Mixed-Initiative, Multi-Source Information Assistants next up previous
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WWW10, May 1-5, 2001, Hong Kong.
ACM 1-58113-348-0/01/0005
Copyright is held by the author/owner.

Mixed-Initiative, Multi-Source Information Assistants

Craig A. Knoblock (*)
Univ. of Southern California
Steven Minton
Fetch Technologies
José Luis Ambite
Univ. of Southern California
Maria Muslea
Univ. of Southern California
Jean Oh
Univ. of Southern California
Martin Frank
Univ. of Southern California


While the information resources on the Web are vast, the sources are often hard to find, painful to use, and difficult to integrate. We have developed the Heracles framework for building Web-based information assistants. This framework provides the infrastructure to rapidly construct new applications that extract information from multiple Web sources and interactively integrate the data using a dynamic, hierarchical constraint network. This paper describes the core technologies that comprise the framework, including information extraction, hierarchical template representation, and constraint propagation. In addition, we present an application of this framework, the Travel Assistant, which is an interactive travel planning system. We also briefly describe our experience using the same framework to build a second application, the WorldInfo Assistant, which extracts and integrates geographic-related data about countries thorughout the world. We believe these types of information assistants provide a significant step forward in fully exploiting the information available on the Internet.

(*) Mailing address:
Univ. of Southern California
Information Sciences Institute
4676 Admiralty Way,
Marina del Rey,
CA 90292-6601, USA

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Next: Introduction
Jose-Luis Ambite 2001-02-17