David Cohn, Thomas Hofmann
We describe a joint probabilistic model for modeling the contents and inter-connectivity of document collections such as sets of web pages or research paper archives. The model is based on a probabilistic factor decomposition and allows identifying principal topics of the collection as well as authoritative documents within those topics. Furthermore, the relationships between topics is mapped out in order to build a predictive model of link content. Among the many applications of this approach are information retrieval and search, topic identification, query disambigua(cid:173) tion, focused web crawling, web authoring, and bibliometric analysis.