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System and Method for Dynamic Email Signatures based on Communication History and Social Network Characteristics Disclosure Number: IPCOM000176624D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Nov-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Nov-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 63K

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Email signatures are used in almost any email message, and by almost any email user. These signatures serve many goals, such as identifying the sender, providing contact and other information about the sender, showing messages about the sender, etc. Many times, a single email signature is not enough, and we change the messages according to the message we send, the addressee, and according to other reasons as well. Yet, email clients provide a way for a predefinition of only a single default signature. Dynamic signatures for emails exist today, by allowing dynamic content to be part of the signature body. For example by embedding content retrieved from the web (using web links), thus allowing the signature to change according to external attributes retrieved form the web (e.g., presenting a changing quote, facts about the day, etc.). Still, there is no known method to automatically change the signature based on our history, the message itself, the addressee, etc.

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System and Method for Dynamic Email Signatures based on Communication History and Social Network Characteristics

We propose a method to dynamically and automatically choose a signature per email message based on a set of rules or on learning algorithms. The features (or elements) for the rules or for the learning algorithm will be based on history of communication with the recipients of the message and on information about the relationships of the sender with the recipients. The latter information about relationships may be derived from the address book, the organizational chart, but can also make use of existing social network information in other applications, like social networking sites (e.g., Facebook*).

Learning-based decision:
This method allows automatic selection of the signature, based on history of communication. The user will be able change the automatic selection manually to one of the other signatures he has defined.

    We propose that upon sending a message to a certain individual or group, the system will search for previous messages sent for the individual or group, and will make a decision based on the history.

It will take into account these two simple factors:
- The number of times a certain signature was used in a message sent to the individual or group (the more it was used, the higher are the chances it will be chosen).
- The date of usage per message (the more recent the message was, the higher are the chances its signature will be chosen).

    For groups, if there are no previous messages sent to the group, the system can make a decision based on messages sent to similar groups (similar groups are ones that have high member overlap with the original group).

For individuals, if there are no previous messages, the system can make a decision based on messages sent to similar individuals. As similarity measure for individuals, the system can take into account division/company, organizational chart level, and geographic location.

    The system will further learn for each message based on the user decision to retain or change the proposed signature for the message.

Rule-based decision:
This method allows the user more control, but requires more manual involvement: the user will be able to provide a set of rules, based on which a signature for a message will be chosen. The rules will relate to a single person or to a group of people, and will be applied and aggregated according to the group of recipients on the message. The rules can be based on one or more of the following factors:
• Signature manually assigned with an individual or a group
• Number of messages sent to a certain individual or group
• Date of messages sent to an individual or group
• Connectedness with individuals and groups in Social Networking Sites (SNS)
• Organizational chart proximity to an individual
• Organizational level or job description of the individual
• Geographic/division proximity to an indi...