Past Projects

iTunes automatic music classifier & scribbler [Archived]

ituplug

Title: iTunes automatic music classifier & scribbler
Duration: One Semester
Responsible TA: Nicolas Jones
Goals: Classify music (and, possibly, recommend better music or generate automatic playlists)
Keywords: iTunes, preference elicitation
Abstract:

iTunes already incorporates a rating mechanisms, a genre classification, a playlists categorisation, and a play-count log. Unfortunately, this information is very rarely used by iTunes to represent data in a semi-automatic way. Furthermore, a majority of users don’t use these at all, and the small subset of those who do spend a lot of time with it. We propose to write a plugin who will rely on the users’ implicit preferences (behaviour) to rate the songs, classify them by similarity in automated playlists, and possibly creating an improved online musical profile on sites like Last.fm.

Project Results:
  • automatic rating mechanisms
  • automatic playlists
  • implementation of audioscrobbler protocol for submitting to online profile (last.fm)
Required Skills
  • Good programming skills
  • Previous experience with iTunes plugins is a plus

Music Recommendation Database [Archived]

music_rec_db

Title: Music Recommendation Database
Duration: One Semester
Responsible TA: Nicolas Jones
Goals: Creating a music recommender system. Setup a music database  as a first step.
Keywords: data collection, recommender systems
Abstract:

Recommender systems (RS) have started becoming popular to help users overcome the information overload problems on internet. Today’s trends of Web 2.0 and the emergence of social interactions, where content is created and shared by users, have lead to new contexts where RS are used such as music. The goal of the project is create a music database, usable for a future recommender system. The first challenge will be to organise and classify a comprehensive collection of music files (+10000 songs), leading to the second challenge ofcompleting the meta-data of each track, such as artist, track, album, etc. (through automated querying of the Gracenote database, or other) leading to the establishement of a rich and complete music database. The developpment should include the interface for listening and importing new songs. Finally, if time permits, the project will include the setting up of a basic music recommender. Based on the remaining time, the project can be extended such as to for example include data mining goals for add taging values to the songs. Many music websites provide web services for consulting tags related to tracks, and this could be used to create a second level abstraction, an ontology, for enhancing music recommendations.

Project Results:
  • Erection of collection of music files
  • Mapping from a music metadata database
  • Song recognition and assimilation of metadata
  • Importation interface
  • Software architecture for classifying files
Required Skills
  • Data parsing (java, scala or other)
  • Database manipulation (php/mysql)
  • Good Software engeneering skils

E-Commerce Shopping System for Mobile Viewers [Archived]

screenshot-mobile

Title: E-Commerce Shopping System for Mobile Viewers
Duration: One Semester
Responsible TA: Jiyong Zhang
Goals: Design and implement a prototype e-commerce shopping website for mobile users.
Keywords: e-commerce, interaction design, plugin development
Abstract:

Over the past few years there has been an exponential growth both in the number of mobile users. Mobile internet enables users to access online information from mobile devices. An upcoming trend for mobile users would be to buy products directly through their mobiles from anywhere, at anytime.

In this project we intend to build or adapt a shopping website for mobile users. The system can be developed based on some existing open source shopping systems such as osCommerce (http://www.oscommerce.com/). We need to design a module so that the interface can be outputted adequately on mobile devices. This can be done by detecting the connecting device and modifying the stylesheets accordingly, or can also be based on the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and creation of wml pages. (The WAP is the world standard for the presentation and delivery of wireless information and telephony services on mobile phones and other wireless terminals, but more and more phones just integrate a light-version web browser). The challenge would be to design interfaces that can be conveniently used by mobile users, and to provide as a plugin/module for an existing and popular shopping system.

Project Results:
  • Implementation of a prototype mobile shopping system;
  • Usability issues of the mobile shopping system;
  • Publication of a plugin
  • Results analysis and report.
Required Skills
  • Previous experience of website development
  • CSS / PHP / Mysql
  • Development experience with CMS systems is welcome (optional)

Implementation of an interactive travel map [Archived]

itmap

Title: Implementation of an interactive travel map
Duration: One Semester
Responsible TA: Li Chen
Goals: Implement a prototype that could visualize the travel-related reviews
Keywords: usability study, visual analytics, visualization
Abstract:

The most distinguishable feature of Web2.0 would be it simulates a platform where users could freely share their reviews, experiences and stories with others. The increasing amount of the sharable information, however, sometimes overwhelms the average users since they could not effectively and efficiently obtain the most useful information to them.

The aim of this project is to implement a prototype that could visualize the travel-related reviews, for example, the users’ recommendations on hotel, sight, shop and restaurant, on a map (e.g. Geneva city map). Therefore, with the map, the tourists can intuitionally get an overview of all the relevant spots with locations and icons representing their corresponding rates. The users could further specify their criteria on the type of spot they are interested in (e.g. filtering the map only leaving the shops that sell Swiss watches and are with average rate higher than 3). They could also move onto a specific recommendation to see its detail (e.g. the restaurant’s contact info).

We believe that this kind of interactive travel map would be much more useful and effective for tourists to search for information, compared to listing all of the textual articles for them to read one by one. Welcome to join the project if you are interested!

