The Application of Interface Agent Technology for Personalized information Filtering: The Case of Ilrialerts

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Addis Ababa University


Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) service is one of the personalised information filtering method of delivering cutTent infOlmation based on predefined user profile. However, this service has been found to be one of the resource-intensive and time-consuming both for the service provider and the user. Particularly, in developing countries, it is one of the rarely implemented information service components. User profile is fundamental to information filtering in SDI systems. However, as prevIous studies have repeatedly stated, the creation and maintenance of users profiles is the most difficult area. This thesis research investigated into the SDI user profi le updating problem domain with particular emphasis to the application of interface agent technologies. Towards addressing the stated problem, the sm user profile has been studied by taking a case SDI system known as ILRIAlerts of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa. This has helped to investigate the various approaches and methods that agent technology can be applied in improving information filtering in SDI systems. Literature reviews showed that this technology has already been employed in similar systems, particularly in using the Internet information resources. Based on these findings, agent-oriented modeling of the information filtering process of the SDI system through methods and procedures for updating the user profile has been investigated and some of the basic methods and procedures proposed have been demonstrated by developing a prototype agent. Applying this agent, some small-scale tests have been made on the performance of the proposed methods taking few test data from ILRIAlerts users feedback records. The prototype and tests have indicated the applicability of using agent methods to SDr information fi ltering problems.