Creating stories

The story creation is envisioned as a framework that allows automatically creating and adapting stories based on certain requirements. Automatic story creation involves using available user information (either stored in the user database or obtained on-demand from other content sources) and, through performing various filtering, prioritising, abstracting and correlating algorithms, creating an information structure based on concatenating  story episodes (or events)  that are then mapped to a multimedia concept before being presented to an end user (as shown in the picture). Here is shown the relation between the story model and other system components.

StoryCreation_3The story events are created both based on user input as well as on system-based reasoning (i.e., identifying certain significant changes or triggers). The user annotations as well as the various triggers detected from the data available are used for determining the significant points into the recordings and for creating the story events by adding a time range around that point (e.g., +/- 5 minutes). The reason for creating a time interval instead of just using the timestamps is to allow capturing information that might be used to explain the meaningfulness of the event. Creating a time range is especially useful in the case of user annotations as it allows compensating for a user pressing after or before something interesting happened. Various sets of rules are used in order to derive higher-level knowledge from the available user information.

 Visualising stories


Currently, each event media object is created by merging various media panels (see picture): (1) Time panel – showing time when event  trigger happened;  (2) Icon panel – contains the icon representations of event context values; (3) Text panel – contains a text description of the event context values; (4) Background panel – showing an image that creates a setting for the event, based on a certain selection algorithm (discussed later); (5) Main panel – combines all panels into one final event media object. Each panel is automatically created by merging the various components into a GIF picture by using the GD PHP library (the default PHP graphical library). At the end, all event panels are combined into an animated gif. For providing a higher level of personalisation to the story users can define their own locations and add their own images through a simple GUI.