Photonics East 1998
Conference paper

Multimedia content customization for universal access

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Content delivery over the Internet, in order to allow universal access, needs to address both the multimedia nature of the content and the capabilities of the diverse client platforms the content is being delivered to. We present a system that tailors multimedia content to optimally match the capabilities of the client device requesting it. This system has three key components: (1) a representation scheme called the InfoPyramid (2) A set of transcoders for converting modality or resolution, and (3) a customizer that selects the best content representation to meet the client capabilities while delivering the most value. The InfoPyramid provides a multi-modal, multi-resolution representation hierarchy for multimedia. The raw content components, such as text, audio, images, video, etc., are ingested by the system into InfoPyramids. Next, the transcoder populates the InfoPyramid structures with multi-resolution, multi-modal versions of the content. The number of possible renditions of the multimedia content is potentially combinatorial in the number of content elements. The customization module uses the client device characteristics as constraints to pick the best content representation. Content value is computed on the basis of publisher preference guidelines and the content transcoding. We illustrate with a system that deliver news stories customized to diverse clients such as workstations, PCs, PDAs, cellular phones, pagers, etc.