Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2350314 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2350314
(54) English Title: A SYSTEM, METHOD AND ARTICLE OF MANUFACTURE FOR EFFECTIVELY INTERACTING WITH A NETWORK USER
(54) French Title: SYSTEME, PROCEDE ET ARTICLE MANUFACTURE PERMETTANT D'INTERAGIR EFFICACEMENT AVEC UN USAGER DE RESEAU
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G06F 17/30 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • BURKEY, CHAD (United States of America)
  • LOPATIN, SERGEI (United States of America)
  • HUGHES, LUCIAN (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • KNAPP INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED (Not Available)
(71) Applicants :
  • ANDERSEN CONSULTING, LLP (United States of America)
(74) Agent: PIASETZKI NENNIGER KVAS LLP
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2010-01-19
(86) PCT Filing Date: 1999-11-16
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 2000-06-02
Examination requested: 2001-05-08
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
09/196,482 United States of America 1998-11-19

English Abstract




A system is disclosed that facilitates a
web-based active knowledge management system is
utilized to facilitate an intelligent agent
coordinator. The architecture facilitates delivery of
information whenever and wherever a user
requires the information in an appropriate format
based on charateristics of the user at that instant.
Personalization of information is also afforded by
taking into account the history of user interactions
with various applications and current real-time
situations including "who is the current user,
where the user is currently, and when the user is
logged onto the system." A fast and scalable
information prioritization subsystem is also
utilized to incorporate intelligent agents
coordinator opinion, user preferences, and history
of user interactions. This processing removes
much of the normal processing from an agent
which allows the agents to be much more
sophisticated and precise without compromising
the system scalability. In addition, speech
recognition and speech synthesis in combination
with intelligent agent animated representation and
tactile input provides for efficient, intuitive, and
emotionally rewarding interaction with the system.


French Abstract

On décrit un système qui permet à un système de gestion des connaissances actives accessible sur Internet de créer un coordinateur d'agent intelligent. L'architecture permet de fournir des informations n'importe quand et n'importe où à un usager qui nécessite ces informations, dans un format approprié en fonction des caractéristiques de l'usager à ce même instant. La personnalisation des informations est également rendue possible du fait qu'on prend en considération l'historique des interactions de l'usager avec diverses applications et des situations du moment en temps réel telles que 'qui est l'usager en ce moment même, où se trouve l'usager en ce moment même, à quel moment l'usager est en session sur le système''. Un sous-système rapide et à échelle variable de priorisation des informations est également utilisé pour incorporer l'opinion du coordinateur d'agent intelligent, les préférences de l'usager, et l'historique des interactions de l'usager. Ce traitement décharge l'agent d'une grande partie du traitement normal ce qui permet aux agents d'être plus sophistiqués et précis sans compromettre la caractéristique de changement d'échelle du système. En outre, la reconnaissance de la parole et la synthèse de la parole combinées à une représentation animée de l'agent intelligent et à des entrées tactiles assurent une interaction efficace, intuitive et émotionnelle avec le système.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.



What is claimed is:


1. A method for providing information of interest to a user, comprising the
steps of:
identifying a user;

identifying in a database a plurality of stored profiles corresponding to the
user;
determining which of the identified plurality of stored profiles corresponds
to a
current location of the user;

identifying information of interest to the user based on the determined user
profile;

prioritizing the information of interest to the user based on the determined
user
profile;

displaying the information of interest formatted on a web page in accordance
with
the determined user profile; and
updating the determined user profile in the database based on interaction with
the
displayed information by the user in accordance with the current location of
the user.


2. A method as recited in claim 1, including the step of detecting an indicia
of
identification for a user utilizing a sensor device.


3. A method as recited in claim 2, including the step of utilizing the indicia
of
identification to obtain the user's profile information from the database.


4. A method as recited in claim 1, including the step of providing an
intelligent
agent to interact with the user.


5. A method as recited in claim 4, wherein the intelligent agent provided to
interact
with the user communicates information to the user utilizing synthesized
speech.


6. A method as recited in claim 1, including the step of receiving voice input
from
the user, processing the voice input and presenting information to the user
based on the
voice input.


55


7. A method as recited in claim 1, including the monitoring of the user's
activities to
develop and store in the user's profile a time-based probability pattern of
the user's
location, and when the location of the user is not identified, delivering the
information of
interest to at least the location having the highest probability the user will
view the
information.


8. A method as recited in claim 7, including the step of formatting
information for
delivery to the user based on characteristics of the user's current location.


9. A method as recited in claim 1, including the step of routing information
received
from the user to a target location.


10. An apparatus that creates an information summary, comprising:
a processor;

a memory that stores information under the control of the processor;
computer executable instructions stored on a computer-readable medium and
executed by the processor that identifies a user;

computer executable instructions stored on the computer-readable medium and
executed by the processor that identifies in a database a plurality of stored
profiles
corresponding to the user;

computer executable instructions stored on the computer-readable medium and
executed by the processor that determines which of the identified plurality of
stored
profiles corresponds to a current location of the user;

computer executable instructions stored on the computer-readable medium and
executed by the processor that identifies information of interest to the user
based on the
determined user profile;

computer executable instructions stored on the computer-readable medium and
executed by the processor that prioritizes the information of interest to the
user based on
the determined user profile;


56


computer executable instructions stored on the computer-readable medium and
executed by the processor that displays the information of interest formatted
on a web
page in accordance with the determined user profile; and
computer executable instructions stored on the computer-readable medium and
executed by the processor that updates the determined user profile in the
database based
on interaction with the displayed information by the user in accordance with
the current
location of the user.


11. A computer-readable medium having stored thereon, computer-executable
instructions which, when acted on by a processor, cause the processor to:
identify a user;
identify in a database a plurality of stored profiles corresponding to the
user;
determine which of the identified plurality of stored profiles corresponds to
a
current location of the user;
identify information of interest to the user based on the determined user
profile;
prioritize the information of interest to the user based on determined the
user
profile;

display the information of interest formatted on a web page in accordance with

the determined user profile; and
update the determined user profile in the database based on interaction with
the
displayed information by the user in accordance with the current location of
the user.


12. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, further comprising
detecting
an indicia of identification for a user utilizing a sensor device.


13. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, further comprising
utilizing
the indicia of identification to obtain the user's profile information from
the database.


14. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, further comprising
providing
an intelligent agent to interact with the user.


57


15. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 14, wherein the intelligent
agent
communicates information to the user utilizing synthesized speech.


16. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, further comprising
receiving
voice input from the user, processing the voice input and presenting
information to the
user based on the voice input.


17. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, further comprising
updating
the user profile information based on interaction with the user.


18. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, further comprising
formatting information for delivery to the user based on characteristics of
the user's
current location.


19. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, further comprising
routing
information received from the user to a target location.


20. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein each profile has a unique
intention
associated therewith.


21. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein each profile has a unique address
associated therewith.


22. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein each profile has unique
restrictions
associated therewith.


23. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein each profile has unique business
rules
associated therewith.


24. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the information conveyed to the
user is
identified in one or more databases selected from the group consisting of a
content


58


database, a calendar database, an electronic email database, a contact
database, a task
database, and a news database.


25. A method as recited in claim 1, including the step of automatically
sensing the
user proximate to a publicly accessible multimedia display device, identifying
the user
and displaying on the multimedia display device the information of interest to
the
identified user.


26. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the information of interest has a
plurality
of categories, and the method includes the step of updating the determined
user profile
with a time delivery preference for each category of information of interest
based on said
interactions.


27. A method as recited in claim 26, wherein the information of interest is
displayed
in accordance with the time delivery preference in the determined user
profile.


28. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the information of interest is
further
based on a response to a query developed from a description of an upcoming
event
retrieved from a calendar application for the user.


29. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, wherein each profile
has a
unique intention associated therewith.


30. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, wherein each profile
has a
unique address associated therewith.


31. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, wherein each profile
has
unique restrictions associated therewith.


32. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, wherein each profile
has
unique business rules associated herewith.


59


33. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, wherein the information
of
interest to the user is identified in one or more databases selected from the
group
consisting of a content database, a calendar database, an electronic email
database, a
contact database, a task database, and a news database.


34. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11, including a code
segment
embodied on a computer-readable medium that monitors the user's activities, a
code
segment that stores in the user's profile a time-based probability pattern of
the user's
location based in the user's monitored activities, and when the location of
the user is not
identified, a code segment that delivers the information of interest to at
least the location
having the highest probability the user will view the information.


35. A computer readable medium as recited in claim 11 including a code segment

embodied on a computer-readable medium that automatically senses the user
proximate
to a publicly accessible multimedia display device, a code segment that
identifies the user
and a code segment that displays on the multimedia display device the
information of
interest to the identified user.


36. A method for sending information to a user, the method comprising:
identifying the user;

identifying in a database at least one stored profile corresponding to the
user;
determining current contextual information for the user;
selecting a subset of the stored profile based on the current contextual
information;

selecting at least one information source from a plurality of information
sources
based on the subset of the stored profile, the at least one information source
being less
than all of the plurality of information sources;

selecting information from the at least one information source based on the
subset
of the stored profile;

sending at least a portion of the information to the user.



37. The method of claim 36, wherein the current contextual information
comprises a
current location of the user.


38. The method of claim 36, wherein the current contextual information
comprises a
current time for the user.


39. The method of claim 36, wherein the current contextual information
comprises a
work context.


40. The method of claim 36, wherein the current contextual information
comprises a
home context.


41. The method of claim 36, wherein the stored profile comprises a plurality
of
contextually related subsets of profile information.


42. The method of claim 41, wherein a subset of profile information comprise a
work
profile.


43. The method of claim 42, wherein the work profile comprises a work address.


44. The method of claim 42, wherein the work profile comprises a work travel
profile.


45. The method of claim 41, wherein a subset of profile information comprise a
home
profile.


46. The method of claim 36, wherein the information source selected comprises
a
website.


61


47. The method of claim 36, wherein selecting a subset of the stored profile
based on
the current contextual information comprises querying the at least one
information source
based on the current contextual information.


48. The method of claim 47, wherein the at least one information source
comprises at
least two information sources; and

wherein querying the at least one information source comprises formulating
different queries for the at least two information sources.


49. The method of claim 36, wherein selecting information comprises ranking
the
selected information.


50. The method of claim 36, wherein the portion of the information sent to the
user is
formatted based on the subset of the stored profile.


51. A computer readable medium having stored thereon, computer-executable
instructions which, when acted on by a processor cause the processor to:
identify a user;

identify at least one stored profile corresponding to the user;
determine current contextual information for the user;

select a subset of the stored profile based on the current contextual
information;
select at least one information source from a plurality of information sources

based on the subset of the stored profile, the at least one information source
being less
than all of the plurality of information sources;

select information from the at least one information source based on the
subset of
the stored profile;

send at least a portion of the information to the user.


52. The computer readable medium of claim 51, wherein the current contextual
information comprises a current location of the user.


62


53. The computer readable medium of claim 51, wherein the current contextual
information comprises a current time for the user.


54. The computer readable medium of claim 51, wherein the current contextual
information comprises a work context.


55. The computer readable medium of claim 51, wherein the current contextual
information comprises a home context.


56. The computer readable medium of claim 51, wherein the stored profile
comprises
a plurality of contextually related subsets of profile information.


57. The computer readable medium of claim 56, wherein a subset of profile
information comprise a work profile.


58. The computer readable medium of claim 57, wherein the work profile
comprises a
work address.


59. The computer readable medium of claim 57, wherein the work profile
comprises a
work travel profile.


60. The computer readable medium of claim 56, wherein a subset of profile
information comprise a home profile.


61. The computer readable medium of claim 51, wherein the information source
selected comprises a website.


62. The computer readable medium of claim 51, wherein selecting a subset of
the
stored profile based on the current contextual information comprises querying
the at least
one information source based on the current contextual information.


63


63. The computer readable medium of claim 62, wherein the at least one
information
source comprises at least two information sources; and
wherein querying the at least one information source comprises formulating
different queries for the at least two information sources.


64. The computer readable medium of claim 51, wherein selecting information
comprises ranking the selected information.


65. The computer readable medium of claim 51, wherein the portion of the
information sent to the user is formatted based on the subset of the stored
profile.

64

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


CA 02350314 2004-11-09

A SYSTEM, METHOD AND ARTICLE OF MANUFACTURE FOR
EFFErTIVELY INTERACTING WITH A NETWORK USER
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of Invention

The present invention relates to agent based systems and more particularty-to
an interactive web based agent system which
responds to a particular user with information pertinent to the user's
requirements.

Description of the Related Prior Art
Agent based technology has become increasingly important for use with
applications designed to interact with a user for
performing various computer based tasks in foreground and background modes.
Agent software comprises computer programs
that are set on behalf of users to perform routine, tedious and time-consuming
tasks. To be useful to an individual user, an
agent must be personalized to the individual user's goals, habits and
preferences. Thus, there exists a substantial requirement
for the agent to efficiently and effectively acquire user-specific knowiedge
from the user and utilize it to perform tasks on behalf
of the user.

