WebMate, a personal digital assistant, is a promising solution to the problem of finding useful information among a sea of texts and other web documents. By accompanying users as they browse the Internet, the WebMate agent:

  • Provides URL recommendations based on a continuously updated user profile;

  • Offers ever more relevant web documents based on the "Trigger Pairs Model" approach to keyword refinement;
  • Responds to user feedback by selecting features from documents the user finds relevant and incorporating these features into the context of new queries;
  • Compiles a daily personal newspaper with links to documents of interest to the user.

The WebMate architecture consists of a stand-alone proxy that monitors the user's actions to provide information for learning and search refinement, and an applet controller that interacts with the user. Click the icon below for a graphic representation of the WebMate architecture:

The stand-alone component is an HTTP proxy that sits between a user's web browser and the Internet. All HTTP transactions pass through the WebMate agent, where they can be monitored and used as aids in agent learning. The applet controller is the interface between the user and the stand-alone proxy. Through it, the user expresses personal browsing preferences and provides relevance feedback to the WebMate agent.

Robotics Institute Project Page

See the WebMate website.

For more information on the WebMate personal agent, see the following publications:

  • Chen, L. and Sycara, K., "WebMate: A Personal Agent for Browsing and Searching." Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems, AGENTS '98, ACM, May 1998, pp. 132 - 139. [Abstract] Download: in pdf, ps.gz
  • K. Decker, K. Sycara, A. Pannu, and M. Williamson. Designing Behaviors for Information Agents. In Proceedings of the First International Conference on Autonomous Agents (AGENTS-97), Feb-97. (in pdf)
  • K. Sycara, K. Decker, A. Pannu, M. Williamson, and D. Zeng. Distributed Intelligent Agents. IEEE Expert, Dec-96. (in pdf)

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