Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt participates in New FP7 Project on Social Networks

Social media applications have become a modern reality affecting a growing part of the population, as well as companies and public organisations. For example, twitter messages played an important role in the recent developments in Arab countries, while Flickr and YouTube are rich image and video collections based exclusively on user contributions and around 30 billion content items (links, photo albums, status updates) are posted on Facebook every month. It becomes clear that, much of what happens in the real-world is documented in real time by the millions of social network users that upload content, interact with each other, and give feedback (rate, comment) on already published online content. It is equally important that social networks and applications can be used for a plethora of diverse applications, beyond sharing, networking, news and entertainment. For example, they have been used for emergency planning and response, in travel and tourism, in e-government, and in product monitoring.

SocialSensor is a 3-year FP7 European Integrated Project, which aims at exploiting information in social networks and developing applications that enhance user experience. In the project framework, new techniques for analysis, aggregation and real-time search of user-generated content will be developed, in order to extract useful information and make it available for use in different applications. Innovative solutions from the fields of information extraction and retrieval, social network analysis, user modelling, semantic web services, and media adaptation, delivery and presentation, will compose a software platform that crawls and analyses multimedia User Generated Content from the social web, combines it with professional content, and makes it searchable for professional users, but also recommends, delivers and presents it to media consumers depending on their context and their personal profile. To achieve this, crucial issues have to be tackled, such as the sheer data volume, its heterogeneity and low quality.

The platform will be showcased and evaluated in two use cases: (a) news, involving professional news editors, journalists and casual readers, benefiting from the improved capabilities of SocialSensor for discovering new interesting social content and integrating it in the news creation and delivery lifecycle, and (b) infotainment, providing new multimedia search tools and unique media consumption experiences to attendants of large events (e.g. festivals). Providing real-time social indexing capabilities for both of these use cases is expected to have a transformational impact on both sectors.

In the project, whose total budget is €9.64 million, Alpen-Adria-Universität (AAU) Klagenfurt, Multimedia Communications Group participates, with research activities on media streaming and sharing within social networks. The consortium comprises 11 participants in total, coming from different universities and research organizations (CERTH-Informatics and Telematics Institute (co-ordinator), University of Koblenz-Landau, City University London, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), as well as from the IT industry and news domains (IBM Israel, Yahoo! Spain, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, Deutsche Welle, Athens Technology Center, JCP-Consult).

For more information please contact: Dr. Christian Timmerer, AAU/TEWI/ITEC/MMC, christian.timmerer@itec.aau.at or the co-ordinators Dr. Ioannis Kompatsiaris, CERTH-ITI, ikom@iti.gr

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