Group Modeling: selecting a sequence of television items to suit a group of viewers

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Watching television tends to be a social activity. So, adaptive television needs to adapt to groups of users rather than to individual users. In this paper, we discuss different strategies for combining individual user models to adapt to groups, some of which are inspired by Social Choice Theory. In a first experiment, we explore how humans select a sequence of items for a group to watch, based on data about the individuals' preferences. The results show that humans use some of the strategies such as the Average Strategy (a.k.a. Additive Utilitarian), the Average Without Misery Strategy and the Least Misery Strategy, and care about fairness and avoiding individual misery. In a second experiment, we investigate how satisfied people believe they would be with sequences chosen by different strategies, and how their satisfaction corresponds with that predicted by a number of satisfaction functions. The results show that subjects use normalization, deduct misery, and use the ratings in a non-linear way. One of the satisfaction functions produced reasonable, though not completely correct predictions. According to our subjects, the sequences produced by five strategies give satisfaction to all individuals in the group. The results also show that subjects put more emphasis than expected on showing the best rated item to each individual (at a cost of misery for another individual), and that the ratings of the first and last items in the sequence are especially important. In a final experiment, we explore the influence viewing an item can have on the ratings of other items. This is important for deciding the order in which to present items. The results show an effect of both mood and topical relatedness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-85
Number of pages48
JournalUser Modelling and User-Adapted Interaction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • adaptation
  • group modeling
  • interactive television
  • recommender
  • social choice
  • MOOD


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