Project Results:
  • Collection of basic travel information
  • Prototype implementation
  • Interface usability inspection
Required Skills
  • Previous experience of graphical application development
  • Programming languages: Javascript/ HTML/ PHP
  • Database manipulation

Cultural influences on users’ disposition for decision accuracy and trust in e-commerce [Archived]

Title: Cultural influences on users’ disposition for decision accuracy and trust in e-commerce
Duration: One Semester
Responsible TA: Li Chen
Goals: The goal of this project is to design and implement a prototype vacation package recommendation system through blog articles that the users are interested.
Keywords: qualitative user study design, statistical analysis
Abstract:

In recent years, although many researches have emerged to study the antecedents and subsequences of user trust in online environments, they were mostly targeted to a relatively narrow range of people, i.e. the people from similar cultures or same nationality. Few works have in depth investigated whether the cultural background will have effect on users’ decision behavior and more importantly their subjective perception formation in e-commerce. The goal of the project is therefore to resolve the problem by means of user interviews and qualitative survey. We aim to revealing the actual role of cultural background in users’ disposition for decision accuracy and trust, so as to finally identifying the set of website design guidelines to be useful for a more general range of consumers.

Project Results:
  • Implementation of online questionnaire;
  • Qualitative user study design;
  • Participants recruitment;
  • Results analysis and report.
Required Skills
  • Online survey implementation (HTML/PHP)
  • Statistical analysis basis

A Vacation Package Recommendation System based on Word of Mouth Information [Archived]

Title: A Vacation Package Recommendation System based on Word of Mouth Information
Duration: One Semester
Responsible TA: Jiyong Zhang
Goals: The goal of this project is to design and implement a prototype vacation package recommendation system through blog articles that the users are interested..
Keywords: recommender systems
Abstract:

Over the past few years there has been an exponential growth both in the number of bloggers and blog articles. Reading blog articles now becomes a natural activity for many online users and their taste can be largely determined through the articles they had read and rated. It would be quite beneficial if the recommendation system could gather the user’s preferences directly through her activities in reading/rating blogs and generate a personalized recommendation product list to satisfy her needs.

In this project we intend to develop a vacation package recommendation system which can gather users’ preferences through their reading behaviors and ratings of some travel-related blog articles, and then recommend the desired vacation packages to the end-users. The challenge of this project is that we need to make the recommendation cross through the travel blog article space to the vacation package space.

Project Results:
  • Implementation of a prototype Vacation Package Recommendation website with blog functions;
  • A user study to testify the performance of the recommendation system.
Required Skills
  • Previous experience of website development
  • HTML / CSS / PHP / Mysql / Javascript

Recommender Systems’ survey and usability study [Archived]

Title: Recommender Systems’ survey and usability study
Duration: One Semester
Responsible TA: Nicolas Jones
Goals: The goal of this project is to study a number of recommender technologies and to find ways to improve them.
Keywords: qualitative user study design, recommender systems, usability study
Abstract:

Wikipedia defines recommender system as “programs which attempt to predict items (movies, music, books, news, web pages) that a user may be interested in, given some information about the user’s profile”. These systems are currently growing more and more popular. Everyday, new websites incorporate features and tools based on recommender technologies. However systems seem to be tightly linked to the field of activity. So can we see a pattern emerging? Could it just be that the usability of an implementation sells, respectively kills, a solution in respect to another and has lead us to believe that solutions were domain-specific?

This project is divided into two main steps and a small last one (this can evolve, depending on the student’s interrests). The first step would be to perform a survey of different recommender systems currently popular. If possible, the student should try to find the main kind of systems that are used, and explain why they are popular. The second step would focus on making a usability study of a selection of the systems found in step one in order to “measure” how much the usability concerns influence the efficiency of a recommender system. Finally, as a third step, the student may implement a prototype module of one of the systems selected in step 2, into the open source ecommerce system: osCommerce. 

Project Results:
  • a survey report of 10+ recommender systems
  • a usability study report of 3-5 recommender systems
  • a system prototype of one recommender system on a specific domain based on oscommerce
Required Skills
  • HTML
  • PHP/Mysql

Modelisation of users’ adaptive decision behaviour [Archived]

Title: Modelisation of users’ adaptive decision behaviour
Duration: One Semester
Responsible TA: Nicolas Jones
Goals: The goal of this project is to try and model user’s adaptive decision behaviour.
Keywords: statistical analysis, user modelling 
Abstract: Many methods have been used to try and model user’s adaptive decision behaviors. Unfortunately, many of them suffer from problems. Artificial Intelligence has proposed the concept of DBN: dynamic bayesian networks which can potentially be used to do the job. The goal of the project will be to define a framework, and then perform an implementation.
Project Results:
  • implementation of DBN for modeling user’s adaptive decision behaviors
Required Skills
  • algorithmic abstraction qualities
  • HTML/PHP/Mysql (or other programming language – will be determined when chosing the framework)

Recommender System in the EPFL framework [Archived]

Title: Recommender System in the EPFL framework
Duration: One Semester
Responsible TA: Nicolas Jones
Goals: The goal of this project is to design and implement a simple recommender system for EPFL users.
Keywords: recommender systems
Abstract: This project combines a little research and a real implementation. The first part focuses on finding a framework that students use regularly and where they would be eager to rate. First ideas are rating teachers or courses. The challenge of this first step is to have as many people as possible involved in this procedure on a regular basis. The second part of the project is to implement a recommender system, according to results of step one. The solution must be simple, and can be an item-to-item or user-to-user recommender. The goal for the lab is to have a first-hand experience on how the existing methods work and provide some insights on how to improve it.
Project Results:
  • research for an adequate framwork at EPFL for students
  • implementation of a recommender system for rating
Required Skills
  • previous experience of web interfaces
  • HTML/PHP/Mysql (or other programming language – will be determined when chosing the framework)