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Web Agent Support Program

eind rapportage 2003

NWO Project: 612-60-003 ( proposal)
Contact: A. Eliëns
see the WASP of Zhisheng Huang, for the DLP+VRML prototype

WASP activities

In the WASP project we have developed a platform for intelligent multimedia, which supports both client-side and server-side agents, that merges high-level programming facilities for intelligent agents with powerful presentation facilities in rich media 3D space. Our platform is based on distributed logic programming and VRML/X3D. The DLP+X3D platform has been used to develop a number of demonstrators, including a multi-user soccer game and animation of humanoids, which have been shown at the second ICT Kenniscongres.



The project concerns the development of Web Agent Support to enable average users to keep track of relevant information on the Web.

In a relatively short time, the Web has become a de facto standard for the dissemination and retrieval of information. Due to the exponential growth of the Web and the information it provides, finding relevant information has become more and more difficult. In particular, browsing is in most cases no longer appropriate for the user searching for specific information.

It is our view that, in the near future, access to the Web will increasingly be mediated by intelligent helper applications, software agents, that assist the user in finding relevant and interesting information. The goal of our project WASP is to provide support for developing such agents.

By combining our joint expertise, we plan to develop a framework that encompasses modeling aspects as well as the realization of software assistants for intelligent Web access. As testified by the references, our expertise covers

  • the realization of Web-aware applications,
  • client- and server-side support for information retrieval and information maintenance, and
  • modeling and specification of cooperative agents in a multi-agent framework.
Combining our experience and the technology that resulted from our previous research activities enables us to develop a practical framework for designing and implementing intelligent Web agents and to tackle the research issues involved in the definition and realization of personal software assistents that help the average user to disentangle the complexities of the Web.

The project is envisaged to result in a framework providing support for:

  • intelligent navigation and information retrieval,
  • information and document maintenance,
  • user interfaces for Web-aware applications,
  • dynamic documents with user-defined applets,
  • declarative descriptions of agent-behavior based on user-preferences,
  • declarative modeling of coordinated and cooperative behavior of software agents, and
  • programming single and multi-agent systems.
As a target product for the WASP project, which allows us to demonstrate our results to the scientific community and other interested parties, we envisage to develop Pamela (Personal Assistant for Maintaining Electronic Archives), an application combining the functional and architectural features mentioned above.


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WASP publications

Zhisheng Huang, Anton Eliëns, Alex van Ballegooij, Paul De Bra, A Taxonomy of Web Agents, IEEE Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Web Agent Systems and Applications (WASA '2000), 2000.
Cees Visser, Anton Eliëns, A High-Level Symbolic Language for Distributed Web Programming, Internet Computing 2000, June 26-29, Las Vegas
Zhisheng Huang, Anton Eliëns, and Paul De Bra, An Architecture for Web Agents, Proceedings of the Conference EUROMEDIA 2001, 2001.
Zhisheng Huang, Anton Eliëns, and Cees Visser, Programmability of Intelligent Agent Avatars, Proc. of the Agent'01 Workshop on Embodied Agents, June 2001, Montreal, Canada
Zhisheng Huang, Anton Eliëns, and Cees Visser, Programmability of Intelligent Agent Avatars (extended abstract), In: Proceedings of the BNAIC2001, pp. 397-398
Zhisheng Huang, Anton Eliëns, and Cees Visser, 3D Agent-based Virtual Communities, Proc. Web3D 2002 Conference, Tempe Arizona, M. Beitler (ed.) ACM Press, pp. 137-144
Anton Eliëns, Zhisheng Huang, and Cees Visser, A platform for Embodied Conversational Agents based on Distributed Logic Programming, AAMAS Workshop -- Embodied conversational agents - let's specify and evaluate them!, Bologna 16 july 2002
Zhisheng Huang, Anton Eliëns, and Cees Visser, STEP -- a scripting language for Embodied Agents, PRICAI-02 Workshop -- Lifelike Animated Agents: Tools, Affective Functions, and Applications, Tokyo 19 august 2002
Zhisheng Huang, Anton Eliëns, and Cees Visser , Implementation of a scripting language for VRML/X3D-based embodied agents, Proc. Web3D 2003 Symposium, Saint Malo France, S. Spencer (ed.) ACM Press, pp. 91-100

WASP presentations

Zhisheng Huang, Anton Eliëns, Cees Visser, Programmability of Intelligent Agent Avatars, Social User Interfaces Seminar, CWI, 15 febr 2001
Zhisheng Huang, Anton Eliëns, Cees Visser, 3D Web Agents in Distributed Logic Programming, Symposium on Multimodal Communication with Embodied Agents, December 7, 2001, CWI,
Anton Eliëns, Intelligent Multimedia, SIKS AiO Course on Interactive Systems, 14/05/02, Driebergen

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