Scientists seek to enhance satisfaction for multimedia users

Scientists at Plymouth University are part of a global cohort to receive a €3.1m grant to research ways to enhance customer satisfaction for multimedia services.

Funded by the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) – which offers early-stage researchers the opportunity to work with mentors to develop new knowledge and enhance their skills on an approved topic - Dr Lingfen Sun, Associate Professor on Multimedia Communications and Networks, from the School of Computing and Mathematics, will lead research by the Plymouth team on the innovative Quality of Experience (QoE) management schemes to enhance people’s experience with emerging services such as mobile gaming, web video services, 3DTV and social TV, from mobile phones to tablets and televisions. 

Along with teams from the University of Cagliari in Italy, as Co-ordinator, The Walt Disney Company’s lab in Zurich, Deutsche Telekom in Germany, universities in the UK, Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Korea, and representatives from a small enterprise in Hungary – each will concentrate on an element relevant to their industry or institution.  

Dr Sun said: 

“Similar small scale studies have been carried out, but this is a first for Europe to have a larger scale research/training project.  By investigating all of the factors from how content can be generated and processed to how it can be delivered and consumed, we hope to develop innovative schemes to enhance a customer’s experience.”

Other areas which will be subject to research include environmental impact, psychological/social impact on user perception, business impact, for example cost or financial aspects and aesthetics/art and design.

The QoE-NET project will be funded for four years and allows Dr Sun and her co-investigators Professor Shaofeng Liu from the Business School and Professor Emmanuel Ifeachor also from the School of Computing and Mathematics, the opportunity to take on two researchers.  They will benefit from the wealth of experience of the established leads as well as diversifying by participating in a variety of networking and training activities and spending time with the other partners in their respective countries.

Dr Sun added: 

“This is very much an interdisciplinary project.  In addition to the key technical aspects in the media delivery chain, non-technical aspects, which will have a strong impact on the quality of experience will also be investigated. This is why it is important to have representation across the board, from entertainment to engineering.” 

Dr Lingfen Sun, Associate Professor on Multimedia Communications and Networks:

We hope to develop innovative schemes to enhance a customer’s experience.

Find out more about Lingfen Sun