The concept of agency, or the user of agents, is well established. An agent is
a person authorized by another person, typically
referred to as a principal, to act on behalf of the principat. In this manner
the principal empowers the agent to perform any of the
tasks that the principal is unwilling or unable to perform. For example, an
insurance agent may handle all of the insurance
requirements for a principal, or a talent agent may act on behalf of a
performer to arrange concert dates.

With the advent of the computer, a new domain for employing agents has
arrived. Significant advances in the realm of expert
systems enable computer programs to act on behalf of computer users to perform
routlne, tedious and other time-consuming
tasks. These computer programs are referred to as "software agents."

Moreover, there has been a recent proliferation of computer and communication
networks. These networks permit a user to
access vast amounts of information and services without, essentially, any
geographical boundaries. Thus, a software agent has
a rich environment to perform a large number of tasks on behalf of a user. For
example, it is now possible for an agent to make
an airline reservation, purchase the ticket, and have the ticket delivered
directly to a user. Similarly, an agent could scan the
Internet and obtain information ranging from the latest sports or news to a
particular graduate thesis in applied physics. Current
solutions fail to apply agent technology to existing calendar technology to
provide targeted acquisition of background information
for a user's upcoming events.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to a broad aspect of a preferred embodiment of the invention, an
active knowledge management system is utilized to
facilitate an intelligent agent coordinator.
Support for several channels of information delivery, all of which utilize a
common back-end is provided. For instance, if a user
is in front of a Magic Wall, the information will be presented in a multimedia-
rich form. If the system determines that the user is
mobile, the information wili be sent to an awareness machine in standard text.
The architecture facilitates delivery of information
whenever and wherever a user requires the information in an appropriate format
based on characteristics of the user at that
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CA 02350314 2009-09-28

instant. Personalization of information is also afforded by taking into
account the history of user interactions with various
applications and current real-time situations including "who is the current
user, where the user is currently, and when the user is
logged onto the system." A fast and scalable information prioritization
subsystem is also utilized to incorporate intelligent agents
coordinator opinion, user preferences, and history of user interactions. This
processing removes much of the normal processing
from an agent which allows the agents to be much more sophisticated and
precise without compromising the system scalability.
In addition, speech recognition and speech synthesis in combination with
intelligent agent animated representation and tactile
input provides for efficient, intuitive, and emotionally rewarding interaction
with the system.
One embodiment of the invention includes a method for providing information of
interest to a user. The
method includes the following steps. A user is identified, and a plurality of
stored profiles corresponding to
the user is identified in a database. Which of the identified plurality of
stored profiles corresponds to a current
location of the user is determined. Information of interest to the user based
on the determined user profile is
identified. The information of interest to the user is prioritized based on
the determined user profile. The
information of interest is displayed formatted on a web page in accordance
with the determined user profile.
The determined user profile in the database is updated based on interaction
with the displayed information
by the user in accordance with the current location of the user.

Another embodiment of the invention includes an apparatus that creates an
information summary. The
apparatus includes a processor and a memory that stores information under the
control of the processor.
The apparatus further includes computer executable instructions stored on a
computer-readable medium and
executed by the processor that identifies a user. The apparatus also includes
computer executable
instructions stored on the computer-readable medium and executed by the
processor that identifies in a
database a plurality of stored profiles corresponding to the user. The
apparatus further includes computer
executable instructions stored on the computer-readable medium and executed by
the processor that
determines which of the identified plurality of stored profiles corresponds to
a current location of the user.
The apparatus also includes computer executable instructions stored on the
computer-readable medium and
executed by the processor that identifies information of interest to the user
based on the determined user
profile. The apparatus further includes computer executable instructions
stored on the computer-readable
medium and executed by the processor that prioritizes the information of
interest to the user based on the
determined user profile. The apparatus also includes computer executable
instructions stored on the
computer-readable medium and executed by the processor that displays the
information of interest formatted
on a web page in accordance with the determined user profile. The apparatus
also includes computer
executable instructions stored on the computer-readable medium and executed by
the processor that
updates the determined user profile in the database based on interaction with
the displayed information by
the user in accordance with the current location of the user.

A further embodiment of the invention includes a computer-readable medium
having stored thereon
computer-executable instructions which, when acted on by a processor, cause
the processor to perform the
following steps. A user is identified. A plurality of stored profiles
corresponding to the user is identified in a
database. Which of the identified plurality of stored profiles corresponds to
a current location of the user is
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CA 02350314 2009-09-28

determined. Information of interest to the user is identified based on the
determined user profile. The
information of interest to the user is prioritized based on the determined
user profile. The information of interest
is displayed formatted on a web page in accordance with the determined user
profile. The determined user
profile in the database is updated based on interaction with the displayed
information by the user in accordance
S with the current location of the user.

A yet further embodiment of the invention includes a method for sending
information to a user. The method
includes the following steps. The user is identified. At least one stored
profile corresponding to the user is
identified in a database. Current contextual information for the user is
determined. A subset of the stored profile
is selected based on the current contextual information. At least one
information source is selected from a
plurality of information sources based on the subset of the stored profile,
the at least one information source
being less than all of the plurality of information sources. Information is
selected from the at least one
information source based on the subset of the stored profile. At least a
portion of the information is sent to the
user.
An even yet further embodiment of the invention includes a computer readable
medium having stored thereon
computer-executable instructions which, when acted on by a processor cause the
processor to perform the
following steps. A user is identified. At least one stored profile
corresponding to the user is identified. Current
contextual information for the user is determined. A subset of the stored
profile is selected based on the current
contextual information. At least one information source is selected from a
plurality of information sources based
on the subset of the stored profile, the at least one information source being
less than all of the plurality of
information sources. Information from the at least one information source is
selected based on the subset of
the stored profile. At least a portion of the information is sent to the user.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The foregoing and other objects, aspects and advantages are better understood
from the following detailed description of a
preferred embodiment of the invention with reference to the drawings, in
which:

Figure 1 is a block diagram of a representative hardware environment in
accordance with a preferred embodiment;
Figure 2 is a flowchart of the system in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;

Figure 3 is a flowchart of a parsing unit of the system in accordance with a
preferred embodiment;
Figure 4 is a flowchart for pattern matching in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;
Figures 5 is a flowchart for a search unit in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;

Figure 6 is a flowchart for overall system processing in accordance with a
preferred embodiment;
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CA 02350314 2009-09-28
Figure 7 is a flowchart of topic processing in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;

Figure 8 is a flowchart of meeting record processing in accordance with a
preferred embodiment;

Figure 9 is a block diagram of process flow of a pocket bargain finder in
accordance with a preferred embodiment;

Figure 10A and 10B are a block diagram and flowchart depicting the logic
associated with creating a customized content web
page in accordance with a preferred embodiment;
Figure 11 is a flowchart depicting the detailed logic associated with
retrieving user-centric content in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;

