Jounral articles:   

Movies of the Future: Storytelling With Computers American Cinematographer, p. 4 - 12. 1995-04-00 00:00:00
Beacham F

The concept is new, bold and certain to be controversial. Take a computer, infuse it with a detailed database of information about a story, and then let the computer present the story to the audience in its own way. The storytelling computer -- responding to the background, interests and preferences of its audience -- decides what images or sounds it wants to use in the presentation. It allows the story to take different points of view, choose different characters and scenes, have different pacing and even sets the total running time. Development of computational storyteller systems is a key research element into Movies of the Future at the Media Laboratory on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. This new branch of research, led by Professor Glorianna Davenport at the Interactive Cinema Group, seeks to create a series of new cinematic storytelling forms.

Synergistic storyscapes and constructionist cinematic sharing IBM Systems Journal. v. 39 no. 3-4, p. 456-69. 2000-11-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Bradley B; Agamanolis S; Barry B; Brooks K

This paper describes recent progress toward a framework and toolset for Very Distributed Storytelling. It focuses on three independent but interconnected axes of development: continuous story playout environments, story authoring systems, and scenarios for interaction, particularly those that operate in casual or formal architectural spaces. Aspects of these are explored in several systems currently under development at the Interactive Cinema Group of the MIT Media Laboratory. Agent Stories invites authors to develop story segments that know about their role in the story and agents that can use these role designations to orchestrate the playout of story parts. Happenstance, an ecologically based, context-sensitive "stage" for the performance of interactive narratives, provides an information landscape that is continuous in space and time, supports multiple viewpoints, and acts as a semi-porous membrane to information and messages from the outside world. The CINEMAT and other large-scale interactive media pieces-situated in sensor-rich architectural spaces-explore the relationships among immersion, interaction, narrative guidance, and public space.

Your own virtual storyworld Scientific American, v. 283 no. 5, pp. 79-82. 2000-11-00 00:00:00
Davenport G

It is a muggy summer day in 2004. I am driving my new car-an FEV (full entertainment vehicle)-along the traffic-clogged highway that leads to the kids' summer camp. Glancing into the rearview mirror, I notice a BMW convertible quickly gaining on us. I grumble to myself and pull into the slow lane to let it pass by. For me, driving is the usual tedious task. But for my kids, Jamie and Joy, the trip is an adventure of their own choosing...

Get a life: thinking outside the box IEEE Multimedia (Jan - March, 1999), vol. 6 issue 1, pg. 5 - 9. 1999-01-00 00:00:00
Davenport G

At the moment of their creation, computational devices and software capture a “snapshot” of contemporary desires, philosophies, and paradigms. As the technology has developed and evolved over the last several decades, the historical detritus of embedded design and compromise has piled up underfoot like strata of fossilized bones. This is both a blessing and a curse. As Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” On the other hand, the burdens and legacies of history often hinder fresh conceptualization and development...

Curious learning, cultural bias, and the learning curve IEEE Multimedia (April - June, 1998), vol. 5 issue 2, pg. 14-19. 1998-04-00 00:00:00
Davenport G

In his essay “Useless Knowledge,” Bertrand Russell complains that in our society knowledge is increasingly valued not for its ability to create a broad, humane outlook but for its ability to “contribute to technical efficiency.” Russell goes on to argue that wisdom most readily springs from large perceptions combined with impersonal emotion. What methods can we use to better access and communicate these large perceptions?

Whose bits are they, anyway? IEEE Multimedia (July - September, 1997), vol. 4 issue 3, pg. 8 - 10. 1997-07-00 00:00:00
Davenport G

Recently, I have been collaborating on the design of a house that I might live in for the rest of my life. Or have I? No matter what an architect tells you—no matter how much you believe that the design of your home will draw upon your personal lifestyle, habits, desires, and self-knowledge—the plan actually springs from (and is detailed by) an imagination which is not your own. That is, after all, why one hires an architect to begin with...

Smarter Tools for Storytelling: Are They Just Around the Corner? IEEE Multimedia (Spring 1996), vol. 3 issue 1, pp. 10-14. 1996-04-00 00:00:00
Davenport G

Achieving the "ultimate" multimedia machine has tantalized us for many years. From a hardware perspective, we might be approaching the illusionary crock of gold at the end of the rainbow. Most PCs are now sold with audiovisual and accelerated graphics capabilities. Scanners, printers, camcorders, and video capture boards are all available at reasonable prices, and affordable networking extends the computer's reach to distant resources. Inexpensive storage devices capable of holding a useful amount of video are finally reaching the market.In addition to the right hardware, the ultimate multimedia machine requires magical software that will let us paint our dreams into our journals, design postcards with movies of the kids in them that can be shipped to and read by Moms anywhere, search the world effortlessly for information or other products that tickle our fancy, and previsualize large-scale entertainment productions. Perhaps the software could even "trick" us into performing useful work as we interactively play!

