United States Patent [w]
 SYSTEM FOR CUSTOMIZED ELECTRONIC IDENTIFICATION OF DESIRABLE OBJECTS
 Inventor: Frederick S. M. Herz, Box 625
Canaan Valley, Davis, W. Va. 26260
 Appl. No.: 08/985,731  Filed: Dec. 5, 1997
Related U.S. Application Data
 Continuation-in-part of application No. 08/346,425, Nov.
29, 1994, Pat. No. 5,758,257.  Provisional application No. 60/032,461, Dec. 9, 1996.
 Int. CI.7 G06F 15/16; H04H 1/02;
 U.S. CI 709/219; 348/1; 455/2;
 Field of Search 395/200.47-200.49;
348/1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 10; 455/3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2; 704/104; 709/217-219, 203;
707/10; H04N 7/10, 7/14, 7/173
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Primary Examiner—-John W. Miller
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Duft, Graziano&Forest,P.C.
This invention relates to customized electronic identification of desirable objects, such as news articles, in an electronic media environment, and in particular to a system that automatically constructs both a "target profile" for each target object in the electronic media based, for example, on the frequency with which each word appears in an article relative to its overall frequency of use in all articles, as well as a "target profile interest summary" for each user, which target profile interest summary describes the user's interest level in various types of target objects. The system then evaluates the target profiles against the users' target profile interest summaries to generate a user-customized rank ordered listing of target objects most likely to be of interest to each user so that the user can select from among these potentially relevant target objects, which were automatically selected by this system from the plethora of target objects that are profiled on the electronic media. Users' target profile interest summaries can be used to efficiently organize the distribution of information in a large scale system consisting of many users interconnected by means of a communication network. Additionally, a cryptographically-based pseudonym proxy server is provided to ensure the privacy of a user's target profile interest summary, by giving the user control over the ability of third parties to access this summary and to identify or contact the user.
15 Claims, 13 Drawing Sheets
1105--H USER SELECTS ARTICLE