Semantically-enhanced recommendations in cultural heritage

Y. Wang

    Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 2 (Research NOT TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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    In the Web 2.0 environment, institutes and organizations are starting to open up their previously isolated and heterogeneous collections in order to provide visitors with maximal access. Semantic Web technologies act as instrumental in integrating these rich collections of metadata by defining ontologies which accommodate different representation schemata and inconsistent naming conventions over the various vocabularies. Facing the large amount of metadata with complex semantic structures, it is becoming more and more important to support visitors with a proper selection and presentation of information. In this context, the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) funded the Cultural Heritage Information Personalization (CHIP) project in early 2005, as part of the Continuous Access to Cultural Heritage (CATCH) program in the Netherlands. It is a collaborative project between the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Telematica Instituut. The problem statement that guides the research of this thesis is as follows: Can we support visitors with personalized access to semantically-enriched collections? To study this question, we chose cultural heritage (museums) as an application domain, and the semantically rich background knowledge about the museum collection provides a basis to our research. On top of it, we deployed user modeling and recommendation technologies in order to provide personalized services for museum visitors. Our main contributions are: (i) we developed an interactive rating dialog of artworks and art concepts for a quick instantiation of the CHIP user model, which is built as a specialization of FOAF and mapped to an existing event model ontology SEM; (ii) we proposed a hybrid recommendation algorithm, combining both explicit and implicit relations from the semantic structure of the collection. On the presentation level, we developed three tools for end-users: Art Recommender, Tour Wizard and Mobile Tour Guide. Following a user-centered design cycle, we performed a series of evaluations with museum visitors to test the effectiveness of recommendations using the rating dialog, different ways to build an optimal user model and the prediction accuracy of the hybrid algorithm. Chapter 1 introduces the research questions, our approaches and the outline of this thesis. Chapter 2 gives an overview of our work at the first stage. It includes (i) the semantic enrichment of the Rijksmuseum collection, which is mapped to three Getty vocabularies (ULAN, AAT, TGN) and the Iconclass thesaurus; (ii) the minimal user model ontology defined as a specialization of FOAF, which only stores user ratings at that time, (iii) the first implementation of the content-based recommendation algorithm in our first tool, the CHIP Art Recommender. Chapter 3 presents two other tools: Tour Wizard and Mobile Tour Guide. Based on the user's ratings, the Web-based Tour Wizard recommends museum tours consisting of recommended artworks that are currently available for museum exhibitions. The Mobile Tour Guide converts recommended tours to mobile devices (e.g. PDA) that can be used in the physical museum space. To connect users' various interactions with these tools, we made a conversion of the online user model stored in RDF into XML format which the mobile guide can parse, and in this way we keep the online and on-site user models dynamically synchronized. Chapter 4 presents the second generation of the Mobile Tour Guide with a real time routing system on different mobile devices (e.g. iPod). Compared with the first generation, it can adapt museum tours based on the user's ratings artworks and concepts, her/his current location in the physical museum and the coordinates of the artworks and rooms in the museum. In addition, we mapped the CHIP user model to an existing event model ontology SEM. Besides ratings, it can store additional user activities, such as following a tour and viewing artworks. Chapter 5 identifies a number of semantic relations within one vocabulary (e.g. a concept has a broader/narrower concept) and across multiple vocabularies (e.g. an artist is associated to an art style). We applied all these relations as well as the basic artwork features in content-based recommendations and compared all of them in terms of usefulness. This investigation also enables us to look at the combined use of artwork features and semantic relations in sequence and derive user navigation patterns. Chapter 6 defines the task of personalized recommendations and decomposes the task into a number of inference steps for ontology-based recommender systems, from a perspective of knowledge engineering. We proposed a hybrid approach combining both explicit and implicit recommendations. The explicit relations include artworks features and semantic relations with preliminary weights which are derived from the evaluation in Chapter 5. The implicit relations are built between art concepts based on instance-based ontology matching. Chapter 7 gives an example of reusing user interaction data generated by one application into another one for providing cross-application recommendations. In this example, user tagging about cultural events, gathered by iCITY, is used to enrich the user model for generating content-based recommendations in the CHIP Art Recommender. To realize full tagging interoperability, we investigated the problems that arise in mapping user tags to domain ontologies, and proposed additional mechanisms, such as the use of SKOS matching operators to deal with the possible mis-alignment of tags and domain-specific ontologies. We summarized to what extent the problem statement and each of the research questions are answered in Chapter 8. We also discussed a number of limitations in our research and looked ahead at what may follow as future work.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Mathematics and Computer Science
    • De Bra, Paul M.E., Promotor
    • Schreiber, A.Th. (Guus), Promotor, External person
    • Aroyo, Lora, Copromotor
    Award date8 Feb 2011
    Place of PublicationEindhoven
    Print ISBNs978-90-386-2425-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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