The Intelligent Software Agents Lab,
The Robotics Institute,
Carnegie Mellon University

Michael Rectenwald, Writer:, 412-268-5922

November, 2001.

Intelligent Software Agents Lab Develops Web-Reading RETSINA "Calendar Agent"


The World Wide Web was initially seen as a distributed infosphere that supported seamless human navigation through linked documents. This concept of the web is currently being superceded by the vision of a "web of services," wherein automated software will do much of the work now undertaken by human users of the web, while accomplishing many tasks that humans do not now undertake.

The Intelligent Software Agents Lab has demonstrated that machine-aided navigation, information retrieval, and knowledge comprehension can be accomplished by means of RDF (Resource Description Framework--a mode of encoding ontological relationships between concepts), as expressed in a machine readable mark-up language (XML), thus allowing for automated reasoning by intelligent software agents.

Machine-readable webpages allow software agents--autonomous, intelligent, collaborative, adaptive computational entities--to read and reason about published knowledge, without the need for webpage scrapers, information agents, or centralized hierarchical-relational dictionaries (ontologies).

The Lab has developed its Calendar Agent to demonstrate this dramatic potential for the web and information processing in general. With RDF-XML structured web pages, the RETSINA Calendar Agent, a distributed meeting scheduling agent, navigates semantic web content to gather and reason about events and schedules. On the basis of knowledge about a published general schedule (such as a conference schedule), the user's own appointments, and the schedules of other users, the Calendar Agent can automatically schedule appointments most convenient for the user, suggest alternative schedules, and interact with the calendars of other users.

A demonstration of the Calender Agent is available via the web, and can be made available to interested reporters, upon request.

Carnegie Mellonís Intelligent Software Agents Lab leads the world in agent technology, solving problems that others are only beginning to take note of, and applying that technology to multiple domains. We welcome you and/or members of your writing staff to come and experience demonstrations of our software agent technology and several of its applications.

The Intelligent Software Agents Lab, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 15213†† Phone: 412-268-5922