Figure 12 is a data model of a user profile in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;
Figure 13 is a persona data model in accordance with a preferred embodiment;

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CA 02350314 2001-05-08

WO 00/31656 PCT/US99/27222
Figure 14 is an intention data model in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;

Figure 15 is a flowchart of the processing for generating an agent's current
statistics in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;

Figure 16 is a flowchart of the logic that determines the personalized product
rating for a user in accordance with a preferred
embodiment

Figure 17 is a flowchart of the iogic for accessing the centrally stored
profile in accordance with a preferred embodiment;
Figure 18 is a flowchart of the interaction logic between a user and the
integrator for a particular supplier in accordance with a
preferred embodiment;

Figure 19 is a flowchart of the agent processing for generating a verbal
summary in accordance with a preferred embodiment;
Figure 20 illustrates a display login in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;

Figure 21 illustrates a managing daily iogistics display in accordance with a
preferred embodiment;
Figure 22 iliustrates a user main display in accordance with a preferred
embodiment;

Figure 23 illustrates an agent interaction display in accordance with a
preferred embodiment;

Figure 24 is a block diagram of an active knowledge management system in
accordance with a preferred embodiment
Figure 25 is a block diagram of a back end server in accordance with a
preferred embodiment; and

Figure 26 is a block diagram of a magic wall in accordance with a preferred
embodiment
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
A preferred embodiment of a system in accordance with the present invention is
preferably practiced in the context of a personal
computer such as an IBM compatible personal computer, Apple Macintosh computer
or UNIX based workstation. A
representative hardware environment is depicted in Figure 1, which illustrates
a typical hardware configuration of a workstation
in accordance with a preferred embodiment having a central processing unit
110, such as a microprocessor, and a number of
other units interconnected via a system bus 112. The workstation shown in
Figure 1 includes a Random Access Memory (RAM)
114, Read Only Memory (ROM) 116, an I/0 adapter 118 for connecting peripheral
devices such as disk storage units 120 to the
bus 112, a user interface adapter 122 for connecting a keyboard 124, a mouse
126, a speaker 128, a microphone 132, and/or
other user interface devices such as a touch screen (not shown) to the bus
112, communication adapter 134 for connecting the
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CA 02350314 2008-03-28

warkstation to a oanmunication netwodc 135 (e.g., a data processing neMrork)
and a display adapter 136 for connecting the bus 112
to a display device 138. The workstation typically has resident thereon an
operating system such as the Microsoft Windows NT
or Windows/95 Operating System (OS), the IBM OS12 operating system, the MAC
OS, or UNIX operafing system. Those skilled
in the art wili appreciate that the present invention may also be implemented
on platforms and operating systems other than
those mentioned.

A preferred embodiment is wriften using JAVA, C, and the C++ language and
utilizes object oriented programming methodology.
Object oriented programming (OOP) has become increasingly used to develop
complex applications. As OOP moves toward
the mainstream of software design and development, various software solutions
require adaptation to make use of the benefits
of OOP. A need exists for these principles of OOP to be applied to a messaging
interface of an electronic messaging system
such that a set of OOP classes and objects for the messaging interface can be
provided.

00P is a process of developing computer software using objects, including the
steps of analyzing the problem, designing the
system, and constructing the program. An object is a software package that
contains both data and a couec6on of related
structures and procedures. Since it contains both data and a collection of
structures and procedures, it can be visualized as a
self-sufficient cDmponent that does not require other additional structures,
procedures or data to perform its specific task. OOP,
therefore, views a computer program as a collection of largely autonomous
components, called objects, each of which is
responsible for a specific task. This concept of packaging data, structures,
and procedures together in one component or
module is called encapsulation.
In general, OOP components are reusable software modules which present an
interface that conforms to an object model and
which are accessed at run-time through a component integration architecture. A
component integration architecture is a set of
architecture mechanisms which allow software modules in different process
spaces to utilize each others capabilities or
functions. This is generaily done by assuming a common component object model
on which to build the architecture.
It is worthwhile to differentiate between an object and a class of objects at
this point. An object is a single instance of the class
of objects, which is often just called a class. A class of objects can be
viewed as a blueprint, from which many objects can be
formed.

OOP allows the programmer to create an object that is a part of another
object. For example, the object representing a piston
engine is said to have a composition-relationship with the object representing
a piston. In reality, a piston engine comprises a
piston, valves and many other components; the fact that a piston is an element
of a piston engine can be logically and
semantically represented in OOP by two objects.

OOP also allows creation of an object that "depends from" another object. If
there are two objects, one representing a piston
engine and the other representing a piston engine wherein the piston is made
of ceramic, then the relationship between the two
objects is not that of composition. A ceramic piston engine does not make up a
piston engine. Rather it is merely one kind of
piston engine that has one more limitation than the piston engine; its piston
is made of ceramic. In this case, the object
representing the ceramic piston engine is called a derived object, and it
inherits all of the aspects of the object representing the
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piston engine and adds further limitation or detail to it. The object
representing the ceramic piston engine "depends from" the
object representing the piston engine. The relationship between these objects
is called inheritance.

When the object or class representing the ceramic piston engine inherits all
of the aspects of the objects representing the piston
engine, it inherits the thermal characteristics of a standard piston defined
in the piston engine class. However, the ceramic
piston engine object overrides these ceramic specific thermal characteristics,
which are typically different from those associated
with a metal piston. It skips over the original and uses new functions related
to ceramic pistons. Different kinds of piston
engines have different characteristics, but may have the same underlying
functions associated with it (e.g., how many pistons in
the engine, ignition sequences, lubrication, etc.). To access each of these
funcGons in any piston engine object, a pragrammer
would call the same funclions with the same names, but each type of piston
engine may have differentloverriding
implementations of functions behind the same name. This ability to hide
different implementations of a function behind the
same name is called polymorphism and it greatly simplifies communication among
objects.

With the concepts of composition-relationship, encapsulation, inheritance and
polymorphism, an object can represent just about
anything in the real world. In fact, our logical perception of the reality is
the only limit on determining the kinds of things that can
become objects in object-oriented software. Some typical categories are as
follows:
= Objects can represent physical objects, such as automobiles in a traffic-
flow simulation, electrical components in a
circuit-design program, countries in an economics model, or aircraft in an air-
traffic-control system.
= Objects can represent eiements of the computer-user environment such as
windows, menus or graphics objects.
= An object can represent an inventory, such as a personnel file or a table of
the latitudes and longitudes of cities.
= An object can represent user-defined data types such as time, angles, and
complex numbers, or points on the plane.
With this enormous capabiGty of an object to represent just about any
logically separable matters, OOP allows the software
developer to design and implement a computer program that is a model of some
aspects of reality, whether that reality is a
physical entity, a process, a system, or a composition of matter. Since the
object can represent anything, the software
developer can create an object which can be used as a component in a larger
software project in the future.

