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Resource bounded searches in an information marketplace

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5 Author(s)
Lesser, V. ; Massachusetts Univ., Amherst, MA, USA ; Horling, B. ; Rja, A. ; Xiaoqin Zhang
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Over the past five years, we have been developing a Web-based, resource-bounded, information-gathering agent-called BIG, for Bounded Information Gathering-to support a human decision process. Although its techniques are general enough to apply to a wide range of domains, BIG specifically helps clients pick software packages. For example, a client can instruct BIG to recommend a database package for Windows 98 and specify constraints on both the search process and the product characteristics. BIG will then formulate a plan, locate and extract relevant information from both structured and unstructured documents, and return a recommendation to the client, along with supporting data. Our focus is on a recently developed capability, namely, to schedule information-gathering activity in a way that controls the money spent on acquiring information from sites that charge a fee for access. This capability supports an information marketplace on the Web, which we feel will eventually supersede (but obviously not completely replace) the current model of free information access supported by advertising fees

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 2 )