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Agent-Based Document Retrieval for the European Physicists: A Project Overview

Uwe Borghoff, Eberhard Hilf, Remo Pareschi, Thomas Severiens, Heinrich Stamerjohanns, Jutta Willamowski
Today in physics, more and more scientific documents are prepared electronically, are posted and archived. At the same time, an increasing number of heterogeneous Web-servers are dedicated to hosting such archives. While this trend makes available more relevant scientific information, it also complicates the task of finding, retrieving, processing and printing scientific documents. As a consequence physicists could benefit from an efficient user-friendly tool that integrates functionalities for document retrieval and distribution. In this paper, we present a solution to this problem. Our approach links two systems together: an agent-based search engine for document retrieval and a printing-on-demand service that handles printing, binding and shipping of retrieved documents to readers who request them. We discuss a prototype already available that enables document retrieval from a number of Web servers, including the global network of physics preprints, set up by P. Ginsparg, and the PhysDoc broker which integrates 1000 distributed European Web-servers maintained by local physics departments. Although our motivation is the physics community, it goes without saying that the ideas and issues of this project apply in general.
Proc. 2nd Int. Conf. on the Practical Application of Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Technology (PAAM '97), April 21-23, 1997, London, U.K., pp. 271-285


project-overview.pdf (237.58 kB)