If 90% of a new OOP software program consists of proven, existing components
made from preexisting reusable objects, then
oniy the remaining 10% of the new software project has to be written and
tested from scratch. Since 90% already came from an
inventory of extensively tested reusable objects, the potential domain from
which an error could originate is 10% of the program.
As a result, OOP enables software developers to build objects out of other,
previously built, objects.

This process closely resembles complex machinery being built out of assemblies
and sub-assemblies. OOP technology,
therefore, makes software engineering more like hardware engineering in that
software is buiit from existing components, which
are available to the developer as objects. All this adds up to an improved
quality of the software as well as an increased speed
of its development.

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Programming languages are beginning to fully support the OOP principles, such
as encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism,
and composition-relationship. With the advent of the C++ language, many
commercial software developers have embraced
OOP. C++ is an OOP language that offers a fast, machine-executable code.
Furthermore, C++ is suitable for both commercial-
application and systems-programming projects. For now, C++ appears to be the
most popular choice among many OOP
programmers, but there is a host of other OOP languages, such as Smalltalk,
common lisp object system (CLOS), and Eiffel.
Additionally, OOP capabilities are being added to more traditional popular
computer programming languages such as Pascal.
The benefits of object classes can be summarized, as follows:
= Objects and their corresponding classes break down complex programming
problems into many smaller, simpler
problems.
= Encapsulation enforces data abstraction through the organization of data
into small, independent objects that can
communicate with each other. Encapsulation protects the data in an object from
accidental damage, but allows other
objects to interact with that data by calling the object's member functions
and structures.
= Subclassing and inheritance make it possible to extend and modify objects
through deriving new kinds of objects from
the standard classes available in the system. Thus, new capabilities are
created without having to start from scratch.
= Polymorphism and multiple inheritance make it possible for different
programmers to mix and match characteristics of
many different classes and create specialized objects that can still work with
related objects in predictable ways.
= Class hierarchies and containment hierarchies provide a flexible mechanism
for modeling real-world objects and the
relationships among them,
= Libraries of reusable classes are useful in many situations, but they also
have some limitations. For example:
= Compiexlfy. In a complex system, the class hierarchies for related classes
can become extremely confusing, with
many dozens or even hundreds of classes.
= Flow of control. A program written with the aid of class libraries is still
responsible for the flow of control (i.e., it must
control the interactions among all the objects created from a particular
library). The programmer has to decide which
functions to call at what times for which kinds of objects.
= Duplication of effort. Although class libraries allow programmers to use and
reuse many small pieces of code, each
programmer puts those pieces together in a different way. Two different
programmers can use the same set of class
libraries to write two programs that do exactly the same thing but whose
intemal structure (i.e., design) may be quite
different, depending on hundreds of small decisions each programmer makes
along the way. Inevitably, similar pieces
of code end up doing similar things in slightly different ways and do not work
as well together as they should.

Class libraries are very flexible. As programs grow more complex, more
programmers are forced to reinvent basic solutions to
basic problems over and over again. A relatively new extension of the class
library concept is to have a framework of class
libraries. This framework is more complex and consists of significant
collections of collaborating classes that capture both the
small scale pattems and major mechanisms that implement the common
requirements and.design in a specific application
domain. They were first developed to free application programmers from the
chores involved in displaying menus, windows,
dialog boxes, and other standard user interface elements for personal
computers.

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Frameworks also represent a change in the way programmers think about the
interaction between the code they write and code
written by others. In the early days of procedural programming, the programmer
cailed libraries provided by the operating
system to perform certain tasks, but basically the program executed down the
page ftom start to finish, and the programmer was
solely responsible for the flow of control. This was appropriate for printing
out paychecks, calculating a mathematical table, or
solving other problems with a program that executed in just one way.

The development of graphical user interfaces began to tum this procedural
programming arrangement inside out. These
interfaces allow the user, rather than program logic, to drive the program and
decide when certain actions should be performed.
Today, most personal computer software accomplishes this by means of an event
loop which monitors the mouse, keyboard,
and other sources of extemal events and calls the appropriate parts of the
programmer's code according to actions that the user
performs. The programmer no longer determines the order in which events occur.
Instead, a program is divided into separate
pieces that are called at unpredictable times and in an unpredictable order.
By relinquishing control in this way 6D users, the
developer creates a program that is much easier to use. Nevertheless,
individual pieces of the program written by the developer
still call libraries provided by the operating system to accomplish certain
tasks, and the programmer must still determine the flow
of control within each piece after being called by the event loop. Application
code sfill "sits on top of' the system.

Even event loop programs require programmers to write a lot of code that
should not need to be written separately for every
application. The concept of an application framework cames the event loop
concept further. Instead of dealing with all the nuts
and bolts of constructing basic menus, windows, and diaiog boxes and then
making these things all work together, programmers
using application frameworks start with working application code and basic
user interface elements in place. Subsequently, they
build from there by replacing some of the generic capabilities of the
framework with the specific capabilities of the intended
application.

Application frameworks reduce the total amount of code that a programmer has
to write from scratch. However, because the
framework is really a generic application that displays windows, supports copy
and paste, and so on, the programmer can also
relinquish control to a greater degree than event loop programs permit. The
framework code takes care of almost all event
handling and flow of control, and the programmer's code is called only when
the framework needs it (e.g., to create or
manipulate a proprietary data structure).

A programmer writing a framework program not only relinquishes control to the
user (as is also true for event loop programs),
but also relinquishes the detailed flow of control within the program to the
framework. This approach allows the creation of more
complex systems that work together in interesting ways, as opposed to isolated
programs, having custom code, being created
over and over again for similar problems.

Thus, as is explained above, a framework basicaiiy is a collection of
cooperating dasses that make up a reusable design
solution for a given problem domain. It typically includes objects that
provide default behavior (e.g., for menus and windows),
and programmers use it by inheriting some of that default behavior and
overriding other behavior so that the framework calls
application code at the appropriate times.

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There are three main differences between frameworks and class libraries:
= Behavior versus protocol. Class libraries are essentially collections of
behaviors that you can call when you want
those individual behaviors in your program. A framework, on the other hand,
provides not only behavior but also the
protocol or set of rules that govem the ways in which behaviors can be
combined, including rules for what a
programmer is supposed to provide versus what the framework provides.
= Call versus override. With a class library, the code the programmer
instantiates objects and calls their member
funcbons. It's possible to instantiate and call objects in the same way with a
framework (i.e., to treat the framework as
a dass library), but to take full advantage of a framework's reusable design,
a programmer typically writes code that
overrides and is called by the framework. The framework manages the flow of
control among its objects. Writing a
program involves dividing responsibilities among the various pieces of
software that are called by the framework rather
than specifying how the different pieces should work together.
= Implementation versus design. With class libraries, programmers reuse only
implementatfons, whereas with
frameworks, they reuse design. A framework embodies the way a family of
related programs or pieces of software
work. It represents a generic design solution that can be adapted to a variety
of specific problems in a given domain.
For example, a single framework can embody the way a user interface works,
even though two different user
interfaces created with the same framework might solve quite different
interface problems.

