It is desired (especially for young people) to shop for the same or similar products shown in the multimedia contents (such as online TV programs). This indicates an urgent demand for improving the experience of TV-to-Online (T2O). In this paper, a transfer learning approach as well as a prototype system for effortless T2O experience is developed. In the system, a key component is high-precision product search, which is to fulfill exact matching between a query item and the database ones. The matching performance primarily relies on distance estimation, but the data characteristics cannot be well modeled and exploited by a simple Euclidean distance. This motivates us to introduce distance metric learning (DML) for improving the distance estimation. However, in traditional DML methods, the side information (such as the similar/dissimilar constraints or relevance/irrelevance judgements) in the target domain is leveraged. These methods may fail due to limited side information. Fortunately, this issue can be alleviated by utilizing transfer metric learning (TML) to exploit information from other related domains. In this paper, a novel manifold regularized heterogeneous multitask metric learning framework is proposed, in which each domain is treated equally. The proposed approach allows us to simultaneously exploit the information from other domains and the unlabeled information. Furthermore, the ranking-based loss is adopted to make our model more appropriate for search. Experiments on two challenging real-world datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. This TML approach is expected to impact the transformation of the emerging T2O trend in both TV and online video domains.
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