An Agent-based Approach for Helping Users of Hand-Held Devices to Browse Software Catalogs

Mena Nieto, Eduardo ; Royo, José Alberto ; Illarramendi, Arantza ; Goñi, Alfredo

01 September 2002

Abstract: Considering the existing tendency toward the use of wireless devices we propose in this paper a new service that helps users of those devices in the (tedious, repetitive and many times costly in terms of communication cost) task of obtaining software from the Web. The goal of the service is twofold: First, to allow users to obtain software by expressing their requirements at a semantic level. For that the service deals with an ontology, specifically created for the service, that contains a semantic description of the software available at different repositories. Second, to guide users in the task of browsing the ontology in order to select the adequate software. The service has been developed using mobile agent technology. A software obtaining process based on adaptive agents, that manage semantic descriptions of available software, presents a qualitative advance with respect to existing solutions where users must know the location and access method of various remote software repositories. In this paper we describe the main elements that take part of the service and some performance results that prove the feasibility of the proposal.

Keyword(s): mobile information agents ; ontologies ; adaptive information agents ; mobile computing ; Distributed Information Systems (SID)

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