About two weeks ago, Microsoft, had an interesting patent application published descibing a system that assists users in building personalized "portals" was published. As patent apps go, this is a very interesting read. The patent app is titled:
System and methods for constructing personalized context-sensitive portal pages or views by analyzing patterns of users' information access activities. It also includes a discussion of automatic topic classification.
The application lists Eric Horvitz*, Senior Researcher and Research Area Manager of the Adaptive Systems & Interaction Group as a co-inventor. It was originally filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in July 2005.
From the abstract:
The present invention relates to a system and methodology to assist users with data access activities and that includes such activities as routine web browsing and/or data access applications. A coalesced display or montage of aggregated information is provided that is focused from a plurality of sources to achieve substantially one-button access to user's desired web or data source information/destinations in order to mitigate efforts in retrieving and viewing such information. Past web or other type data access patterns can be mined to predict future browsing sites or desired access locations. A system is provided that builds personalized web portals for associated users based on models mined from past data access patterns. The portals can provide links to web resources as well as embed content from distal (remote) pages or sites producing a montage of web or other type data content. Automated topic classification is employed to create multiple topic-centric views that can be invoked by a user.
Full Text of patent application here.
* If you have an interest in artificial intelligence, adpative systems, question and answering systems, and related areas, Dr. Horvitz's site is a treasure chest of interesting reading and links.
Finally, in 2005 Eric Horvitz co-authored: Personalizing Search via Automated Analysis of Interests and Activities. Greg Linden comments here.