Information agents gather information autonomously from the Web. The connection between an information agent and the website from which it collects information is “brittle." Frequent change in the look and structure of the website render these agents useless. Agents use scripts developed by professional programmers. These scripts use the underlying HTML tag structure to get information. With change in look and structure of websites, the underlying HTML tag structure changes and the script no longer functions. Reprogramming agents is laborious and requires professional programmers who will not always be available. Compounding these problems above is the need to process information from new websites, which are, of course proliferating by the day. These new pages require users to program new information agents to read them.

To address these problems, this project proposes to involve a user in the design of information agents, with a Programming-by-Demonstration System that novices can employ.

See White Paper


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