Still seeking: signposts of things to come IEEE Multimedia (October - December 1995), vol. 2 issue 3, pp. 9 - 13. 1995-10-00 00:00:00
Davenport G

Where is Lewis Carroll when you need him? What delectable experiences will a storyteller on a par with Antonioni, Spielberg, Kubrick, or Bunuel offer us 20 years hence?

Seeking Dynamic, Adaptive Story Environments IEEE Multimedia (July - September 1994), vol. 1 no. 3, pp. 9 -13. 1994-07-00 00:00:00
Davenport G

We live in an age where the new and innovative tend to obscure connection and continuity. Multimedia has grown from traditions of literature, theater, cinema, and graphic arts, as well as computing. Unlike the literary and graphic traditions, which focus on communicating observations and fantasy as stories or story fragments, computing takes most of its cues from mathematics, particularly the mathematics of transformation...

Cinematic Primitives for Multimedia IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 11 issue 4, pp. 67 - 74. 1997-07-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Aguierre Smith T; Pincever N

The development of robust frameworks in interactive multimedia for representing story elements to the machine so that they can be retrieved in multiple contexts is addressed. Interactive multimedia is discussed as a user-directed form of storytelling, and the nature of cinematic storytelling is examined. It is proposed that content can be represented in layers. This model for layered information will allow programs to take advantage of the relation between cinematic sequences and the world they represent. The collection of content by the camera and microphone is considered in this context. The use of the methodology to build meaningful, context-rich sequences is discussed.

The Care and Feeding of Users IEEE Multimedia (January-March 1997), vol. 4 issue 1, pp. 8 - 11. 1997-01-01 00:00:00
Davenport G; Bradley B

Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology, once remarked, “The only thing about America that interests me is Coney Island.” Freud was not alone in his interest. Over the course of a century, hundreds of millions of visitors found pleasant diversion in that vast acreage—larger than most cities—crammed with an urban density of competing commercial attractions...

Indexes are \"out\", models are \"in\" IEEE Multimedia (Oct. - Dec. 1996), vol. 3 issue 3, pg. 10 - 15. 1996-10-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Bradley B

Is therre any sign of intelligent life beyond keyword searching? My word processor's helpful spell-checker constantly urges me to substitute "composting" for the word "compositing". My Web search for the proverbial "Genie in a bottle" instead yields "Gen-X in a battle" with a 12-percent likelihood of correctness. Should I consider this brilliant, witty, and insightful commentary from my user-friendly laptop computer? Or is it just plain stupid? Oh, brave new world, that has such software in it!

What would it take to build a search engine possessing the knowledge, intelligence, and resourcefulness of my favorite research librarian? Her ability to interpret my inquiries, knowledgeably expand them, and then extrapolate them into a rich model for search and retrieval makes her an invaluable and pleasurable resource. She takes pride in knowing her library thoroughly, both spatially (where to physically find a book) and temporally (how her book inventory has changed and evolved). As she formulates her plan of attack, her sophisticated understanding of language, culture, experience, and other knowledge domain models simultaneously converge and are re-mapped onto the reality of her library. The task of information retrieval becomes an interactive adventure of human dimensions, full of the satisfaction of continuous discovery...

Orchestrating Digital Micromovies Leonardo, v. 26 no. 4, (1993), pp. 283 - 288 1993-00-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Evans R; Halliday M.

The authors describe how computers can be used to build narrative structures that create simple cinematic sequences from a large database of shots. The Digital Micromovie Orchestrator (DMO) does this by allowing the maker to attach sketchy descriptions to video clips in the database and to build narrative abstractions in the form of a layered filter structure that orchestrates the shots in real-time to create a flowing sequence of shots on-screen. The DMO points to a new direction for using digital technology to change the way cinematic narratives are structured. The system is outlined by analyzing in detail the first movie produced using the DMO and by discussing the process of actually making interactive movies using the system.

Numbers-a medium that counts IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 11 issue 4, pp. 39 - 44. 1991-07-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Harber JD

The use of spreadsheets to bring hypermedia to the office is proposed. It is argued that the numeric cell is a powerful generic object type, and its use is explored. The application of Hypercalc (a prototype hypermedia spreadsheet constructed by combining an authoring interface with a series of video device drivers written for Informix's Wingz, a graphical spreadsheet with a built-in scripting language) to a business case study is described. The tools of the resulting environment, called Hypercase, are discussed. The limitations of the traditional monomedia approach to business case studies are outlined.

