SERGEANT

SERGEANT: A framework for building more flexible web agents by exploiting a search engine. With the rapid growth of the World Wide Web, there is growing interest in developing web agents that interact with online services to acquire information. However, finding the online services perfectly suited for a given task is not always feasible. First, the agents might not be given sufficient information to fill in the required input fields for querying an online service. Second, the online service might generate only partial information. Third, the agents might need to know the information about B by some input set A, but they can only find the online services that generate A from B. Fourth, most of the online services do not tolerate errors in the inputs, thus even a minor typo in the input field can hinder them from generating any meaningful results. This paper proposes SERGEANT, a framework for building flexible web agents that handle these imperfect situations. In this framework we exploit an information retrieval (IR) system as a general discovery tool to assist finding and pruning information. To demonstrate SERGEANT, we implemented two web agents: the Internet inverse geocoder and the address lookup module. Our experiments show that these agents are capable of generating high-quality results under imperfect situations.

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  1. Lin, Shou-de; Knoblock, Craig A.: SERGEANT: A framework for building more flexible web agents by exploiting a search engine (2005) ioport