Personalized Digital Television. Targeting programs to individual users

L. Ardissono, A. Kobsa and M. Maybury editors.
Kluwer Academic Publishers
(check the book page at Kluwer:


This book collects selected research reports on the development of personalized services for Interactive TV. Drawing upon contributions from academia and industry that represent current research in the US, Europe and Asia, these articles represent leading research in personalized television. The individual contributions have been carefully selected by the editors from a pool of about 60 papers presented at four professional meetings in this area, namely:

The book also includes four papers selected for publication in the special issue on User Modeling and Personalization for Television ( of the Kluwer Journal "User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction: The Journal of Personalization Research".


TV viewers today are exposed to overwhelming amounts of information, and challenged by the plethora of interactive functionality provided by current set-top boxes. While there are hundreds of channels with an abundance of programs available, and large amounts of material that can be retrieved from digital video archives and satellite streams, the available meta-information about this content is poor, so that an informed selection of one's preferred choices is almost impossible. As a result, TV viewers waste a lot of time browsing the available options or end up watching a very limited number of channels. Future Digital Television (DTV) will have to take usability issues thoroughly into account, to ensure broad adoption of this technology by consumers. Information overload already represents a serious problem for the Internet. It is even less acceptable in DTV because it threatens the entertainment and leisure objectives that most TV viewers have, forcing them to engage in extended information retrieval each time they want to watch a TV show. Serious attention must therefore be paid to facilitate the selection of content on an individual basis, and to provide easy-to-use interfaces that satisfy viewers' interaction requirements.
Given the heterogeneity of TV viewers, who differ e.g. in interests and skills, the provision of personalized services seems to be the only solution to address the information overload problem in an effective manner. The User Modeling and the Intelligent User Interfaces communities have therefore focused on the following main lines of research:

Fundamental challenges that must be addressed to enable personalized television include: This volume collects leading research addressing some of these challenges. Its chapters have been selected among the highest-quality articles about personalized DTV. The book is organized in three sections: The papers collected in this book represent the state of the art in personalized recommendation and presentation of TV content. In several cases, the presented proposals have been exploited in commercial applications, which provided positive feedback about the applicability of the approaches in real-world scenarios. The collected experience is also very important for the identification of open research issues that will need to be addressed in the development of future DTV services, a field still in its infancy, but with many opportunities ahead.

Liliana Ardissono
Torino, Italy

Alfred Kobsa
Irvine, CA

Mark Maybury
Chelmsford, MA USA

Table of Contents


  • User Modeling and Recommendation Techniques for Personalized Electronic Program Guides. Liliana Ardissono, Cristina Gena, Pietro Torasso Fabio Bellifemine, Alessandro Chiarotto, Angelo Difino, Barbara Negro
  • TV Personalization System. Design of a TV Show Recommender Engine and Interface. John Zimmerman, Kaushal Kurapati, Anna L. Buczak, Dave Schaffer, Srinivas Gutta, and Jacquelyn Martino
  • Case-Studies on the Evolution of the Personalized Electronic Program Guide. Barry Smyth and Paul Cotter
  • Interactive Television Personalisation. From Guides to Programmes. Derry O' Sullivan, Barry Smyth, David Wilson, Kieran Mc Donald and Alan F. Smeaton
  • Group modeling: Selecting a sequence of television items to suit a group of viewers. Judith Masthoff
  • Categorization of Japanese TV Viewers Based on Program Genres They Watch. Yumiko Hara, Yumiko Tomomune and Maki Shigemori


  • Personalcasting: Tailored Broadcast News. Mark Maybury, Warren Greiff, Stanley Boykin, Jay Ponte, Chad McHenry and Lisa Ferro
  • Media augmentation and personalization through multimedia processing and information extraction. Nevenka Dimitrova, John Zimmerman, Angel Janevski, Lalitha Agnihotri, Norman Haas, Dongge Li, Ruud Bolle, Senem Velipasalar, Thomas McGee, and Lira Nikolovska
  • Content Morphing: A Novel System for Broadcast Delivery of Personalizable Content. Avni Rambhia, Gene Wen, Spencer Cheng


  • Designing Usable Interfaces for TV Recommender Systems. Jeroen van Barneveld and Mark van Setten
  • The Time-Pillar World. A 3D Paradigm for the New Enlarged TV Information Domain. Fabio Pittarello