Automatic Layout Optimization for Newspaper Web ... - BIBSYS Brage

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Dynamic Layout Optimization for Newspaper Web Sites using a Controlled Annealed Genetic Algorithm

Gjermund Bø Brabrand

Master‟s thesis Master of Science in Media Technology 30 ECTS Department of Computer Science and Media Technology Gjøvik University College, 2008

Dynamic Layout Optimization for Newspaper Web Sites using a Controlled Annealed Genetic Algorithm

Avdeling for informatikk og medieteknikk Høgskolen i Gjøvik Postboks 191 2802 Gjøvik Faculty of Computer Science and Media Technology Gjøvik University College Box 191 N-2802 Gjøvik Norway

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Dynamic Layout Optimization for Newspaper Web Sites using a Controlled Annealed Genetic Algorithm

Abstract A newspaper layout mainly consists of rectangles laid out on a surface in a way that produce no gaps, and looks good. The pagination problem for newspaper web sites is trying to make these layouts automatically. We present an annealed genetic algorithm with article control functions to calculate the rectangle position in order to solve the pagination problem. Articles contain metadata that describes individual design requests, and preferred position for each article in categories headliner, float article and priority article. The positioning request tell the algorithm which articles to position first, and which to position around the other to produce a good fit. A fitness function is used to measure good layouts. The method is tested on two groups containing respectively 10 and 6 participants. One group tests the fitness function performance with the control function implemented and the other group tests the prototype which presents a publishing tool with a dynamic layout generator. The prototype test group contains experienced persons working in large Norwegian newspaper web sites. Although we wanted to add control to the automation there were common agreement from the participants that a professional newspaper web site would need a higher level of control. There was also a common agreement that other areas within web site publishing could benefit a layout generator.

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Dynamic Layout Optimization for Newspaper Web Sites using a Controlled Annealed Genetic Algorithm

Acknowledgements Thanks to supervisor Rune Hjelsvold for guidance as well as sharing of experience. We would also like to thank all the people participating in the experiments. It is not easy to get people to spend 30 minutes of their time on someone they don‟t know, and we are therefore grateful for your participation and time!

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Dynamic Layout Optimization for Newspaper Web Sites using a Controlled Annealed Genetic Algorithm

Table of Contents Abstract .................................................................................................................... iii Acknowledgements ............................................................................................... v Table of Contents ..................................................................................................vii List of Figures .........................................................................................................ix List of Tables ............................................................................................................xi 1.

Introduction ..................................................................................................... 1 1.1.

Background .................................................................................. 1

1.2.

Problem description ................................................................. 2

1.3.

Terms and definitions .............................................................. 2

1.4.

Motivation ..................................................................................... 3

1.5.

Automated layout ..............................................