Thus, through the development of frameworks for solutions to various problems
and programming tasks, significant reductions in
the design and development effort for software can be achieved. A preferred
embodiment of the invention utilizes HyperText
Markup Language (HTML) to implement documents on the Internet together with a
general-purpose secure communication
protocol for a transport medium between the client and the Newco. HTTP or
other protocols could be readily substituted for
HTML without undue experimentation. Information on these products is available
in T. Bemers-Lee, D. Connoly, "RFC 1866:
Hypertext Markup Language - 2.0" (Nov. 1995); and R. Fielding, H, Frystyk, T.
Bemers-Lee, J. Gettys and J.C. Mogul, "Hypertext
Transfer Protocol - HTTP/1.1: HTTP Working Group Intemet Draft" (May 2,1996).
HTML is a simple data format used to create
hypertext documents that are portable from one platform to another. HTML
documents are SGML documents with generic
semantics that are appropriate for representing information from a wide range
of domains. HTML has been in use by the World-
Wide Web global information initiative since 1990. HTML is an application of
ISO Standard 8879:1986 Information Processing
Text and Office Systems; Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML).

To date, Web development tools have been limited in their ability to create
dynamic Web appiications which span from client to
server and interoperate with existing computing resources. Until recently,
HTML has been the dominant technology used in
development of Web-based solutions. However, HTML has proven to be inadequate
in the following areas:
= Poor performance;
= Restricted user interface capabilities;
= Can only produce static Web pages;
= Lack of interoperability with existing applications and data; and
= Inability to scale.

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Sun Microsystem's Java language solves many of the client-side problems by.
. Improving performance on the client side;
= Enabling the creation of dynamic, real-time Web applicattons; and
. Providing the ability to create a wide variety of user interface components.
With Java, developers can create robust User Interface (Ul) components. Custom
"widgets" (e.g. real-time stock tickers,
animated icons, etc.) can be created, and client-side performance is improved.
Unlike HTML, Java supports the notion of client-
side validation, offloading appropriate processing onto the client for
improved performance. Dynamic, real-time Web pages can
be created. Using the above-mentioned custom UI components, dynamic Web pages
can also be created.
Sun's Java language has emerged as an industry-recognized language for
"programming the Intemet." Sun defines Java as: "a
simple, object-oriented, distributed, interpreted, robust, secure,
architecture-neutral, portable, high-performance, multithreaded,
dynamic, buzzword-compliant, general-purpose programming language. Java
supports programming for the Intemet in the form
of platform-independent Java applets." Java applets are small, specialized
applications that comply with Sun's Java Appiication
Programming Interface (API) allowing developers to add "interactive content"
to Web documents (e.g. simple animations, page
adomments, basic games, etc.). Applets execute within a Java-compatible
browser (e.g. Netscape Navigator) by copying code
from the server to client. From a language standpoint, Java's core feature set
is based on C++. Sun's Java literature states that
Java is basically "C++, with extensions from Objective C for more dynamic
method resolution".

Another technology that provides similar function to JAVA is provided by
Microsoft and Ac6veX Technologies, to give developers
and Web designers wherewithal to build dynamic content for the Intemet and
personal computers. ActiveX includes tools for
developing animation, 3-D virtual reality, video and other multimedia content.
The tools use Intemet standards, work on muitiple
platforms, and are being supported by over 100 companies. The group's building
blocks are called ActiveX Controls, small, fast
components that enable developers to embed parts of software in hypertext
markup language (HTML) pages. Ac6veX Controls
work with a variety of programming languages including Microsoft Visual C++,
Borland Delphi, Microsoft Vsual Basic programming
system and, in the future, Microsoft's development tool for Java, code named
"Jakarta" ActiveX Technologies also indudes ActiveX
Server Framework, allowing developers to create server applications. One of
ordinary skill in the art readily recognizes that ActiveX
could be substituted for JAVA without undue experimentation to practice the
inven6on.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment, BackgroundFinder (BF) is
implemented as an agent responsible for preparing an
individual for an upcoming meefing by helping him/her retrieve relevant
information about the meeting from various sources. BF
receives input text in character form indicative of the target meeting. The
input text is generated in accordance with a preferred
embodiment by a calendar program that includes the time of the meeting. As the
time of the meeting approaches, the calendar
program is queried to obtain the text of the target event and that information
is utilized as input to the agent. Then, the agent
parses the input meeting text to extract its various components such as title,
body, participants, location, time etc. The system
also performs pattem matching to identify particular meeting fields in a
meeting text. This information is utilized to query various
sources of information on the web and obtain relevant stories about the
current meeting to send back to the calendaring system.
For example, if an individual has a meeting with Netscape and Microsoft to
talk about their disputes, and would obtain this initial
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information from the calendaring system. It will then parse out the text to
realize that the companies in the meeting are
"Netscape" and "Microsoft" and the topic is "disputes." Then, the system
queries the web for relevant information conceming
the topic. Thus, in accordance with an objective of the invention, the system
updates the calendaring system and eventually the
user with the best information it can gather to prepare the user for the
target meeting. In accordance with a preferred
embodiment, the information is stored in a file that is obtained via selection
from a link imbedded in the calendar system.
PROGRAM ORGANIZATION
A computer program in accordance vrith a preferred embodiment is organized in
five distinct modules: BF.Main, BF.Parse,
Background Finder.Error, BF.PattemMatching and BF.Search. There is also a
frmMain which provides a user interface used
only for debugging purposes. The executable programs in accordance with a
preferred embodiment never execute with the
user interface and should only return to the calendaring system through
Microsoft's Winsock control. A preferred embodiment of
the system executes in two different modes which can be specified under the
command line sent to it by the calendaring system.
When the system runs in simple mode, it executes a keyword query to submit to
extemal search engines. When executed in
complex mode, the system performs pattem matching before it forms a query to
be sent to a search engine.