Automatist storyteller systems and the shifting sands of story IBM Systems Journal, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 446 - 456. 1999-11-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Murtaugh M

We present a novel approach to documentary storytelling that celebrates electronic narrative as a process in which the author(s), a networked presentation system, and the audience actively collaborate in the co-construction of meaning. A spreading-activation network is used to select relevant story elements from a multimedia database and dynamically conjoin them into an appealing, coherent narrative presentation. The flow of positive or negative "energies" through associative keyword links determines which story materials are presented as especially relevant "next steps" and which ones recede into the background, out of sight. The associative nature of this navigation serves to enhance meaning while preserving narrative continuity. This approach is well-suited for the telling of stories that--because of their complexity, breadth, or bulk--are best communicated through variable-presentation systems. Connected to the narrative engine through rich feedback loops and intuitively understandable interfaces, the audience becomes an active partner in the shaping and presentation of story.

Fun: A condition of creative research IEEE Multimedia (Summer 1998), vol. 5, issue 3, pg. 10 - 15. 1998-07-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Holmquist LE; Thomas M; Bjork S; Tallyn E; Oldroyd A; de Boer P; Axelsson AS; Schroeder E; Ljungberg F; Gater H; Hebert C; Persson P; Renstrom J; Stintzing L; Watson T; Olsson A; Beckestrom B; Lindblom A; Schroeder R; Simon K; Truve S

There's something cosmic and otherworldly about being a media storyteller and doing research at MIT, where the temporal march of progress manifests itself in daily announcements of groundbreaking discoveries and inventions. While the scientist seeks to discover order, lawfulness, and generalizations for a reasonably sized portion of the universe, the storyteller transcodes descriptive observations into unique metaphoric experiences. Ironically, technology -- the proverbial handmaiden to science -- has become the handmaiden to art as well. Our enterprises, with their different sensibilities and objects, move forward in a common research mind-set...

Extending the Notion of a Window System to Audio IEEE Computer, v. 23 no. 8, pp. 66 - 72. 1990-08-00 00:00:00
Ludwig LF; Pincever N; Cohen M

Visual window systems have become successful elements of human-machine interfaces, allowing multiple applications top simultaneously use a common visual display resource. This capacity is really the combination of two abilities:

1). The user can control the spatial organization of multiple visual objects (windows) via a window manager utility.

2). The user can shift visual attention as needed among the various displayed objects.

With audio's increasing importance in computer applications (multimedia or otherwise), users will soon need similar presentation, management, and organizational capabilities to avoid a confusing cacophony of multiple audio sources sounding at once...

Virtual Video Editing in Interactive Multi-Media Communications of the ACM, vol. 32 , issue 7, pp. 802 - 810. 1989-11-00 00:00:00
Mackay WE; Davenport G

Early experiments in interactive video included surrogate travel, training, electronic books, point-of-purchase sales, and arcade game scenarios. Granularity, interruptability, and limited look ahead were quickly identified as generic attributes of the medium. Most early applications restricted the user's interaction with the video to traveling along paths predetermined by the author of the program. Recent work has favored a more constructivist approach, increasing the level of interactivity by allowing users to build, annotate, and modify their own environments. Today's multitasking workstations can digitize and display video in real-time in one or more windows on the screen. Users can quickly change their level of interaction from passively watching a movie or the network news to actively controlling a remote camera and sending the output to colleagues at another location. In this environment, video becomes an information stream, a data type that can be tagged and edited, analyzed and annotated. This article explores how principles and techniques of user-controlled video editing have been integrated into four multimedia environments. The goal of the authors is to explain in each case how the assumptions embedded in particular applications have shaped a set of tools for building constructivist environments, and to comment on how the evolution of a compressed digital video data format might affect these kinds of information environments in the future.

I-Views: a community-oriented system for sharing streaming video on the Internet Elsevier Computer Networks, v. 33 no. 1-6, p. 567 - 581. 2000-06-00 00:00:00
Pan P; Davenport G

Streaming media is pervasive on the Internet now and is continuing to grow rapidly. Most streaming media systems have adopted the model of broadcast. Unfortunately, the nature of the broadcast-like one-to-many communication model is not able to foster interaction and collaboration among people. In this paper we discuss a community-oriented communication model for sharing streaming video and introduce a prototype, I-Views. This is a system that permits individuals to use published, communally-owned media clips in order to author narratives by assembling clips, and to build communities of similar interests based on comparison of these narratives. By offering shared authorship, tools and virtual environments, I-Views demonstrates some potential directions for 'sharable video.'

Parsing Movies in Context Proceedings of the summer USENIX conference, Nashville, TN, June 1991, pp. 157-168 1991-06-00 00:00:00
Smith TA; Pincever N

The use of spreadsheets to bring hypermedia to the office is proposed. It is argued that the numeric cell is a powerful generic object type, and its use is explored. The application of Hypercalc (a prototype hypermedia spreadsheet constructed by combining an authoring interface with a series of video device drivers written for Informix's Wingz, a graphical spreadsheet with a built-in scripting language) to a business case study is described. The tools of the resulting environment, called Hypercase, are discussed. The limitations of the traditional monomedia approach to business case studies are outlined.

