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International Journal of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting
Volume 2008, Article ID 712380, 20 pages
Research Article

Acceptance Threshold: A Bidimensional Research Method for User-Oriented Quality Evaluation Studies

1Tampere University of Technology, Human-Centered Technology, P.O. Box 553, 33101 Tampere, Finland
2Nokia Research Center, P.O. Box 1000, 33721 Tampere, Finland

Received 5 March 2008; Accepted 17 July 2008

Academic Editor: Harald Kosch

Copyright © 2008 S. Jumisko-Pyykkö et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Subjective quality evaluation is widely used to optimize system performance as a part of end-products. It is often desirable to know whether a certain system performance is acceptable, that is, whether the system reaches the minimum level to satisfy user expectations and needs. The goal of this paper is to examine research methods for assessing overall acceptance of quality in subjective quality evaluation methods. We conducted three experiments to develop our methodology and test its validity under heterogeneous stimuli in the context of mobile television. The first experiment examined the possibilities of using a simplified continuous assessment method for assessing overall acceptability. The second experiment explored the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable quality when the stimuli had clearly detectable differences. The third experiment compared the perceived quality impacts of small differences between the stimuli close to the threshold of acceptability. On the basis of our results, we recommend using a bidimensional retrospective measure combining acceptance and satisfaction in consumer-/user-oriented quality evaluation experiments.