Autonomous Web Agents
Supervisor: Alexander Kurz (ak155)
Enthusiasm for an application area of your choice. Good programming skills. Knowledge of Linux.
Aims of Project
Due to the increasing amount of information available in the world wide web, there is a need for software that assists the user by autonomously performing routine (and more sophisticated) information retrieval. One of the difficulties comes from the fact that there is not a unique standard for data in the WWW. Another point is that the agents should not only search for information, but evaluate it, take autonomous actions, and notify the user only in cases of interest (which would, ideally, include learning mechanisms to continuously adapt to the users preferences extracted e.g. from the user's browsing behaviour). A simple application would be an agent that maintains a list of authors, checks their homepages for new publications, and downloads them. One refinement would be that the agent extracts an abstract or keywords and presents them to the user before downloading. More advanced agents should also be able to learn and adapt to user behaviour. For example, the agent could monitor the browsing behaviour of its user and automatically update the list of authors to be checked. Other applications could be to check stock market prices (and perhaps even do trading); to scan news (or other kind of) sources and extract useful information; a travel agent that find cheapest flights; etc.
- Research into web agents.
- Learn how to program simple agents.
- Implement a more advanced example along the lines of the one presented above.
Challenges presented by the project
Challenges vary with the particular application chosen.
The student will understanding notions such as semantic web, web-services, ontologies, intelligent web agents and have an idea of the future of the world wide web.
Nature of End-Product
A program that is able to perform automatic information retrieval in the WWW, specialised to some specific application area of your choice.
See 1 and 2 above.
See 3 above.