Media in performance: Interactive spaces for dance, theater, circus, and museum exhibits IBM Systems Journal, vol. 39 no. 3-4, pp. 479 - 510. 2000-00-00 00:00:00
Sparacino F; Davenport G; Pentland A

The future of artistic and expressive communication in the varied forms of film, theater, dance, and narrative tends toward a blend of real and imaginary worlds in which moving images, graphics, and text cooperate with humans and among themselves in the transmission of a message. We have developed a "media actors" software architecture used in conjunction with real-time computer-vision-based body tracking and gesture recognition techniques to choreograph digital media together with human performers or museum visitors. We endow media objects with coordinated perceptual intelligence, behaviors, personality, and intentionality. Such media actors are able to engage the public in an encounter with virtual characters that express themselves through one or more of these agents. We show applications to dance, theater, and the circus, which augment the traditional performance stage with images, video, music, and text, and are able to respond to movement and gesture in believable, aesthetical, and expressive manners. We also describe applications to interactive museum exhibit design that exploit the media actors' perceptual abilities while they interact with the public.

Perceptive spaces for performance and entertainment: Untethered interaction using computer vision and audition Applied Artificial Intelligence, v. 11 no. 4 (June 1997), pp. 267 - 284. 1997-06-00 00:00:00
Wren CR; Sparacino F; Azarbayejani AJ; Darrell TJ; Starner TE; Kotani A; Chao CM; Hlavac M; Russell KB; Pentland AP

Bulky head-mounted displays, data gloves, and severely limited movement have become synonymous with virtual environments. This is unfortunate since virtual environments have such great potential in applications such as entertainment, animation by example, design interface, information browsing, and even expressive performance. In this paper we describe an approach to unencumbered, natural interfaces called Perceptive Spaces. The spaces are unencumbered because they utilize passive sensors that don't require special clothing and large format displays that don't isolate the user from their environment. The spaces are natural because the open environment facilitates active participation. Several applications illustrate the expressive power of this approach, as well as the challenges associated with designing these interfaces.

Media Fabric : a process-oriented approach to media creation and exchange BT Technology Journal, vol. 22 no. 4 (October 2004), pp. 160 - 170. 2004-10-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Barry B; Kelliher A; Nemirovsky P

This paper explores the emergence of a new paradigm we call the ‘media fabric’ — a semi-intelligent organism consisting of a vast and evolving collection of media artefacts, structures and programs that support our engagement in meaningful realtime dialogues, art making, and social interaction. Situated in and around modern communications networks, the media fabric beckons us into an evolving landscape of creative story potential that is synergistic with our imagination, integral to our everyday life, mindful of itself and our intentions, improvisationally shaped, and provides us with interactions and remaindered artefacts that are evocative and self-reflective.

Teaching machines about everyday life BT Technology Journal, vol. 22, no. 4 (October 2004), pp. 227 - 240. 2004-10-00 00:00:00
Singh P; Barry B; Liu H

In order to build software that can deeply understand people and our problems, we require computational tools that give machines the capacity to learn and reason about everyday life. We describe three commonsense knowledge bases that take unconventional approaches to representing, acquiring, and reasoning with large quantities of commonsense knowledge. Each adopts a different approach - ConceptNet is a large-scale semantic network, LifeNet is a probabilistic graphical model, and StoryNet is a database of story-scripts. We describe the evolution, architecture and operation of these three systems, and conclude with a discussion of how we might combine them into an integrated commonsense reasoning system.

Beating some common sense into interactive applications AI Magazine (Winter 2004), pp. 63 - 76. 2004-00-00 00:00:00
Lieberman H; Liu H; Singh P; Barry B

A long-standing dream of artificial intelligence has been to put common sense knowledge into computers—enabling machines to reason about everyday life. Some projects, such as Cyc, have begun to amass large collections of such knowledge. However, it is widely assumed that the use of common sense in interactive applications will remain impractical for years, until these collections can be considered sufficiently complete and common sense reasoning sufficiently robust. Recently, at the MIT Media Lab, we have had some success in applying common sense knowledge in a number of intelligent Interface Agents, despite the admittedly spotty coverage and unreliable inference of today's common sense knowledge systems. This paper will survey several of these applications and reflect on interface design principles that enable successful use of common sense knowledge.

Dynamics of Creativity and Technological Innovation Digital Creativity, March 2004, Vol. 15, No. 1, Swets and Zeitlinger Publishers, pp. 21 - 31. 2004-03-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Mazalek A

This article concerns the struggle between artistic expression and technological innovation. The perspective that is articulated is drawn from the work of the Interactive Cinema group at the MIT Media Laboratory. Situated at the boundary of evolving technologies and media storytelling, research of the group iterates between shaping and presenting cinematic expressions using emerging technologies and developing the required tools and platforms to support its creation and delivery. This dynamic is integral to collaborative expression on largescale projects, as well as in more individual research endeavours such as a current investigation, which conjoins new tangible display technologies with interactive stories.

