Personalized Digital Television. Targeting programs to individual users
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
(http://www.di.unito.it/~liliana/UMUAI-TV/) of the Kluwer
Journal "User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction:
The Journal of Personalization Research".
TV01 (http://www.di.unito.it/~liliana/UM01/TV.html), which was held within the UM'01
International Conference on User Modeling in Sonthofen, Germany;
TV02(http://www.di.unito.it/~liliana/TV02/index.html), which was organized in connection
with the AH2002 Adaptive Hypermedia Conference in Malaga, Spain;
TV03 (http://www.di.unito.it/~liliana/TV03/index.html), which was held within the UM
2003 International Conference on User Modeling in Johnstown, PA, USA;
EuroITV'03 (http://www.brighton.ac.uk/interactive/euroitv/index.htm), the 1st European
Conference on Interactive Television, held in Brighton, UK.
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:
The provision of Electronic Program Guides recommending TV programs on an individual
basis, to prevent users from "being lost in TV program space".
Information retrieval tools to help users select interesting content in the cases where a prior
categorization of the content is not possible (e.g., in news shows).
The design and development of tools that help users explore large amounts of broadcast
The provision of adaptive interactive content that can be presented in a personalized way,
depending on the viewer's interests.
The design of suitable user interfaces that enable TV viewers to perform advanced tasks in
an intuitive and efficient manner, which is essential for rendering Digital TV usable by any
type of viewer, and not merely technical pundits.
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:
Viewer Modeling: The acquisition, representation and utilization of information about
viewers, such as their characteristics (e.g., gender and age), preferences, interests, beliefs,
and their viewing behavior. This includes models of both individual viewers and groups of
Viewer Identification: The recognition of the TV viewer(s), which is the basis for the
provision of personalized services.
Program Processing: The automated identification, indexing, segmentation (e.g. into
components, stories, commercials), summarization, and visualization of television programs,
such as interactive documentaries.
Program Representation and Reasoning: representing the general characteristics and
specific content of programs and shows, including the possible segmentation of programs
into parts. Reasoning about what may make one program similar or dissimilar to others.
This can include a range of techniques, including recommendation techniques based on
collaborative filtering (e.g., finding unseen programs that others with similar preferences
have enjoyed), content analysis, clustering, and data mining.
Presentation Generation and Tailoring: The selection, organization, and customization of
television material based on viewer queries, processed programs, and viewer models.
Interaction Management: The design and development of methods of human computer
interaction for television, including mechanisms for attention and dialogue management.
Evaluation: The assessment of the benefits for users, including measuring the precision of
the techniques to model TV viewers' preferences, the precision and recall associated with
the ability of users to find programs they care to watch, the speed and accuracy with which
adaptation can be performed, the users satisfaction with the process and result, and the (real
or perceived) cognitive load that the system places on the user.
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.
The Electronic Program Guides (EPG) section includes six papers representing the state of
the art in the development of personalized EPGs that customize program recommendations
to TV viewers. The described work addresses the identification of the TV viewer's
preferences and the personalized recommendation of items to individual users and to groups
of users, as is typical of household environments. This section also includes an analysis of
TV viewers aimed at defining stereotypical TV viewer classes based on similarities in
The Broadcast News and Personalized Content section includes three papers presenting the
most recent results in the personalization of broadcast (multimedia) content. The papers are
concerned with the analysis of the individual TV viewer's information goals, and the
subsequent selection of the most relevant news stories. Moreover, the papers propose
solutions to the customization of the type and amount of information to be conveyed to
viewers, based on an underlying model of the content to be presented. The specification of
meta-level information and the integration of information retrieved from external sources
are proposed to extend the presented content and to support the provision of personalized
views of such content.
The iTV User Interface section is focused on the design of interactive user interfaces for
Digital TV. The two papers included in this section present, respectively, a user-centered
approach to the design of the User Interface for a personalized EPG, and a pilot study aimed
at evaluating the suitability of 3D interfaces in the exploration of the content in the TV
world, including broadcast TV programs and content sharing between TV users.
Chelmsford, MA USA
Table of Contents
PART 1: ELECTRONIC PROGRAM GUIDES
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.
Categorization of Japanese TV Viewers Based on Program Genres They Watch.
Yumiko Hara, Yumiko Tomomune and Maki Shigemori
PART 2: BROADCAST NEWS AND PERSONALIZED CONTENT
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
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
PART 3: ITV USER INTERFACES
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.