Publication - Resource-Bounded Searches in an Information Marketplace

Authors: Lesser, Victor; Horling, Bryan; Raja, Anita; Wagner, Thomas; Zhang, Xiaoqin
Title: Resource-Bounded Searches in an Information Marketplace
Abstract: Advances in information retrieval (IR) technologies have led to the development of such tools as AltaVista and Google, which give information seekers a starting point for their searches. However, in many cases, manual browsing through even a limited portion of the relevant information is no longer effective. The problem originates not in the IR technologies, but rather in the volumes of information available via the Web and the generality of the term-frequency approach to searches. For any given query, there are often simply too many relevant documents for the human client to process the information efficiently. 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. The BIG system and its performance are well documented.1,2We give a brief overview of how it works in the sidebar on p. 51, “BIG Agent Architecture and Information-Gathering Scenario,” but our focus here 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.
Keywords: BIG, Distributed Search, Information Retrieval, Resource Bounded
Publication: IEEE Internet Computing: Agents on the Net, Vol: 4, Num: 2, pp. 49 - 57
Publisher: IEEE Computer Society Publications
Date: March 2000
Sources: HTML: /Documents/Lesser_IEEE_Internet00.pdf
Reference: Lesser, Victor; Horling, Bryan; Raja, Anita; Wagner, Thomas; Zhang, Xiaoqin. Resource-Bounded Searches in an Information Marketplace. IEEE Internet Computing: Agents on the Net, Volume 4, Number 2, IEEE Computer Society Publications, pp. 49-57. March 2000.
  author    = "Victor Lesser and Bryan Horling and Anita Raja and
               Thomas Wagner and Xiaoqin Zhang",
  title     = "{Resource-Bounded Searches in an Information
  journal   = "IEEE Internet Computing: Agents on the Net",
  volume    = "4",
  number    = "2",
  publisher = "IEEE Computer Society Publications",
  pages     = "49-57",
  month     = "March",
  year      = "2000",
  url       = "",