SwissCast - An Information Casting
System for Switzerland
National Science Foundation
: prof. Maurizio Decina
Politecnico of Milan, Italy.
3 years: 1 October 1997 - 30 September 2000
Until today, the Internet communication metaphor for information access
has mainly been that of browsing, i.e. that of Information Providers
offering on the WWW some kind of information, formatted according to
their own criteria, and that of a user searching actively for the
information he needs. This communication concept, around which the
World Wide Web is built, was functional to a usage of the Internet
restricted to a relatively small community, essentially the academic
one, whose information needs, pertaining contents and information
format, were well known to the information providers. Thus, the limits
of the concept of browsing are becoming more and more apparent:
firstly, the search for information becomes increasingly inefficient, a
problem that frustrates the users and leads to bottlenecks in the
network; secondly, content and structure of the retrieved information
correspond less and less to the needs of the specific user, precisely
because information providers don't have in mind user’s needs at
the moment of selecting and formatting the information itself.
The goal of the SwissCast project is to build a prototype of a
communication service based on the Internet infrastructure and
services, capable of retrieving and submitting selected information for
a group of users, and to study through the practical exercise of this
prototype some main issues about communication and information
retrieval on Internet. The SwissCast system will be built on the model
of the American Pointcast service, that is a service that retrieves
information from Information Providers, selects it and casts it through
a series of channels and finally, broadcasts it to the users via
Internet; the can select the information according to its specifics
interests by sending a user profile to the system’s administrator.
I was the main developer of the software platform that we called
"SwissCast". It is a server-side application written in Perl language
and uses MySQL as back end database. This platform is currently used by
our local University Research Office to deliver customized information
on research projects, grants, news, etc.
As of September 2001, I and other colleagues started a new company: Telos Internet Solutions
which intention is to commercialize SwissCast software licenses.
||Benedetto Lepori, Lorenzo Cantoni,
Mazza. The history and practice of push communication: some
critical reflections. SCOMS- Studies
in Communication Sciences.
Vol. 2 Num. 1 Jan 2001. ISSN 1424-4896
||Maurizio Decina, Lorenzo Cantoni,
Lepori, Riccardo Mazza, Paolo Jannuzzi. The SwissCast information
push service, a multidisciplinary research, a multifaceted experience.
In: ACM SIGIR'99 Workshop on
Customised Information Delivery. August 19,
1999 - Berkeley, California
||B. Lepori, L. Cantoni, P. Jannuzzi, R. Mazza, S. Tardini.
L'applicazione SwissCast nel campo della ricerca
Università della Svizzera Italiana, Aprile 2000 (technical
||L. Cantoni, P. Jannuzzi, B. Lepori, R. Mazza. Delivering
Relevant Information to Interested Users, Internal scientific
Università della Svizzera Italiana, June 1999. (technical
||L. Cantoni, N. Dal Degan, B. Lepori, R. Mazza, F.
Scaroni. Push on the Net: between Market & Technology,
Università della Svizzera Italiana, June 1998. (technical