"Content-Oriented Audiovisual Library Access" is a research project granted by Swiss National Funds (SNF) and realized in MEDIA research group of DI- LITH in Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

The aim of the project is to design and implement a digital audio-visual library system for TV broadcasters and video archive owners with facilities to provide effective content-oriented access to internal and external end-users.

With the recent advances in the technologies of audio-visual data digitalisation, compression and streaming, there is an increasing amount of audio-visual data being produced, transferred and stored in digital format. With this increase in the use of digital audio-visual material, there exists nowadays an important need for computer systems, which allow an effective exploitation (i.e. processing, management and retrieval) of these materials. The project "COALA" was mainly initiated to satisfy this need: to provide effective content-based access to audio-visual data.

Recently different research and commercial applications have been developing query interfaces and browsing mechanisms to explore the contents of an audio-visual database (refer to Research). However, there are few works that have considered an effective integration of these two mechanisms in a unique system.

Some important design features of our system are:

  • Integration of both mechanisms of advanced querying and navigation of audio-visual data.
  • Relevance feedback from browsing to querying.
  • Personalisation of advanced querying and navigation interfaces based on different user profiles.

In order to validate the design features of the system (i.e. complex query and navigation model) we needed to create a rich video corpus which contains different possible descriptions related to the audio-visual data.

Moreover, as to maintain the interoperability of the system with various applications, the document model on which the system operates should be confirm to a well-known standard. Such a standard for audio-visual document description is currently being developed by MPEG community, called as MPEG-7. Being a member of this community, we aim at developing an MPEG-7 compatible system.

We are collaborating with the TSR: Television Suisse Romande. We have studied the current archiving system they use, different users of this system, their needs and their problems. We are preparing a corpus containing 10 hours of TSR television news with all corresponding descriptors and scripts. This corpus will be in near future extended to 20 hours containing also the teletext subtitles of the news programs. The Data Definition Language used currently to represent the corpus is XML schema. We aim at producing an MPEG-7 version of this corpus too. More explanations on the corpus can be found in Research. In order to facilitate the creation of the corpus two applications have been developed: LogCreator and StlML. More details on these applications and also their demos can be found on Demos.