Video and Image Semantics: Advanced Tools for Telecommunications IEEE Multimedia, vol 1 no. 2 (1994), pp. 73 - 75. 1994-00-00 00:00:00
Pentland A; Picard R; Davenport G; Haase K

Within the next decade, the majority of data carried over telecommunications links is likely to be visual material. The biggest problem in delivering video and image services is that the technology for organizing, searching, and presenting images is still in its infancy. Consequently we are developing tools for building and browsing multimedia databases, and for using these databases to automatically create multimedia presentations. This paper describes our demonstration system, which gathers and presents video over standard ISDN telephone lines.

Bridging Across Content and Tools Computer Graphics, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 31-32. February 1994. 1994-02-00 00:00:00
Davenport G

Over the past 10 years, I have contributed to the development of two kinds of "multimedia environments." In the first, the human-machine partnership evolved as a means of accessing specific content for discovery and enjoyment - this was true for works such as "New Orleans in Transition" (1987), "Elastic Charles" (1988) as well as for several fictional nmwatives. In the second, the human-machine partnership was designed to allow users facilities for describing, managing and sequencing content. Both types of environments encourage the invention of richer human-readable pnemnonics and incorporate machine-readable description as tools for content-look-ahead. What has fascinated me over the years is the complementarity which binds the generation of content and the design of tools. In fact we cannot talk about form without discussing content and the tools for accessing that content.

Self-reflexive performance: Dancing with the computed audience of culture December 2005, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media 1(3). Intellect Ltd. 2005-12-00 00:00:00
Liu H; Davenport G

Typically performance is a display for others, and is time-limited. But if we also regard everyday life as a performance, we see that it is a continuous improvisation-a multi-faceted dance with an audience that is our social and cultural milieu. In moments of self-reflection, we ourselves motivate this performance, seizing these occasions to explore and debate our relationship to culture and our reflexive situation within it. This article introduces a digitally mediated framework for real-time self-reflexive performance, called the Identity Mirror. Here, the audience is a computational model of culture himself-his moods complex and shifting constantly according to daily happenstance. The mirror shows the performer her dynamic and panoptic reflection against culture, which she can negotiate through dance. The article goes on to unravel the politics of self-reflexive performance-exploring the ideas of cultural persona, facets, and shadows, and gestating a future where these performances can be sustained as a daily dialogic, and co-performances can be had amongst friends.

The KidsRoom: A Perceptually-Based Interactive and Immersive Story Environment Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, Vol. 8, No. 4, August 1999, pp. 367-391. 1999-08-08 00:00:00
Bobick A; Intille S; Davis J; Baird F; Pinhanez C; Campbell L; Ivanov Y; Schutte A; Wilson A

The KidsRoom is a perceptually-based, interactive, narrative playspace for children. Images, music, narration, light, and sound effects are used to transform a normal child's bedroom into a fantasy land where children are guided through a reactive adventure story. The fully automated system was designed with the following goals:

(1) to keep the focus of user action and interaction in the physical, not virtual space;
(2) to permit multiple, collaborating people to simultaneously engage in an interactive experience combining both real and virtual objects;
(3) to use computer-vision algorithms to identify activity in the space without requiring the participants to wear any special clothing or devices;
(4) to use narrative to constrain the perceptual recognition, and to use perceptual recognition to allow participants to drive the narrative;
(5) to create a truly immersive and interactive room environment.

We believe the KidsRoom is the first multi-person, full yautomated, interactive, narrative environment ever constructed using non-encumbering sensors. This paper describes the KidsRoom, the technology that makes it work, and the issues that were raised during the system's development.

A Construction Set for Multimedia Applications IEEE Software, vol. 6, no. 1 (January 1989), pp. 37-43. 1989-01-00 00:00:00
Hodges M; Sasnett R; Ackerman M

The Athena Muse system combines four representation schemes to simplify the construction of multimedia educational software and lets teachers and students explore subjects from many views.

Sharing and Browsing Media on a Digital Tabletop IEEE Multimedia, Special Issue on Continuous Archival and Retrieval of Personal Experiences, 2006. 2006-00-00 00:00:00
Mazalek A; Davenport G ; Reynolds M

As consumer digital media technologies evolve, there is a need for new kinds of platforms that support sociable interactions to manage and display our ever larger personal media content archives. While today's desktop PCs provide a range of applications for media management and sharing, their interfaces force a separation between digital interactions with stored media content, and the physical "daily living" spaces of our everyday lives. This generally precludes the casual face-to-face interactions that have traditionally emerged during the browsing of physical media artifacts such as family photo albums.

In this paper we present two applications for managing and browsing personal media collections on the TViews table, an interactive tabletop display platform that supports multi-user interactions through real-time tracking of tagged objects. The TViews table is designed for everyday environments and supports casual and sociable interactions around media collections, thus removing the separation between physical and digital interaction spaces in the home.

