Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Personalization and Context

Well, it's been some time that I last posted here. While some say that blogging needs to occur at least a couple of times a week, I take the liberty to post whenever I think I have something to say. This time, it's about personalization, a term that seems kind of fuzzy, as it seems to refer to services that are tailored to the current needs of their users. These needs are related to the current user context (e. g., location, time and wheather), as well as their areas of interest.

To take the example of someone looking for a restaurant, their context will be defined by where they are and what time it is (e. g. looking for lunch as opposed to having dinner), while their area of interest may be partially determined by the kind of food they like.

Personalization and mobility often go hand in hand, as it is rather tedious to enter terms in search fields of mobile browsers. As the needs and tastes of someone are rather not too dynamic, it makes sense to manage them via user profiles, as opposed to context information, which may vary in case of someone that often changes locations.

This said, I am interested in discovering context models and research pointing in that direction. I do explicitly welcome any insights and hints that may help me understand the issue of personalization a bit better.