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intelligent discovery agents

On Fri, 6 Jan 1995 Nesta Stubbs <[email protected]> wrote:

>> There was some recent talk about network agent technology on this list.
> does anynoe have any information about intelligent agents?  I mean I know 
> about filter and stuff, but they arent intelligent agents.  I assume one 
> would be something like the WWW worm and other searching scripts that 
> have a database of information to cross-reference their finds and decide 
> what to send back to you.  

You might want to check out Brian LaMacchia's Ph.D. proposal to create
a new class of knowbot, to be termed "Internet Fish".  It is posted on 

LaMacchia's proposal is interesting in that his 'fish' seem to have 
limited autonomy, thus moving us closer to a content-addressable model
of net info retrieval.

Also of interest is RFC 1728: Resource Transponders, by C. Weider.  The
idea is that there should be meta-information (information about 
information) available for use by info retrieval programs like 'archie'.  
From ftp://nic.ddn.mil/rfc/rfc1728.txt

The following is extracted from LaMacchia's abstract:

> We will design, implement and deploy a system for constructing
> ``Internet Fish,'' a new type of resource discovery tool.  Internet
> Fish attempt to discover new sources of information related to a
> particular topic; characteristics that describe the topic of interest
> may be specified by the user or deduced by the Fish over the course of
> time.  As part of the information-gathering process Fish conduct
> long-term conversations with users; these conversations permit Fish to
> ask for human assistance when necessary and allow humans to
> dynamically reallocate Fish resources.  In addition, Fish facilitate
> *serendipitous* resource discovery; that is, the act of finding
> interesting information in an unexpected place or manner, information
> that we were ``lucky'' to have discovered.