus solely on a dealership. There are many different outlets that one can look into when looking for a new or used car. Certain websites allow people to post their vehicles up for sale for a fee while other physical car dealerships have websites with their cars on them. While buying from a dealership is usually the easiest way, it is not always the most cost effective. Dealerships tend to mark up the prices on their cars a lot so that they can make money on the deal. When you deal with a private party you can negotiate a little more with them to try to get the vehicle for the cost you want to pay.

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Things To Consider When Buying A Used Car

You are ready to buy a used car? Make sure you know certain things about cars because there are dealers or even private people who try to sell cars overpriced or even damaged ones. This article deals with several details that you want to consider before buying a used car.

Always have a closer look at the car before buying it. This includes several parts of the car that we will discuss right here.

1. The mileage

An older car will have a higher mileage but sometimes you can find cars that were driven for less than 5000 miles a year. An average consumer will drive between 12,000 and 16,000 miles a year. Those cars with a high usage are usually those that won't make you happy.

2. Inspect the engine

Have somebody with you who knows a lot about cars because the engine of a car is the most important thing to look at before buying the vehicle. A good clean looking engine is not always an indicator for a good working engine. The owner might have washed it just to achieve a higher price for the car.

Always test drive the car, this way you might find a technical problem. People who know a lot about cars can sometimes tell, just from hearing the engine sound, if the engine is alright or not.

3. Check the body of the car

Look for rusty areas and damages, check the whole body of the car. Look at areas near the bottom, these are the places where the rust spreads first.

4. Frame damages

Make sure that the car did not have an accident. Some car dealers try to sell a damaged cars, sometimes even with frame damages. These can be very dangerous for the new owner, so check the car carefully.

5. The Tires

Make sure all 4 tires are in a good condition. Look at the profile and check if the material is in a smooth condition. Make sure there aren't any damages at the tires, they are your life insurance!

6. Safety Features

Some old cars don't meet today's safety standards. It is up to you what level of safety standard you choose with your used car, just make sure the ones that are included work.

7. The price

Before buying a car, you want to compare the prices for the car model that you desire. You can use the internet for this issue. This way you can protect yourself from overpriced car deals. Take your time to research the whole topic, don't be in a hurry when buying a car. If you take the time to compare different offers you will certainly get a better deal and a better time with you car.

If you don't know much about cars, it is strongly adviced to a companion who is an expert in this topic. There are just too many people out there who try to fool you so be prepared for it. Once you are sure that the car of your desire is in a good condition you can start to negotiate about the price. Find the right price for the right car and you can enjoy your new used car!

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You can use the internet for this issue. This way you can protect yourself from overpriced car deals. Take your time to research the whole topic, don't be in a hurry when buying a car


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This is the new Vs. thread...back from the dead!!! In here, as in the last thread, you may speculate,tell the facts, or just lie about the three new systems!
That's what Hell Billy,Mike, did with his original, so let's continue the tradition.
Everyone has thoughts about the whole system fight and with there being 3 months till Wii and PS3 and the debate going to continue after the three are out, this thread is for them thar fightin' words.
This will also fill the void we may each have by not getting our daily post by Mayor Mortis saying "Wii." You know you've missed it!!!


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A dog can be your best friend when it comes to home security.

Burglar alarms are not the be-all and end-all of home security. There are plenty of other things you can install in your home that will help to stop a burglar from gaining entry – and many of them are very simple and inexpensive.

The key is to secure the possible points of entry. This means that doors should be made of strong, solid material (definitely not plastic or glass), be properly secured to their hinges and have tamper-resistant locks. Ideally, you should have an extra deadbolt that you put on at night, made from very strong metal.

Windows should be made from toughened glass, preferably double-glazed, so that they are almost impossible to break. Although window locks are relatively uncommon, they help greatly with security, and you should consider installing them. If your house has windows in a position where they can be easily and discreetly accessed from the street, such as basement windows, you should consider putting metal bars on them.

It is also important for your garden to be secure, as far more burglars enter through the back of your house than the front. This means that your fences should be high and have some kind of anti-climbing measures (spikes or anti-climb paint can work well). If you don’t like fences, get big hedges instead.

Another thing to consider is getting a dog – surprisingly effective against burglars, who don’t generally want to mess with dogs if they can avoid it. For this strategy to be more effective, put up a ‘beware of the dog’ sign. Smaller dogs are not so great for this because they are not generally scary – something like a big German Shepherd works best, not only because of their size, but because of their strong guard instincts that cause them to be hostile to strangers.

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This time, the source was a weblog conversation (loosely a collection of linked posts in a community) and determine what distinguishes a conversation compared to what the community usually blogs about (topic?).

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