Combined map personalisation algorithm for delivering preferred spatial features in a map to everyday mobile device users
In this thesis, we present an innovative and novel approach to personalise maps/geo-spatial services for mobile users. With the proposed map personalisation approach, only relevant data will be extracted from detailed maps/geo-spatial services on the fly, based on a user’s current location, preferences and requirements. This would result in dramatic improvements in the legibility of maps on mobile device screens, as well as significant reductions in the amount of data being transmitted; which, in turn, would reduce the download time and cost of transferring the required geo-spatial data across mobile networks. Furthermore, the proposed map personalisation approach has been implemented into a working system, based on a four-tier client server architecture, wherein fully detailed maps/services are stored on the server, and upon a user’s request personalised maps/services, extracted from the fully detailed maps/services based on the user’s current location, preferences, are sent to the user’s mobile device through mobile networks. By using open and standard system development tools, our system is open to everyday mobile devices rather than smart phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) only, as is prevalent in most current map personalisation systems. The proposed map personalisation approach combines content-based information filtering and collaborative information filtering techniques into an algorithmic solution, wherein content-based information filtering is used for regular users having a user profile stored on the system, and collaborative information filtering is used for new/occasional users having no user profile stored on the system. Maps/geo-spatial services are personalised for regular users by analysing the user’s spatial feature preferences automatically collected and stored in their user profile from previous usages, whereas, map personalisation for new/occasional users is achieved through analysing the spatial feature preferences of like-minded users in the system in order to make an inference for the target user. Furthermore, with the use of association rule mining, an advanced inference technique, the spatial features retrieved for new/occasional users through collaborative filtering can be attained. The selection of spatial features through association rule mining is achieved by finding interesting and similar patterns in the spatial features most commonly retrieved by different user groups, based on their past transactions or usage sessions with the system.