Friday, December 01, 2006

After the Feast Comes the Recommending

The USPTO published a patent application (20060263041) from Philips Electronics last evening. The title of the patent? "Transformation of recommender scores depending upon the viewed status of tv shows."

The concept is quite simple. Every show is given a similarity score based on how well the program description, genre and other attributes match your user profile. This score is based a blend of explicit and implicit methods. Recommendations are made after comparing the similarity score to some threshold value.

That's not new, but Phillips wants to add a simple twist to this old idea. Phillips wants to modify the recommendation score based on the viewing status of that particular show. In essence, the recommendation score equals the similarity score minus the viewing score. The viewing score is a penalty so that the electronic program guide doesn't recommend shows that you are very familiar with. The magnitude of the viewing score depends on how recently you've seen the show, how much of the show you've seen, and who watched the show with you.

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