Agents for the Web ??

Yezdi Lashkari <>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 1994 17:20:31 --100
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From: Yezdi Lashkari <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Agents for the Web ?? 
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  Hello everyone. Our group at the Media Laboratory builds
  autonomous interface agents for various classes of 
  applications that use machine learning and AI techniques
  to learn their users patterns and take actions autonomously
  on their behalf after a point. We've successfully built agents
  for a variety of applications such as netnews, email etc.
  We are seriously exploring the possibility of an agent for
  WWW/Mosaic. The problem with the WWW is that new exciting
  information comes into existence almost every day all over
  the world. Some of it may be potentially interesting to 
  one. What we'd like is to embed an agent in one's favourite
  WWW browser that learns what types of documents its user finds
  interesting, contacts other users' agents over the net and 
  asks them to recommend new stuff they've discovered. Over time
  agents learn which agents to trust and which not to, for different
  classes of documents. Agents may also recommend peers or forward 
  URLs proactively to other agents that they feel may be interested.
  Note that mapping the web is not the solution as
  - the map is probably out of date pretty soon
  - resource limitations probably prevent it being comphrehensive
  - browsing through a massive database of www stats is really not
    a solution to our problem
  What we want is a distributed form of collaborative filtering for
  all the dynamic information out there on the Web. In addition we
  plan to combine this with a form of social filtering for groups
  of peers and URLs which is very effective for non text documents.
  Does anyone know of any work in this area ? I'd really like pointers
  to any work that people know about vis-a-vis the Web/Mosaic and for
  this sort of task. I also welcome comments/critiques on the proposed
  approach's feasibility/performance/scalability etc.
  thanks in advance