Information Integration Agents: BargainFinder and NewsFinder

Bruce Krulwich

This paper presents a class of intelligent agents called Information Integration Agents. These agents are particularly well suited to application on the Internet, and can be used to satisfy a wide range of needs. We discuss two prototype Information Integration Agents that have been deployed on the Internet. One, the BargainFinder agent, has been active for over 9 months amidst considerable interest from Internet users and the mass media. BargainFinder performs comparison price shopping among a number of on-line CD stores. The second, the NewsFinder agent, is currently being tested internally. NewsFinder retrieves on-line news articles, matches them against user profiles, and transmits them via portable ubiquitous displays (currently alphanumeric pagers). We discuss these agents and the class of Information Integration Agents in general, and conjecture that agents of this sort will be extremely valuable to a broad spectrum of Internet users.


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