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SEARCH: What is a zero topic? How do I create one?

Last Updated: Apr 04, 2017

What is a zero topic?

A zero topic consists of two concepts that can be manually defined as neutral to one other. By creating a zero topic, you can search for documents related to a particular concept while excluding those related to a similar, but irrelevant concept.

Often, two concepts will appear as being highly associated because they are similar to each other. For instance, "lunch" and "dinner" may be highly associated because they are both meals, even though they occur at different times of the day. Another example might be "shoes" and "socks," as both are frequently discussed together despite being different items. Creating a zero topic enables you to explore the conversation about "lunch" but not "dinner," or about "socks" but not "shoes."

In mathematical terms: Creating a zero topic resets the association score between the two concepts to 0.00 for that particular topic.  

​How do I create a zero topic?

In the search bar, enter the concept you wish to explore, the percent sign [%], a space, and then the concept you wish to exclude from the analysis. Once you've press Enter, the zero topic will appear at the top of the list of Top Concepts. You can add this zero topic to your Saved Topics.

For example, if you want to analyze "dinner" but not "lunch," enter dinner % lunch into the search bar.  "Dinner % lunch" displays as the selected concept, which you can save as a Topic.

When you click on your zero topic, you will notice that the first concept will display in dark blue (heat map effect) in the Dynamic Concept Cloud. The second concept you entered will be gray, meaning that the software is now treating that concept as neutral in relation to the first concept. (Prior to creating the zero topic, this second concept would have appeared in light blue, meaning that it was related to the first concept.)

NOTE: Creating a zero topic will only "reset" the relationship between the two concepts to neutral for that topic, not for the entire project.

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