Unraveling the Taste Fabric of Social Networks International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems 2(1), pp. 42 - 71, Hershey, PA: Idea Academic Publishers. 2006-00-00 00:00:00
Liu H; Maes P; Davenport G

Popular online social networks such as Friendster and MySpace do more than simply reveal the superficial structure of social connectedness-the rich meanings bottled within social network profiles themselves imply deeper patterns of culture and taste. If these latent semantic fabrics of taste could be harvested formally, the resultant resource would afford completely novel ways for representing and reasoning about web users and people in general. This paper narrates the theory and technique of such a feat-the natural language text of 100,000 social network profiles were captured, mapped into a diverse ontology of music, books, films, foods, etc., and machine learning was applied to infer a semantic fabric of taste. Taste fabrics bring us closer to improvisational manipulations of meaning, and afford us at least three semantic functions- the creation of semantically flexible user representations, cross-domain taste-based recommendation, and the computation of taste-similarity between people-whose use cases are demonstrated within the context of three applications-the InterestMap, Ambient Semantics, and IdentityMirror. Finally, we evaluate the quality of the taste fabrics, and distill from this research reusable methodologies and techniques of consequence to the semantic mining and Semantic Web communities.

TViews: An Extensible Architecture for Developing Multi-User Digital Media Tables IEEE CG&A, Special Issue on Interacting with Digital Tabletops, vol. 26 no. 5 (September - October 2006), pp.47 - 55. 2006-09-00 00:00:00
Mazalek A; Reynolds M; Davenport G

As digital entertainment applications evolve, there is a need for new kinds of platforms that can support shared media interactions for everyday consumers. In recent years this has resulted in the development of several technical approaches to digital media tables, but none of these early attempts point to a general purpose, economically viable media table system.

In this paper we present TViews, an extensible method and acoustic-based sensing framework for creating digital media tables that are designed to overcome the limitations of single purpose systems. The system provides a means for real-time multi-object tracking on the tabletop and for the management of large numbers of objects and applications across multiple platform instances. The objects can be physically customized to suit particular applications, and the table provides output via a coincident embedded display. By providing a general purpose solution for media table development, we give application designers the freedom to invent a broad range of media interactions and applications for everyday social environments, such as homes, classrooms and public spaces. We discuss our prototype applications for digital media browsing and game play, examining different approaches to mapping physical interaction objects to the media space as either generic controls or fixed function devices.

Weird View: Interactive Multilinear Narratives and Real-Life Community Stories in: Crossings: eJournal of Art and Technology, vol. 4 iss. 1, December 2004. 2004-12-00 00:00:00
Nisi V; Haahr M

This paper presents our experiences with Weird View, a multi-branching interactive narrative, harnessing the power of hyperlinked structures and oral storytelling. True stories were collected by word of mouth from inhabitants of a terrace of houses in Dublin, Ireland, and supplemented with video and photography to form a collection of narrative fragments. A computer application was built to allow the narratives to be navigated. In this way, Weird View attempts to capture part of the community folklore and re-present it to the community in the form of an interactive, nonlinear narrative. The viewer is presented with the fact that a community exists and is continually formed, around place, time, life conditions and social networks. When shown to the community, the Weird View project resulted in awakening community awareness through reappropriation of local, social and personal stories.

Marital Fracture: An Interactive Videodisc Case Study for the Social Sciences Optical Information Systems, march-April 1987, pp. 120-124. 1987-03-00 00:00:00
Sasnett R; Gerstein R

A two-year project to create an interactive videodisc case study of a marital separation is traced from its origins as personal artistic expression to its application in media training. Recent research by the authors into means of repurposing video materials led to the development of software that integrates a relational database of documentary video, audio transcripts, and expert analysis into a multimedia research tool for the humanities and social sciences. This article outlines the benefits of this model and presents guidelines for the design of similar case-study software.

Inner City Locative Media: Design and Experience of a Location-Aware Mobile Narrative for the Dublin Liberties Neighborhood intelligent agent, vol. 6 no. 2 2006-08-00 00:00:00
Nisi V; Oakley I; Haahr M

