Saturday, November 29, 2008

Finally got my MSc degree in Computer Science!

I've done the final presentation this morning and everything went well.
What to do with the degree? Not sure. Actually, this question doesn't make much sense.
Am I relieved? You bet so.
Did I get tired of giving the same reply (i.e. I guess soon) when asked when I would be done with it? Oh yeah.

Here's the abstract for the MSc dissertation:

This dissertation offers two major contributions: (1) to evaluate the suitability of recommender algorithms for social networks. Such recommender algorithms may receive as input not only the social graph of these networks but also content-based data from recommended items.

For such, the relevant characteristics of social networks and the most important recommender techniques for these tasks will be surveyed. Special attention is given to the web-based system for social photo-sharing called Flickr and to the employment of visual metrics for image similarity.

The second contribution (2) is the construction of a framework for the modeling and analysis of social networks, as well as aiding the empirical study of recommender algorithms on these contexts. Also part of this framework are the best practices adopted throughout the work done on this dissertation, such as: techniques for the gathering, analysis and visualization of data; social networks classification; identification and modeling of recommending tasks within these contexts; implementation of algorithms and their architecture.

The relevance of such contributions lies on the enormous amount of information available online and on the ever-growing complexity of the relationships between this data. In this context, recommender systems may provide a great aid for end-users.

On related news, I've submitted a paper to the Social Networks track at WWW2009 with the following abstract:

In this paper, we present a framework for specifying recommenders within the context of Social Media sites such as Flickr or Last.fm. Based on the standard SIOC ontology, we show how the various recommendation problems can be defined. We also present a general software framework for implementing recommenders based on this model framework, and show some results obtained by one recommender built using it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why publishers treat book footnotes as endnotes?

From my experience this seems to happen with virtually all books: most of the time the important remarks made by the author about a passage are referenced and placed at the end of the book. The whole process of getting to the actual text of the footnote is really annoying: memorize the page and section you're at, find the page at the end of the book where the notes are, realize that you've just forgotten what reference number you were looking for, switch back to the page you were currently reading etc etc. The effect of this cumbersomeness on me is that I seldom read any footnotes. Why not simply placing the footnotes at the end of the current page? It makes a lot more sense to me. Well, I'm definitely missing something about why it's not the other way.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Visual image search code from imgSeek ported to digiKam

Glad to know that the fast multiresolution image querying techniques implemented at my imgSeek project have been ported into digiKam:

During my digiKam presentation at LGM2008 i have introduced the concept to be able to search duplicates items around the whole collection of photos. But the concept is not just limited to find the similars photos by using copy, it even allows user to drawn a sketch of photo what user memories and shows photos what has similar shapes and colors as on sketch.

This is not a new concept in fact. An old program for Linux named imgSeek provide already this feature. By my opinion, it's time to update old interface of ImgSeek and make it more suitable for end users by implementing the technology into digiKam.

The old PyQT-based user interface for imgSeek certainly needs a rewrite, and integrating the image processing code into a more stable photo management tool like digiKam makes perfect sense. I haven't tried it yet but congratulations Gilles Caulier and Marcel!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quick thought of the day: Depressing and challenging facts of life

First the depressing one: All the people around you either looking or acting strange (in a bad way) are actually trying to do their best. Now imagine who they really are when no one is around looking.

Challenging one: most of the important things in life are non-linear and hence the beauty of life lies on its unpredictability. The amount of effort you put into something is not proportional to your success. Split-second decisions may have an impact on your entire life (think about that quick moment when you decided to accept a job offer or decided to get married).