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WorldFlash
Intra CPS™

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Enterprise Case Study #1

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Proprietary Technology -- WorldFlash Intra CPS™ Proprietary Technology -- WorldFlash Intra CPS™
"Intelligent agents are software entities that carry out some set
of operations on behalf of a user, with a degree of independence
or autonomy, and in so doing, employ some knowledge or
representation of the user's goals or desires."
IBM -- Intelligent agent definition


[client-side technology keeps the end-user in the center]

WorldFlash Software is the proprietary owner and developer of the advanced TimerAgent technology, which has been internally developed through a set of programs that use the latest communication protocols. Combined with expert-system technology, the result is an Intelligent agent platform that provides an advanced, yet user friendly method for retrieving and delivering relevant, real-time information in regular intervals from a large number of programmable sources. It automates the process of communication of dynamic information through sophisticated parsing techniques that can map and analyze the structure of a web-enabled page. The resulting software is customized to work quietly and relentlessly, seamlessly communicating with various servers and databases to deliver dynamic information. Our agent executes repetitive (programmable) tasks systematically, freeing users to focus on productive daily activities. The agent is smart enough to know what type of information it is looking for and the results are tailored to individual specifications. Completing the communication loop, the agent utilizes its data-mining capabilities to provide a cutting-edge information delivery structure, as well as user behavior prediction models.

Software agents are, by definition a program, but a program must measure up to several marks to qualify as an agent.

Agent Properties
PropertyMeaning
Reactive (sensing and acting) responds in a timely fashion to changes in the environment
Autonomous exercises control over its own actions
Goal-oriented (pro-active purposeful) does not simply act in response to the environment
Temporally continuous is a continuously running process
Communicative communicates with other agents
Learning/adaptive changes its behavior based on its previous experience
Mobile able to transport itself from one machine to another
Flexible actions are not entirely pre-scripted
Personalization user controls the content, function and appearance
Personality/Natural Language agent communicates with the user in a "natural" language (e.g. chatterbot)

Agents may be usefully classified according to the subset of these properties that they enjoy. Every agent, by our definition, satisfies the first four properties. Adding other properties produces potentially useful classes of agents, for example, mobile, learning agents. Thus a hierarchical classification based on set inclusion occurs naturally.

Our Intelligent Agent technology meets all the pre-qualifications that are defined to distinguish an Intelligent Agent from a regular Software program. Our Intelligent Agent "knows" how to monitor the Web for specified information formats in regular programmable intervals, and deliver the data back in a customized manner to the requesting desktop/network. Our agent executes repetitive (programmable) tasks systematically, freeing users to focus on productive activities. In other words, the agent can be programmed to go in regular intervals to multiple information databases i.e., content sites, and inform the user of new relevant information. The agent is smart enough to know what type of information it is looking for and the results are tailored to individual specifications.

Agents also learn about the requesting user, utilizing data mining capabilities to provide a cutting edge information delivery structure, as well as user behavior prediction models that are applied to E-commerce, marketing and advertising campaigns. Data is viewed seconds after its posting and is delivered with consideration to bandwidth, availability of CPU and desktop real estate space.

Agents must be adept at interoperating with any and all technology standards, including those yet to be developed. Currently the WorldFlash platform supports Dynamic HTML (via JSP, Vignette StoryServer or one- off solutions) and XML. XML is used by some content providers to normalize the output side of an agent's request for data. Agents can generally be "trained" to parse structured information originating from any of the Internet's common transportation protocols (HTTP, FTP, POP3, NNTP, etc). Since XML is a text format it falls into one or more of these categories.

In addition to being fluent in all major Internet languages, a successful client-side agent must be designed with the target OS in mind. In this case the Windows versions were chosen for development first because of the maturity of the available tools and developer support, not to mention the excellent penetration the platform has obtained with the Internet- using population. Since the release of Windows 95, the Win32 API has been the standard method of creating efficient, smooth-running client programs. Many RAD systems have been built upon Win32 but most of them simply add tremendous complexity without delivering on their promises. For example, the WorldFlash agent needs to act as a toolbar that docks at the top or bottom of the user's screen. In order for this to happen, the Windows Shell API must be manipulated. This is somewhat tricky in any language, but the basic "C" interface is always going to be easiest.

WorldFlash is Win32 middleware that operates at the same level as the users' Web browser software. Using clever coding and combining system timers and multithreading, the agent minimizes the use of system resources needed (CPU and memory). This is critical for an agent because of the requirement for temporal continuity.

Our technology solves these types of business problems Our technology solves these types of business problems
  • Information overload
  • Lack of time to assimilate information
  • Bandwidth resources and allocation
  • Lack of options in the execution and maintenance of an ongoing communication channel with employees and customers
  • A negative ROI of corporate portals (information) due to a low traffic count
  • Lack of tools to calculate the ROI of information and information management
  • The demand for better methods to understand the information needs of employees
  • The challenge of maintaining a cohesive information delivery in organizations with multiple locations and multiple Intranets.

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