Agent Technology for Personalized Information Filtering: The PIA-System
As today the amount of accessible information is overwhelming, the intelligent and personalized filtering of available information is a main challenge. Additionally, there is a growing need for the seamless mobile and multi-modal system usage throughout the whole day to meet the requirements of the modern society ("anytime, anywhere, anyhow"). A personal information agent that is delivering the right information at the right time by accessing, filtering and presenting information in a situation-aware matter is needed. Applying Agent-technology is promising, because the inherent capabilities of agents like autonomy, pro- and reactiveness offer an adequate approach. We developed an agent-based personal information system called PIA for collecting, filtering, and integrating information at a common point, offering access to the information by WWW, e-mail, SMS, MMS, and J2ME clients. Push and pull techniques are combined allowing the user to search explicitly for specific information on the one hand and to be informed automatically about relevant information divided in pre-, work and recreation slots on the other hand. In the core of the PIA system advanced filtering techniques are deployed through multiple filtering agent communities for content-based and collaborative filtering. Information-extracting agents are constantly gathering new relevant information from a variety of selected sources (internet, files, databases, web-services etc.). A personal agent for each user is managing the individual information provisioning, tailored to the needs of this specific user, knowing the profile, the current situation and learning from feedback.