Music recommendation system wins AI Mashup Challenge award


3 Sep 2010

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A researcher at NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Insitiute (DERI) has won first prize at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Mashup Challenge, which looks for technologies that combine existing web resources into a new and useful service.

Dr Alexandre Passant, post-doctoral researcher and unit leader at DERI developed a web-based music recommendation system called dbrec.

The system is capable of explaining recommendations to its users. A user can understand why particular information is related to others in its search by a single click of a mouse. For example, it can show how two artists are linked by the same genre, record deal or instrument choice.

dbrec relies on DBpedia, a structure version of Wikipedia, to compute the recommendations. It makes them available using web standards so that new applications can be built on top of it.

The linkages between search items use Semantic Web and Linked Data technologies, which DERI does a lot of work in. The Semantic Web is about improving connections online to make more sense of the data.

dbrec, the Semantic Web and Linked Data

“dbrec shows the new and exciting possibilities offered by Semantic Web and Linked Data in terms of open recommendations systems and explanatory user-interfaces,” said Passant.

“It also demonstrates the value of Linked Data to build mash-up applications and how to make use of structured information using web standards."

The AI Mashup prize was awarded at the closing ceremony of the Extended Semantic Web Conference 2010 by Elsevier, which publishes science and health information, following a demonstration to the public at the conference.

The prize was a result of voting from the attendees.

Passant also picked up another award in the Semantic Web Scripting Challenge for sparqlPuSH, awarded by Talis, which was a collaborative work with members of the Knoo.e.ses Center at Wright State University, Ohio.

sparqlPuSH provides an infrastructure for real-time information monitoring on the Semantic Web and can be used in scenarios such as emergency management.

“These recent prizes provide further confirmation of the high quality of research at this university and in Ireland, leading to innovative products and services,” said Prof Stefan Decker, director of DERI at NUI Galway.