[mythtv] Re: Myth recommendation system

IvanK. chepati at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 6 04:43:37 UTC 2005

On Sunday 05 June 2005 06:47 am, Charlie Brej wrote:
> Just keeping the interested people up to date on the current state of the
> recommendation system I am working on and explain the goals of the system.
> Goals:
> The idea is to have a full Tivo Like system which makes recommendations and
> even records stuff for you on a whim that you might like. To do this the
> users must rate shows and submit this info to the central server. They are
> then grouped with other people with the same taste and the other peoples
> recommendations are downloaded. People make recommendations both before the
> show is on and after. Before the show is on these are used to guide other
> people to shows. After the show the reviews guide people as to whether they
> should bother to watch the show which was recorded. Even drop its auto
> expire rating if it was found to be poor after recording automatically.

Are you sure this is the direction the recommendation system should be 
heading?  A central server may be a good idea for a commercial company like 
Tivo, but for a community-based project such as MythTV who'll be hosting the 
database, who'll be footing the bandwith, etc. bills?  But that's only the 
logistics.  Wait till we get into the actual integrity of the content.

1) For this to work, we'll need a sufficient number of users participating.
2) You can't guarantee that a malicious user won't poison the database with 
misleading recommendations.
3) Even if you can assure 1) and prevent 2), how reliable is other people's 
taste in tv programming when it comes to predicting what *I* might like?

In view of that may I propose a different approach.  I believe we already have 
fields for genre/director/actors in the xml data we pull from datadirect.  
Say we record a romantic comedy with Hugh Grant (yeah, like hell we 
will! :-) ), directed by so and so.  Shouldn't myth be looking for other 
films of genre comedy, or films in which Hugh Grant appears, or which are 
directed by a the same director?

Or couldn't myth rate how "popular" certain channels are with you.  Say you 
record most of the Adultswim lineup.  Isn't it logical you might find another 
Adultswim program to be a likely candidate for recording?  Or for that 
matter, most of the programming on the Cartoon Channel.  Compared to say, the 
Food Channel, from which you may have recorded only one Emeril Lagasse 

Also, any recording that has been recorded as "Record any occurrence of this 
show on any channel" (my wording) means you cared for it so much that you 
said "anytime, on any channel, record it, dammit!".  That means you like this 
type of program better than say a "Record this program only once" recording.  
That should factor in the whole recommendation system.

This way we avoid the whole central server/many people to rely to scenario 
while at the same type we base our predictions for what we may find likable 
on what we've already liked.

These are just a few random thoughts I decided to share just to kickstart a 
discussion on this very interesting topic.


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