Scheduling systems are increasingly used for providing information and coordinating people at large gatherings including but not limited to conferences, exhibitions, IT shows etc. While these applications are useful, they lack the intelligence to: (a) automatically elicit user preferences based on past data and input from users; and (b) generate user schedules that are optimized for their preferences.
We specifically focus on large conferences with multiple parallel tracks and generate personalized schedules for the delegates. Our key contribution is an intelligent conference planning system, that automatically elicits user preferences based on the input keywords, provides a list of recommended talks and optimizes user schedule based on these preferences.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
The Conference Planning system considers both user preferences and availability at the same time in generating a schedule. It also allows the user to indicate some preferred talks and remove some talks in generating a personalized itinerary.
It utilizes the concept of topic mining to identify similarity among talks in terms of their topics and keywords. It also derives user preferences in terms of keywords.
The system makes use of optimization technique in order to generate the optimal schedule that best suits a given user (based on preferences). The optimization technique is able to avoid possible clashes among talks, if any.
We demonstrated its usability through the largest and most influential conference in the area of agents and multiagent systems, the 15th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2016) which was held in Singapore in 2016.
The Conference Planning system can be adopted by organizers of large-scale events, organizer of conferences, facility management of event venue/shopping mall, etc. In a large event setting where talks are presented in (a large number of) parallel sessions across multiple days, it is challenging for delegates to derive a schedule of talks that optimize their preferences. Furthermore, this adds to the cognitive challenge if the conference venue is large, where one may need to consider the travel time between talks. The system enables these parties to provide value-added services to event delegates.
The system can also be used in the context of a trade fair (e.g. trade show, exhibition, or expo). Due to time constraints, users may only visit their preferred companies or booths. The system can help to recommend the list of preferred companies.
The Conference Planning System is beneficial in enhancing the user experience of event delegates on two aspects simultaneously: understanding user preferences and optimizing the schedule accounting for preferences.