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information = chaos;
knowledge is the spontanous ordering of that chaos;
freedom is surfing on the wave of that spontaneity.
The Information War, Hakim Bey

RATED.IT - the metadata service for rating, filtering & recommendations

What is RATED.IT?

RATED.IT collects rating information from Web pages and other artifacts on the Internet, thus providing ways RATED.IT offers a set of tools for managing metadata on documents, web pages or messages. Ratings are collected either implicitly by agents (which determine a web page's language, assess its stylistic qualities, measure reading time) or explicitly by users. RATED.IT provides a personalised experience for users when recommending documents, web pages or messages of interest, sending daily or weekly tips by e-mail.

Gold, white and black balls rolling through the Internet ...

There are mainly three kinds of web page ratings:
  1. Goldballing is about finding the best pages
  2. Blackballing is about blocking unsuitable pages
  3. Whiteballing is about letting through only suitable pages
RATED.IT is mainly aimed at goldballing. It tries to learn from the user's behaviour. This is very different from other ratings schemes such as PICS, which is mainly aimed at blackballing and whiteballing. Gold balls are e-mailed to you daily or weekly, if you are subscribing to our recommender service.

Is RATED.IT for free?

Yes, usage of the service we.RATED.IT is without costs and obligations.
If you insert our ratings on your own web pages, this is free for low and medium volume sites (less 1000 page views per day). High volume sites with more than 1000 page views per day and customers who wish to get professional integration support, please contact us.

Privacy at RATED.IT

As soon as you submit ratings, our server learns which documents you like and what you dislike, so that it can compare with the preferences of people like you and make new suggestions. We respect our users' privacy and we will never sell names or e-mail adresses to a third party. In future, we might add a commercials section at our service, where you are pointed to special offers, which you are very likely interested in. But neither a keyword nor a list of your personal preferences will be ever given to a third party.

The technology behind RATED.IT

Atomic rating values are collected either implicitly by various agents (which e.g. determine a document's source language, assess its stylistic qualities, measure reading time) or explicitly by users. These ratings are cumulated and stored with each document separately to allow fast response for instant queries. Then we calculate relations between users and rated documents in order to find out similarities and to be able to make recommendations. A number of interfaces are available, and we have specified an XML based http protocol in order to allow easy plug-in of other gateways.
SELECT architecture  
Rate or show the quality of any (web)-document or message.

Query or submit ratings via http-XML protocol.

Collaborative Filtering
The recommender module gives you tips from people with similar tastes to you.

Store your favorites with RATED.IT and define anti-bookmarks, which help you to avoid seeing sites that are similar to ones you know you dislike.

Open Source
Integrate rating & filtering functionality into your application using SELECT open source modules (proxy, CGI).

Own or hosted server
Set up your own SELECT server or define your own rating categories at our production server.

We integrate rating & filtering mechanisms with groupware platforms, such as net.board or KOM2000.
Proxy and Macros
Let SELECT inject ratings into all pages you surf using a local or a public proxy service or a set of macros.

Starting with a Specification Document, which gives a general overview on the data architecture, a set of tools have been implemented and tested. A Technical Documentation (800k) explains the object oriented approach and how this design is mapped into a database structure for persistent storage of the manipulated objects. The Advanced Technical Documentation (600kB) gives information e.g. on the Collaborative Filtering Agent Architecture, how to set up a SELECT server and it includes user manuals e.g. for the GroupMark feature. A set of front ends are available, such as cgi, bookmarklets, or proxy. For those who want to build their own rating front-ends, please refer to the List of Protocols and soon we will make an Open Source Toolkit available.

More information

Rob Procter's paper about SELECT: Social and Collaborative Filtering of Web Documents and News presented at the 5th and 6th User Interfaces for All workshops (1999 and 2000) gives a more detailled overview on the research done so far and the project itself.

Check out http://select.pvl.at/select_integration.html for a short tutorial about how to integrate select to your web-documents and services.
Introducing virtual money to a recommender service is something we would like to add in a follow-up project.

General rating issues have been worked out in a study in the Web4Groups project (300k zipped doc or rtf).

The collaborative filtering algorithms and test results are described in a paper from Johan Kaers.

A simple and basic implementation of subject tree rating is also available:

Work about a SELECT-compliant Usenet client is documented in: Christopher Lueg (2000), A Flexible and Non-Intrusive Approach to Distribute Context-Specific Information to Usenet News Clients. Accepted at the OzCHI 2000 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction on "Interfacing reality in the new millennium", 4-8 December 2000, Sydney, Australia.

The research project related document collection with complete Javadoc (restricted to project members):

A radio show on recommender services can be listened at Internet on the Air, where related projects are listed as well.

Who is behind RATED.IT?

From DEC 1998 until NOV 2000 major European research organisations have been working together in the SELECT project for creating a metadata platform for documents and messages, which describe their quality and other characteristics and which offers a number of services, such as collaborative filtering or bookmarking.

Here follows a list of the partners of the SELECT research consortium:

The production server is currently running at MTA SZTAKI, Department of Distributed Systems, Budapest, maintained by Andras Micsik, administrative management was done by Michele Carenini at Omega Generation and research exploitation activities are currently co-ordinated by Roland Alton-Scheidl.

Work has been partially funded by the European Commission who has funded many more related projects on Information access, filtering analysis and handling.

© SELECT consortium 1998-2001