[mythtv-users] Suggestions Using Collaborative Filtering

Andrew Wilkinson andrewjwilkinson at gmail.com
Fri Mar 23 17:40:12 UTC 2007


I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this. I couldn't decide
between here and the -dev list, but as I would like as many users as
possible I decided to post here. Apologies if this is the wrong place.

One of the features that I believe is missing from MythTV is suggestions on
what TV I might like to watch. I know there have been some attempts at this
in the past, but I haven't been able to get any of them to work and none of
them seem to be properly integrated with MythTV. I've done what any good
geek should do, and written my own. Collaborative filtering does work better
the more data it has to work from, so that's why I'm asking people to start
running it now.

It's quite simple to build and run, and will print out a list of TV programs
that you might want to watch. It's currently just a console program, much
like mythfilldatabase, and it doesn't feature the ability to automatically
record suggestions. This will be in the next version though, as will a
plugin so you can view suggestions from the main MythTV application.

To build the program you first to download the tarball from

Next, unpack it:
# tar -xzf mythcollaborative-0.1.tar.gz

Run QMake:
# cd mythcollaborative
# qmake

Build it:
# make

Install it:
# INSTALL_ROOT=/usr/local make install

To run it just type 'mythcollaborative' (without the quotes). If all is well
you will see a list of interesting programs :-) It is quite likely that at
first you will get nothing back (it'll just print "--------"), hopefully if
you try it again in a few days it'll have enough data to suggest something
for you.

If anything goes wrong please email me at andrew at indiegigs.co.uk or report
the bug on my Trac at http://mythtv.indiegigs.co.uk/dev

The program works by getting a unique id for your computer then submitting
all the programs you've recorded in the last 90 days to my server, and all
programs you're scheduled to record. If you feel this invades your privacy
then please don't run it. As your machine is given a random identifier and
there is no other information which can identify you I don't think the
privacy issues are that great.

The website is very basic at the moment, but will improve. The only working
feature is the ability to get your suggestions in an RSS feed. If you watch
the early output from mythcollaborative you will see the machine id your
computer is given. If you replace %id% in the following URL
http://mythtv.indiegigs.co.uk/data/%id%/suggestions.rss you will see your
suggestions in all their glory.

I hope you find this useful, but please remember it's early days and
although the suggestions will be quite bad at first, the more people who run
it and the more time that goes by the better they will get.

Comments, suggestions, bugs, abuse and praise are all welcome :-)

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