DATA STRUCTURES
The system in accordance with a preferred embodiment utilizes three user
defined structures:
1. TMeetingRecord;
2. TPatternElement; and
3. TPattemRecord.
The user-defined structure, tMeeGngRecord, is used to store all the pertinent
information concerning a single meeting. This info
includes userlD, an original description of the meeting, the extracted list of
keywords from the title and body of ineeGng etc. It is
important to note that only one meeting record is created per instance of the
system in accordance with a preferred
embodiment. This is because each time the system is spawned to service an
upcoming meeting, it is assigned a task to retrieve
information for only one meeting. Therefore, the meeting record created
corresponds to the current meeting examined.
ParseMeetingText populates this meeting record and it is then passed around to
provide information about the meeting to other
functions.
If GoPattemMatch can bind any values to a particular meeting field, the
corresponding entries in the meeting record is also
updated. The structure of tMeetingRecord with each field described in
parentheses is provided below in accordance with a
preferred embodiment.

A.1.1.1.1.1 Public Type tMeetingRecord
sUserlD As String (user id given by Munin)
sTitleOrig As String (original non stop listed title we need to keep around to
send back to Munin)
sTitleKW As String (stoplisted title with only keywords)
sBodyKW As String (stoplisted body with only keywords)
sCompany() As String (companys identified in 6tle or body through pattem
matching)
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sTopic() As String (topics identified in title or body through pattem
matching)
sPeople() As String (people identified in title or body through pattem
matching)
sWhen() As String (time identified in title or body through pattern matching)
sWhere() As String (location identified in fitle or body through pattem
matching)
sLocation As String (location as passed in by Munin)
sTime As String (fime as passed in by Munin)
sParticipants() As String (all participants engaged as passed in by Munin)
sMeetingText As String (the original meeting text wlo userid)
End Type
There are two other structures which are created to hold each individual
pattern utilized in pattern matching. The record
tAPattemRecord is an array containing all the components / elements of a
pattern. The type tAPatternElement is an array of
strings which represent an element in a pattem. Because there may be many
"substitutes" for each element, we need an array
of strings to keep track of what all the substitutes are. The structures of
tAPattemElement and tAPattemRecord are presented
below in accordance with a preferred embodiment.

Public Type tAPattemElement
elementArray() As String
End Type
Public Type tAPatternRecord
pattemArray() As tAPattemElement
End Type

COMMON USER DEFINED CONSTANTS

Many constants are defined in each declaration section of the program which
may need to be updated periodically as part of the
process of maintaining the system in accordance with a preferred embodiment.
The constants are accessible to allow dynamic
configuration of the system to occur as updates for maintaining the code.

Included in the following tables are lists of constants from each module which
I thought are most likely to be modified from time
to time. However, there are also other constants used in the code not included
in the following list. It does not mean that these
non-induded constants will never be changed. It means that they will change
much less frequently.

For the Main Module (BF.Main) :
CONSTANT PRESET VALUE USE
MSGTOMUNIN_TYPE 6 Define the message number used to identify
messages between BF and Munin
IP_ADDRESS_MUNIN "10.2.100.48" Define the IP address of the machine in which

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CONSTANT PRESET VALUE USE
Munin and BF are running on so they can
transfer data through UDP.
PORT_MUNIN 7777 Define the remote port in which
we are operating on.
TIMEOUT_AV 60 Define constants for setting time out in inet
controls
TIMEOUT_NP 60 Define constants for setting time out in inet
controls
CMD_SEPARATOR "1" Define delimiter to tell which part of Munin's
command represents the beginning of our
input meeting text
OUTPARAM_SEPARATOR Define delimiter for separating out different
por6ons of the output. The separator is for
delimiting the msg type, the user id, the
meeting title and the beginning of the actual
stories retrieved.

For the Search Module (BF.Search):
CONSTANT CURRENT VALUE USE
PAST_NDAYS 5 Define number of days you want to look back
for AltaVista articles. Doesn't really matter
now because we aren't really doing a news
search in alta vista. We want all info.
CONNECTOR_AV_URL "+AND+" Define how to connect keywords. We want all
our keywords in the string so for now use
AND. If you
want to do an OR or something, just change
connector.
CONNECTOR_NP_URL "+AND+" Define how to connect keywords, We want all
our keywords in the string so for now use
AND. If you
want to do an OR or something, just change
connector.
NUM_NP_STORIES 3 Define the number of stories to return back to
Munin from NewsPage.
NUM_AV_STORIES 3 Define the number of stories to return back to
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CONSTANT CURRENT VALUE USE
Munin from AltaVista.
For the Parse Module (BF.Parse):
CONSTANT CURRENT VALUE USE
PORTION_SEPARATOR Define the separator between different
portions of the meeting text sent in by Munin.
For example in "09::Meet with Chad::about
Iife::Chad I Denise::::: ""::" is the separator
between different parts of the meeting text.
PARTICIPANT_SEPARATOR Define the separator between each participant
in the participant list portion of the original
meeting text.
Refer to example above.

For Pattern Matching Module (BFPatternMatch): There are no constants in this
module which require frequent updates.
General Process Flow
The best way to depict the process flow and the coordination of functions
between each other is with the five flowcharts
illustrated in Figures 2 to 6. Figure 2 depicts the overall process flow in
accordance with a preferred embodiment. Processing
commences at the top of the chart at function block 200 which launches when
the program starts. Once the application is
started, the command line is parsed to remove the appropriate meeting text to
initiate the target of the background find operation
in accordance with a preferred embodiment as shown in function block 210. A
global stop list is generated after the target is
determined as shown in function block 220. Then, all the patterns that are
utilized for matching operations are generated as
iltustrated in function block 230. Then, by tracing through the chart,
function block 200 invokes GoBF 240 which is responsible
for logical processing associated with wrapping the correct search query
information for the particular target search engine. For
example, function block 240 flows to function block 250 and it then calls
GoPatternMatch as shown in function block 260. To see
the process flow of GoPatternMatch, we swap to the diagram titled "Process
Flow for BF's Pattern Matching Unit." Function
block 240 also flows to function block 280 to ConstructOverallResult, or to
block 290 to
ConnectAndTransferToMunin. From block 290, block 295 to WinsockSendData or
block 297
DisconnectFromMuninAndQuit may be called.

One key thing to notice is that functions depicted at the same level of the
chart are called by in sequential order from left to right
(or top to bottom) by their common parent function. For example, Main 200
calls ProcessCommandLine 210, then
CreateStopListist 220, then CreatePatterns 230, then GoBackgroundFinder 240.
Figures 3 to 6 detail the logic for the entire
program, the parsing unit, the pattern matching unit and the search unit
respectively. Figure 6 details the logic determinative of

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data flow of key information through BackgroundFinder, and shows the functions
that are responsible for creating or processing
such information.

