Uwe Borghoff, Remo Pareschi, Harold Karch, Martina Nohmeier, Hans Schlichter
Proc. of the 1st Intl. Conf. on the Practical Applications of Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Technology (PAAM'96), April 22-24, 1996, London (U.K.), pp. 45-59
The Internet and the World-Wide Web (WWW) are revolutionizing knowledge exchange by linking
heterogeneous information repositories into a kind of gigantic world-wide digital library. Yet up until now,
knowledge management on the WWW has mainly been provided by navigation tools like Mosaic and
Netscape, and by engines like Alta Vista, Lycos and Yahoo which support navigation by automating the
search for user-relevant WWW sites. The simplicity of this paradigm has been the key to the initial success
of the Web infrastructure but now falls short of more complex applications needed by an ever-growing
community of users. Prominent among these needs is flexible information gathering from multiple knowledge
sources to ad-hocratically serve the requests of specific user groups. For instance, Network Publication
Systems (NPS) for large organizations need flexible integration of enquiry information like Who's Who services
and tables of contents of journals with E-print archival material, as well as flexible adaptation of local query
services. Agent technology can provide the right answer to these demands. In this paper, we describe
agent-based information gathering on the WWW in the context of a NPS for the European Physicist Society.
In our approach, we exploit constraints to implement information gathering with maximal flexibility.
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