The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

Metadata Enhanced Content Management in Media Companies

Sami Jokela

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Technology to be presented with due permission for public examination and debate in Auditorium T2 at Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland, on the 9th of November, 2001, at 12 o'clock noon.

Overview in PDF format (ISBN 951-22-5693-2)   [859 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 951-666-585-3)


Media companies are facing new opportunities and challenges. Communications, computing, and content industries are converging into a single, horizontally connected content value chain, where changes are frequent and activities are highly interdependent. However, before convergence and digital content are taken seriously, media companies must understand what is expected from them, how their operations will be affected, and why they should be involved.

The production, distribution, and use of content rely heavily on computers and automation. This requires the content essence to be enhanced with explicit descriptions of semantics, or more specifically, semantic metadata. However, semantic metadata is useful only if its nature is understood clearly, and when its structure and usage are well defined. For this purpose, ontologies are needed to capture the essential characteristics of the content domain into a limited set of meaningful concepts.

The creation and management of ontologies and semantic metadata require skills and activities that do not necessarily exist in traditional print-based publishing or broadcasting. Companies developing ontologies must understand the essential characteristics of available content, user needs, and planned or existing use of content. Furthermore, they must be able to express this information explicitly in an ontology and then reflect changes in the environment back to that ontology.

Content production and distribution should be flexible and able to support the reuse of content. This thesis introduces two abstract models, a component model and a process model. Both models assist in the understanding and analysis of electronic publishing of content for multiple media products and on multiple media platforms.

When semantic metadata, ontologies, and improved publishing processes are available, new advanced content-based products, such as personalized information feeds, are possible. The SmartPush project, for which the author was the project manager and worked as a researcher, has shown that semantic metadata is useful in creating advanced content-based products, and that media companies are willing to alter their existing publishing processes. Media companies participating in the SmartPush project have acknowledged the impact of our work on their plans and operations. Their acknowledgement emphasizes the practical importance of semantic metadata, ontologies, improved electronic publishing process, and personalization research.

This thesis consists of an overview and of the following 5 publications:

  1. Savia, E., Kurki, T., and Jokela, S. (1998) Metadata Based Matching of Documents and User Profiles, in Human and Artificial Information Processing, Proceedings of the 8th Finnish Artificial Intelligence Conference, Finnish Artificial Intelligence Society, August 1998, Jyväskylä, Finland, pp. 61-70. © 1998 by authors.
  2. Kurki, T., Jokela, S., Turpeinen, M., and Sulonen, R. (1999) Agents in Delivering Personalized Content Based on Semantic Metadata, Intelligent Agents in Cyberspace -track, Papers from the 1999 AAAI Spring Symposium, Technical Report SS-99-03, AAAI Press, March 1999, Menlo Park, California, USA, pp. 84-93. © 1999 AAAI. By permission.
  3. Jokela, S. and Saarela, J. (1999) A Reference Model for Flexible Content Development, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Telecommunications and Electronic Commerce (ICTEC), October 6-8, 1999, Nashville, Tennessee, USA, pp. 312-325. © 1999 by authors.
  4. Jokela, S., Turpeinen, M., and Sulonen, R. (2000) Ontology Development for Flexible Content, Proceedings of the HICSS-33, IEEE Computer Society, January 4-7, 2000, Maui, Hawaii, USA, Best Paper Award of the Internet and Digital Commerce track.
  5. Jokela, S., Turpeinen, M., Kurki, T., Savia, E., and Sulonen, R. (2001) The Role of Structured Content in a Personalized News Service, Proceedings of the HICSS-34, IEEE Computer Society, January 3-6, 2001, Maui, Hawaii, USA.

Keywords: convergence, semantic metadata, ontologies, domain modeling, advanced content-based products

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© 2001 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26