A user profile is a visual display of personal data associated with a specific user, or a customized desktop environment. A profile refers therefore to the explicit digital representation of a person's identity. A user profile can also be considered as the computer representation of a user model. A user model is a (data) structure that is used to capture certain characteristics about an individual user, and the process of obtaining the user profile is called user modeling or profiling.
A profile can be used to store the description of the characteristics of a person. This information can be exploited by systems taking into account the persons' characteristics and preferences.
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