2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base


^ 2.7 Information Agents With the abundance of digital information on the Web, there is an increasing effort aiming at using intelligent software assistants to effectively manage such information and transform it into useful knowledge 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base in the right form for the right peron at the right time and situation. Information agents are intelligent pieces of software which can automatically search for information on the Web (X 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base.Gao, Victoria Univ. Of Wellington, New Zealand). They are characterised by their capability to extract information from multiplke web sites, i.e. to transfer important amount of information to structured data so that 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base more accurarte search can be carried out
An example is the Twente Univ., Enschede, Netherlands, where a system prototype called agent-based information management system (AIMS) has been implemented. It is 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base a task-based information and performance support system with an underlying agent-oriented architecture. Several pilot experiments are being performed within web-based courses in Dutch and Belgian universities to evaluate the system.


Another 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base example is the Institute of Computing, Human Normal University, Changsha, China, where a protosystem of distance instruction system was built making use of the technique of intelligent agent-based expert 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base system

Analysing the solutions in some more depth, it can be found, that currently four different technologies are under development: a). 3D visualization of the Web structure b). building mobile intelligent agents based 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base on anytime migration, enabling backtracking to continue across different hosts Mobile agents are programs that can migrate from one computer to another computer in a network, based on their own decisions. Anytime migration enables agents 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base to reactively and autonomously migrate from one computer to another. The Nagoya Institute of Technology (Japan) implemented a Java-based framework for building mobile agents: MiLog (Mobile intelligent agent using 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base Logic programming). MiLog helps users to effectively construct intelligent mechanisms. Practical applications are:





c). constructing agents by constructing knowledge bases

The Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand introduced a knowledge-based approach to support the generation and adaption 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base of information agents The knowledge for guiding information extraction is saved in the knowledge base of the agent and the information extraction process is coded as an inference engine.


Also, the 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base Center for Automated Learning and Discovery, Carnegie Mellon University is aiming at the development of knowledge-based software assistants (e.g., travel agents) that use the web as their underlying knowledge base, and 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base new approaches to datamining in which current databases are augmented by factual information extracted from the web and online newsfeeds. The CMU approach is to develop machine learning algorithms that can 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base be trained to automatically extract information by browsing the web. The user first defines the classes (e.g., companies, products, employees) and relations (e.g., employed-by) to be extracted, and provides training 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base examples of these from the web. The system then uses this training data to learn general information extraction procedures that it uses to extract information from additional web pages. In particular, the 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base CMU has developed a number of learning algorithms for this task, including statistical bag-of-words classifiers for web pages, first-order rule learning algorithms, and grammatical inference algorithms that learn to 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base identify relevant subfields of text within a document. They have demonstrated that these methods can learn to extract facts about university faculty, students, courses, and research projects, with a precision of 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base approximately 70% and coverage of approximately 30%. Their current research seeks to improve accuracy by employing linguistic analysis of text, hierarchies of classes and relations, and algorithms that learn from a combination of labeled and 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base unlabeled training data. They are also beginning to explore uses of this extracted information. For example, they would like to provide an expert referral agent that accepts a text description of a research 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base or development project, then locates the most expert individual on the web to serve as a consultant for this project.


^ 2.8 Expert systems in ODL


2.8.1 General

The terms artificial intelligence and expert 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base system are sometimes used synonymously. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a generic term which covers a very broad range of computer applications that mimic human intelligence and/or behavior. One of the major elements 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base in any AI system is the ability to reason. This reasoning ability is central to one of the major branches of AI, expert systems.


Expert systems range in scale from 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base simple rule-based systems with flat data to very large scale, integrated developments taking many person-years to develop. They typically have a set of if-then rules which forms the knowledge base, and 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base a dedicated inference engine, which provides the execution mechanism. This contrasts to conventional programs where domain knowledge and execution control are closely intertwined such that the knowledge is implicitly stored in 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base the program. This explicit separation of the knowledge from the control mechanism makes it easier to examine knowledge, incorporate new knowledge and modify existing knowledge.

Expert systems make it possible to capture the knowledge 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base of a human expert in a computerized knowledge base. The knowledge base consists of data and rules for processing that data. The expert system performs analysis and reaches conclusions 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base by running the knowledge base through an inference engine. The inference engine is the processing (or ”reasoning”) element of the expert system. A well-designed system enables users to get sound solutions 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base to complex problems without recourse to a human expert.


The development of Expert System technology seems to follow a mathematic function – exhibiting steeply graduated growth in the early days, and slowly levelling 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base to a relatively linear progressive growth today. Today, the technology is very similar to that used twenty years ago.


2.8.2 Definitions

For the purpose of our study we adopt the following expert system definitions:


^ Expert system 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base.

A domain specific knowledge base combined with an inference engine that processes knowledge encoded in the knowledge base to respond to a user's request for advice.


Expert system shell.

A suite 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base of software that allows construction of a knowledge base and interaction with this knowledge base through use of an inference engine.


An expert system is a computer program that provides 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base expert advice, decisions, or recommended solutions for a given situation. Expert systems are designed to capture the non-numeric knowledge and reasoning methods that are not easily represented in traditional computing approaches. Expert 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base systems extend the boundary of what can be automated to include tasks that require non-numeric reasoning, symbolic processing and problem solving. Expert systems can be accessed by many people; are capable 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base of representing knowledge that may reside with persons who are retiring; can be used to preprocess information to increase experts' throughput; can be used to gain access to expertise immediately, round the 2.7 Information Agents - Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base clock; and any other number of operational reasons.


In operation, expert systems can fill a number of functions:




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