In this paper, we present the Media Portrait of the Liberties (MPL), a hands-on investigation of a new, digitally mediated form of narrative experience that makes extensive use of mobile computing technology. An urban neighborhood is a physical embodiment of a community’s memories and history. Location-aware mobile narrative systems have significant potential when applied to urban spaces, especially spaces in disadvantaged areas. Such systems can empower communities by providing a forum in which they can express, recall, and celebrate the culture and history of their neighborhood, supporting perception of it as a cultural place as opposed to simply a space. Kluitenberg defines public domain as a social and cultural space characterized by commonly shared ideas and memories, as well as the physical manifestations that embody them. Following Kluitenberg’s definition, the MPL renders the public domain as a tangible media artefact. The MPL is an evolving collection of historically inspired video stories adapted from written accounts of life in the deprived but culturally cohesive inner city area of Dublin, Ireland, known as "the Liberties." The stories are delivered to the audience on location-aware PDAs, and each story can only be viewed when an audience member is situated in the physical place where the story is set. The objective of the MPL is to provide viewers with a nuanced and evocative sense of place as they walk the streets of this striking neighborhood. The MPL's author-centric approach to community stories is designed to function as a story-catalyst for the local community. The approach offers them a starting point and the inspiration to take ownership of the project and continue to develop its collection by contributing as authors to an ongoing story database rendering a grass-roots history of the area. This paper describes the content capture, design, and implementation of the project, but focuses primarily on the results of a subjective user study conducted to gauge reactions to this novel media format. We conclude the paper by discussing the results of this study and speculating on future directions for this work.

City of News published in KOS, no 179-180, august-september 2000 2000-09-00 00:00:00
Sparacino F; Davenport G; Pentland A

“How do we explore the digital box of fragments that pastes together disjunctive arrays of images and sets of data into a seemingly continuous display?” … We “need to develop new modes of perception with which to receive, absorb, criticize, and produce new combinations of information” -- M. Christine Boyer

In a 1995 article, appeared in “Le Monde Diplomatique”, the French theorist of technology, Paul Virilio, describes the phenomenon of the loss of orientation experienced by the exponentially increasing crowd which is relentlessly enthralled in cyberspace. Virilio observes that the construction of information superhighways, which are globalized and instantaneously updated, presents us with a threat, a menace to our perception of what reality is, of what it means for us to exist, as individuals, here and now. Induced by the splitting of the sensible world into real and virtual in parallel with the “invention of the perspective of real-time”, this threat causes a shock, a “mental concussion”, that hooks the happenings of events to a globalized monorail track. We have extended Virilio's concern to the varied world of the Net, and observed that for many, the Web is a wasteland of information, a Babel without dictionary, an encyclopaedia with no table of contents, an unstructured territory without a map. While web crawlers and search engines help us locate general topics information, even while using these tools, we often experience, with Virilio, “information anxiety”, and loose our bearings in the “flatland” of our regular browsers, under the vast horizon of the information superhighways. In order for any kind of information to be presented to us in a way which is not fragmented or disruptive of our current activities, for it to become a part of our cognitive space, and be remembered and integrated with the flow of our mental activities, we need to be able to map, directly or by analogy, some of the real-world architecture back into the computer display. We need to build a display environment, a tailored information landscape, which helps people construct a cognitive map to organize, sort, classify, remember, integrate, the variety of textual or visual information presented. In accomplishing this task, we have been inspired by the existing literature in the field of spatial orientation, from a cognitive psychology perspective, as well as the literature on mnemonics. Our work shows how our knowledge of space can be used not only to find our bearings in cyberspace, but also to memorize and organize information, using space as a memory device or technique. As “spacemakers” [Walser, 1990], we have therefore undertaken the task to “escape flatland” [Tufte, 1990], to design an information browser that organizes information as it fetches it, in real-time, in a virtual three-dimensional space which anchors our perceptual flow of data to a cognitive map of a (virtual) place. This place is a city.

Tangible Mudding: Interfacing Computer Games with the Real World 2002-00-00 00:00:00
Falk J

Games and play are fundamental human activities, through which we both learn and entertain ourselves. Typically designed for the world we live in, games like hide and seek, treasure hunts, or role-playing games make effective use of the physical world, in which our sensory engagement adds context, and content to the gameplay. The physical world can be compared to a board game, where players and objects become pawns and tokens that interact within a predefined physical space and according to agreed-upon rules. In some sense, games provide us with an excuse to interact, not only with each other, but also with the physical world...

Mobile, Context-sensitive Cinematic Narratives 2002-04-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Pan P; Woods A

We are on the cusp of a new generation of cinematic narratives. Mobile networks (such as 802.11, ad-hoc, cellular) combined with GPS and other sensing technologies provide us with a channel for navigational cinema that we are only just beginning to explore. Unlike the continuous experience of theatrical movie projection or a TV broadcast, the form and content of this cinematic experience will be shaped by the dynamic attributes of the viewing experience – we are moving around through space and time – and cultural desires for two-way communication.

