Media Informatics and Multimedia Systems

Dissertation of Susanne Boll

ZYX - Towards flexible multimedia document models for reuse and adaptation

Dissertation, Susanne Boll Technical University Vienna, Austria. 2001


Advanced multimedia applications require adequate support for the

modeling of multimedia documents. This calls not

only for the adequate modeling of the temporal and spatial course of a

multimedia presentation and its user interactions, but also for the partial

reuse of multimedia documents and adaptation to a given

user context. Consequently, underlying data models for the

representation of the composition of media elements---

multimedia document models---are needed.

Our thorough investigation of existing standards for multimedia

document models such as HTML, MHEG, SMIL, and HyTime,

and the research approaches Amsterdam Hypermedia Model, TIEMPO, MEDIADOC, and Madeus, however, leads to the conclusion that these models do not

provide sufficient modeling support for reuse and adaptation.

Therefore, we propose a new approach for the modeling of

adaptable and reusable multimedia documents which we

realized by the design of the ZYX model. The model offers primitives that provide---beyond the more or less common primitives for temporal, spatial, and interaction modeling---support for the reuse of structure and layout of document

fragments and for the adaptation of the document and their presentation

to the user context. We introduce the ZYX model in detail and

give a formal framework for the definition of the modeling

primitives. As a proof of concept, we present the implementation of

the ZYX model as an extension module of an object-relational

database management system. We also illustrate the applicability of the

model's features and the effectiveness of its central concepts by

samples taken from different application scenarios.

With the ZYX model, we developed a comprehensive means for advanced

multimedia content modeling. The ZYX model gives support for fine-grained modeling and retrieval of fragments of multimedia documents and for the

realization of adaptation and personalization of multimedia presentations depending on the user environment. The support for adaptation enables a presentation environment to flexibly customize a multimedia presentation on demand to a specific user and system environment, i.e., enables personalized multimedia content delivery. With its advanced modeling capabilities, the model significantly impacts and supports the authoring process in terms of methodology and economic aspects.