Research Areas

Natural language processing

Subdomain vocabularies


Intelligent EVM agent help

What is an "Entry Vocabulary Module"?

What is an "Intelligent Agent"?

What is the architecture of the EVMs system?

How to use the EVMs system?

What is an "Entry Vocabulary Module"?

Searching is likely to be effective and efficient only if the searcher is familiar with the terms used in the classification, categorizing, and indexing schemes (metadata vocabularies) being searched. Therefore, it is obviously beneficial to provide a mapping between the user's ordinary language and the metadata vocabularies of the unfamiliar database in order to diminish any lack of familiarity.

An "Entry Vocabulary Modules" provides associations between the user's ordinary language to domain-specific technical metadata vocabulary with which the user would begin a search.

The process of creating an entry vocabulary module is one of Bayesian inference, wherein sufficient training data (consisting of document texts) are downloaded (using the Z39.50 protocol for efficiency) from a document database to provide a probabilistic matching between ordinary language terms and the specific metadata vocabulary which have been used to organize the data.

Developing the entry vocabulary utilizes both natural language processing modules [Kim and Norgard 1998] as well as statistical techniques to identify noun phrases (e.g. `color laser printer') and individual words to map to specialized classification.


What is an "Intelligent Agent"?
Since 1990, intelligent agents have been broadly used in complex, dynamic, and
open applications such as production planning, robotics, and increasingly, in
searching the Internet. However, there is no conclusive definition of intelligent
agents. According to the Artificial Intelligence point of view, an intelligent agent
is a hardware or (more usually) software-based computer system that has the following properties: (Wooldridge and Jennings 1995)

1. Autonomy:
Agents work on their own without direct interventions of humans or others.

2. Social ability:
Agents interact with each other using an agent communication language.

3. Reactivity:
Agents perceive their environment and respond in a timely manner.

4. Pro-activeness:
Agents are goal-oriented.

For other definitions of intelligent agents, see Franklin and Grasser (1996) and
Haverkamp and Gauch (1998).

To reduce communication cost as well as system workload, the EVMs system design utilizes a federated system [see internal architecture] consisting of multiple interacting agents which "divide and conquer" the entry vocabulary technology tasks. They range from builder agents which create association from training records downloaded by data retrieval agents and prepared by cleaner agents.

Desktop agents and domain agents help the user to define domain
of interest and deploy the created association dictionaries. Proposed planner/optimizer agents schedule and re-schedule record downloading tasks in an optimal way.


What is the architecture of EVMs system?

Running on a UNIX platform, the EVMs system is implemented in the conventional TCP/IP client-server environment.

The user accesses the EVMs system from Java/Javascript-enabled or standard Web browsers such a Netscape navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer from URL:, and the Web server initiates a session (channel) between the user and the EVMs system via a Common Gateway Interface (CGI).

The external architecture of the EVMs system design is shown in [external architecture] and the internal architecture of the EVMs system is shown in [internal architecture].


How to use the EVMs system?

For a first-time user, the EVMs system will invites you to create your personal profile that includes your email address, your preferred PIN (personal identification number), and your operational preference such as time-out settings and operation rules. [first-time user]

Once you create your profile, the EVMs system will send you a confirmation letter by email. Since then, you are upgraded to a returned user, and you are requested to enter you PIN next time you come back to the EVMs system. [returned user]

When you go to the main page either as a first-time user or a returned user, the EVMs system will prompt you six options. They are:

1. Create a new association dictionary.
Make an association dictionary to narrow down your scope of interest. When the resulting association dictionary is ready, the EVMs system will put it into your personal achieve of dictionaries and notify you by email.

2. Retrieve personal archive of dictionaries.

3. Change your personal profile (email address, PIN, and operational preference)

4. Check agent status.
This link allows to you check the status of intelligent agents. Agents having a light-green moving bar in life energy are active. That is, they are currently working on the EVMs Web server to finish your request. On the contrary, agents with a dead, dark-gray bar in life energy are inactive at this moment.

5. Check online help (return to this page).

6. Go to home page.


For further help, please contact


Intelligent EVM agent

Access to numeric databases

Evaluation methods

Cross-language retrieval

Grant Supported
Research Projects

DARPA Projects
   Unfamiliar Metadata

TIDES Translingual

IMLS Projects


Entry Vocabulary

Papers & Reports

available by:



Research Area

Research Grant

Related Web Sites

available by:
Research Area

Research Grant

Last Update: 11-Jul-2001