Taste Fabrics and the Beauty of Homogeneity Association of Information Systems SIG SEMIS Bulletin (Spring 2006), vol. 3 no. 1. 2006-06-00 00:00:00
Liu H; Davenport G; Maes P

The quintessence of an individual’s taste is her aesthetic sensibility and system of preferences. Online social network profiles, such as those appearing on Friendster and MySpace, are a veritable “show and tell” for taste—allowing individuals to perform acts of taste by declaring their favorite books, what music they love, and what their passions are. By mining these social network profiles en masse and analyzing how each taste instance (e.g. a book, an author, a band, a cuisine, etc.) is meaningfully correlated with every other, an underlying fabric of taste common across individuals can be inferred. This article theorizes and describes the mining of taste fabrics from social network profiles, and discusses the application of taste fabrics to recommender systems and to taste-based semantic mediation. We suggest that taste fabrics illuminates a new paradigm of “sense-maker” services for the Semantic Web—homogenous connectionist networks such as taste fabrics provide ways to situate, compare, and unify entities along semantic dimensions which are normally hard to quantify, such as the taste dimension. Fuller expositions on the topic of this article can be found in (Liu & Maes, 2005a; Liu, Maes & Davenport, forthcoming).

Reconfigurable Video Optical information systems '86 (Arlington, Virginia), 1986, pp. 213-218. 1986-00-00 00:00:00
Sasnett R

The problem of efficient access to full-motion video resource materials in an educational context is explored. Reconfigurable VideoTM is a software technology designed to assist in the organization and delivery of visual databases on optical videodisc. A prototype project is described which integrates a relational database of documentary video, audio transcripts, and expert analysis into a multi-media educational research tool for the humanities and social sciences. "Marital Fracture," a case study of a divorce by Dr. Rosalyn Gerstein, serves as a model for future interactive video resources. Specialized software allows for the creation of electronic pages which incorporate video "footnotes", and the synchronization of text to video. A graphical user-interface for editing and restructuring the movie materials is presented.

The TViews Table for Storytelling and Gameplay in C. Magerkurth, C. Röcker (eds.): Concepts and Technologies for Pervasive Games A Reader for Pervasive Gaming Research vol. 1, Shaker Verlag, Aachen, Germany, pp.265-290. 2007-09-00 00:00:00
Mazalek A; Reynolds M; Davenport G

Over the past several decades, digital media interactions, such as playing games, sharing photo collections, and communicating across distances with remote friends and family have evolved from simple single-user applications to complex network games and media sharing programs. Yet still today, our interactions with these systems remain dominated by the all-prevailing single-user desktop computers, laptops or handheld devices.

As digital entertainment applications continue to evolve, there is an increasing need for new kinds of platforms that can support a diverse range of sociable media interactions for everyday consumers, including media asset management and story construction, digital game play and multimedia learning. In recent years, this need has resulted in the development of several technical approaches including touch-sensitive surfaces and prototypes of multi-object tracking platforms coupled with overhead projected displays. In this article, we describe our research and development efforts to create a general purpose, economically viable tangible media table platform, called TViews...

An Acoustic Position Sensing System for Large Scale Interactive Displays Proceedings of the 6th IEEE Conference on Sensors, pp. 1193-1196 2007-10-31 00:00:00
Reynolds M; Mazalek A; Davenport, G

We present a hybrid positioning and communication system for tracking interaction objects called 'pucks' on the surface of a large LCD or plasma display. Pucks are smart sensor packages consisting of a microcontroller as well as a contact-type acoustic receiving transducer and an infrared or radio data link. A puck may take the form of a standalone interaction object, or the puck circuitry may be integrated into an existing object, such as a digital camera, cellphone, PDA, or other device. In this work we take advantage of the glass surface atop an LCD or plasma display as a communication and sensing medium, and launch 200 kHz Gaussian-shaped acoustic ranging pulses into that medium from transmitting transducers adhered to the corners of the glass. We present experimental results demonstrating millimeter-scale puck positioning accuracy over the entire surface of a 32-inch LCD, at an update rate of 100 Hz. We also demonstrate the scalability of this approach to much larger displays. In our first implementation, power consumption of each puck is 3 V at 12 mA during data transmission, 5 mA during positioning, and 50 muA when idle, yielding 6-8 hours of continuous tracking from a 90 mAH prismatic lithium polymer battery.

The TViews Table in the Home Proceedings of the 2nd Annual IEEE International Workshop on Horizontal Interactive Human-Computer Systems (TABLETOP 07), pp.52-59. 2007-10-00 00:00:00
Mazalek A; Reynolds M; Davenport G

The past several years of computer interaction research have shown an increasing interest in tabletops for shared user interactions through touch or tangible objects. Digital media tables offer the potential to expand our digital interactions into casual social settings that are not appropriate for desktop platforms, such as home living rooms. We have developed a tangible media table called TViews, which provides an extensible architecture to enable multi-user interactions with a range of media applications and content via tagged tangible objects. The TViews object positioning utility functions on the surface of an embedded display and enables real-time tracking of a virtually unlimited set of uniquely identified wireless objects that can be used on the surface of any similar table. These objects can be physically customized in order to suit particular applications, and can provide additional functionality through external input and output elements on the objects themselves. In this paper, we present a first field trial of TViews to gain some initial insight into how such a device could be adopted in a real-world home.