BBC Tasks -- Call For Projects

To establish joint academic/industrial research or allow academic researchers to gain industry experience, we additionally accept project applications in collaboration with the BBC on the following topics, which are practical issues in the context of broadcasting media. Projects will be in close collaboration with the BBC. Applications should include a description of the applicants' background and previous work followed by ideas of how their joint expertise might be beneficial in the context of one of the BBC tasks summarized below.

The deadline for BBC-Task projects is the same as for the regular mini-projects.

Creating and Exploiting Mappings Between Linked Data Sources and Social Media Content

One of the central ideas of the Semantic Web is to create links across data, concepts and entities to provide additional context to a given piece of information. To make full use of these possibilities, the BBC has been investing heavily into the development of this technology which led to various internal and external improvements in recent years. One specific type of entity often found in a television and broadcasting context are well-known persons and organisations, such as actors, musicians, athletes, bands or football teams. In recent years, these public figures have started to use social media such as Facebook or Twitter to connect with their fans by providing photos, text messages or status updates, and thus these web-services constitute an important contextual information. Currently, however, there is no Semantic Web service able to link stars and celebrities to the information provided on social media. The main aim of this proposal is to make the first step into this direction by developing tools for automatically or semi-automatically creating links between public figures and their corresponding social media accounts. Potential use cases are manyfold, for example:

Bob is following artist X on twitter. Bob allows a recommendation engine to see who he follows. The recommendation engine then uses the social media to Semantic Web mapping to resolve the twitter account of artist X to the corresponding Linked Data concept on dbpedia. With BBC programmes being annotated with dbpedia concepts, the recommendation engine can easily suggest all programmes comprising footage related to artist X.

Automatic Alignment of Production Scripts and Corresponding Audio Takes

Many BBC programmes are based on a script. The recordings for these programmes involve multiple takes of the same parts of the script, and the recordings are often non-linear - jumping around different parts of the script. This can make it very hard to compare all of the different takes, and edit the final programme together. There is interest within the BBC in creating a system which helps producers with this problem by automatically aligning audio content to the script. The system should allow producers to use the script to browse the audio, and automatically group re-takes so that they can easily be compared. The system should be sympathetically designed so as to complement the existing production workflow.

Robust Audio Fingerprinting for Extended Navigation Capabilities

Fingerprinting of audio involves creating a compact but unique representation of audio data using a selection of audio features. There are opportunities to use fingerprinting techniques to solve a number of problems the BBC faces. The project would involve choosing one of the use cases below, finding or developing a suitable fingerprinting algorithm to use, and implementing a solution.

Possible use cases:

  • An online service for searching the radio archive with an audio clip. The service returns a list of content that contains the clip, and the time at which it's used.
  • A mobile app which can detect the radio station you're listening to, based on audio input. By noting the station and time, it acts as a bookmark, allowing you to pick up where you left off. The system could be powered by generating fingerprints from live radio output, and matching the user's audio/fingerprints to that.
  • A system which analyses the audio-visual content of a programme and the original recordings that were used to create it, then from that works out the 'edit decision list' (EDL) that was used to make the programme.