DETAILED SEARCH ARCHITECTURE UNDER THE SIMPLE QUERY MODE
SEARCH ALTA VISTA
(Function block 270 of Figure 2)
The Alta Vista search engine utilizes the identifies and returns general
information about topics related to the current meeting as
shown in function block 270 of Figure 2. The system in accordance with a
preferred embodiment takes all the keywords from
the title por6on of the original meeting text and constructs an advanced query
to send to Alta Vista. The keywords are logically
combined together in the query. The results are also ranked based on the same
set of keywords. One of ordinary skill in the art
will readily comprehend that a date restriction or publisher criteria could be
facilitated on the ar6cles we want to retrieve. A set
of top ranking stories are retumed to the catendaring system in accordance
with a preferred embodiment.

NEWS PAGE
(Function block 275 of Figure 2)
The NewsPage search system is responsible for giving us the latest news topics
related to a target meeting. The system takes
all of the keywords from the Gtle portion of the original mee6ng text and
constructs a query to send to the NewsPage search
engine. The keywords are logically combined together in the query. Only
articles published recently are retrieved. The
Newspage search system provides a date restriction criteria that is settable
by a user according to the user's preference. The
top ranking stories are returned to the calendaring system.

Figure 3 is a user profile data model in accordance with a preferred
embodiment. Processing commences at function block 300
which is responsible for invoking the program from the main module. Then, at
function block 310, a wrapper function is invoked
to prepare for the keyword extraction processing in function block 320. After
the keywords are extracted, then processing flows
to function block 330 to determine if the delimiters are properly positioned.
Then, at function block 340, the number of words in
a particular string is calculated (at block 370 the delimiters may be checked)
and the delimiters for
the particular field are and a particular field from the meeting text is
retrieved at function block 350.
Then, at function block 380, the delimiters of the string are again checked to
assure they are
placed appropriately. Finally, at function block 360, the extraction of each
word from the title and body of the message is
performed a word at a time utilizing the logic in function block 362 which
finds the next closest word delimiter in the input phrase,
function block 364 which strips unnecessary materials from a word and function
block 366 which determines if a word is on the
stop list and returns an error if the word is on the stop list.

PATTERN MATCHING IN ACCORDANCE WITH A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
The limitaGons associated with a simple searching method include the
following:

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1. Because it relies on a stoplist of unwanted words in order to extract from
the meeting text a set of keywords, it is
limited by how comprehensive the stoplist is. Instead of trying to figure out
what parts of the meeting text we should
throw away, we should focus on what parts of the mee6ng text we want.
2. A simple search method in accordance with a preferred embodiment only uses
the keywords from a meeting title to
form queries to send to Alta Vista and NewsPage. This ignores an alternative
source of information for the query, the
body of the meeting notice. We cannot include the keywords from the meeting
body to form our queries because this
often results in queries which are too long and so complex that we often
obtain no meaningful results.
3. There is no way for us to tell what each keyword represents. For example,
we may extract "Andy" and "Grove" as two
keywords. However, a simplistic search has no way knowing that "Andy Grove" is
in fact a person's name. Imagine
the possibilities if we could somehow intelligenfly guess that "Andy Grove" is
a person's name. We can find out if he is
an Andersen person and if so what kind of projects he's been on before etc.
etc.
4. In summary, by relying solely on a stoplist to parse out unnecessary words,
we suffer from "information overioad".
PATTERN MATCHING OVERCOMES THESE LIMITATIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH A PREFERRED
EMBODIMENT
Here's how the pattern matching system can address each of the corresponding
issues above in accordance with a preferred
embodiment.
1. By doing pattem matching, we match up only parts of the meeting text that
we want and extract those parts.
2. By performing pattern matching on the meeting body and extracting only the
parts from the meeting body that we want.
Our meeting body will not go to complete waste then.
3. Pattem matching is based on a set of templates that we specify, allowing us
to identify people names, company names etc
from a meeting text.
4. In summary, with pattem matching, we no longer suffer from information
overload. Of course, the big problem is how well
our pattern matching works. If we rely exclusively on artificial intelligence
processing, we do not have a 100% hit rate. We
are able to identify about 20% of all company names presented to us.

PATTERNS
A pattern in the context of a preferred embodiment is a template specifying
the structure of a phrase we are looking for in a
meeting text. The pafterns supported by a preferred embodiment are selected
because they are templates of phrases which
have a high probability of appearing in someone's meeting text. For example,
when entering a meeting in a calendar, many
would write something such as "Meet with Bob Dutton from Stanford University
next Tuesday." A common pattem would then
be something like the word "with" followed by a person's name (in this example
it is Bob Dutton) followed by the word "from" and
ending with an organization's name (in this case, it is Stanford University).
PATTERN MATCHING TERMINOLOGY
The common terminology associated with pattern matching is provided below.

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= Pattem: a pattem is a template specifying the structure of a phrase we want
to bind the meeting text to. It contains sub
units.
= Element: a pattern can contain many sub-units. These subunits are called
elements. For example, in the pattem "with
$PEOPLE$ from $COMPANY$", "with' VEOPLE$" "from" "$COMPANY$" are all elements.

= Placeholder: a placeholder is a special kind of element in which we want to
bind a value to.Using the above example,
"$PEOPLE$" is a placeholder.
= Indicator: an indicator is another kind of element which we want to find in
a meeting text but no value needs to bind to it.
There may be often more than one indicator we are looking for in a certain
pattern. That is why an indicator is not an
"atomic" type.
= Substitute: substitutes are a set of indicators which are all synonyms of
each other. Finding any one of them in the input is
good.

There are five fields which are identified for each meeting:
= Company ($COMPANY$)
= People ($PEOPLE$)
= Location ($LOCATION$)
= Time ($TIME$)
= Topic ($TOPIC_UPPER$) or ($TOPIC_ALL$)
In parentheses are the placeholders I used in my code as representation of the
corresponding meeting fields.
Each placeholder has the following meaning:
=$COMPANY$: binds a string of capitalized words (e.g. Meet with Joe Carter of
<Andersen Consulting >)
=$PEOPLE$: binds series of string of two capitalized words potentially
connected by "," "and" or "&" (e.g. Meet
with <Joe Carter> of Andersen Consulting, Meet with <Joe Carter and Luke
Hughes> of Andersen Consulting)
=$LOCATION$: binds a string of capitalized words (e.g. Meet Susan at <Palo
Alto Square>)
=$TIME$: binds a string containing the format #:## (e.g. Dinner at <6:30 pm>)
=$TOPIC_UPPER$: binds a string of capitalized words for our topic (e.g.
<Stanford Engineering Recruiting>
Meeting to talk about new hires).
=$TOPIC_ALL$: binds a string of words without really caring if it's
capitalized or not. (e.g. Meet to talk about
<ubiquitous computing>)
Here is a table representing all the pattems supported by BF. Each paftern
belongs to a pattern group. All pafterns within a
pattern group share a similar format and they only differ from each other in
terms of what indicators are used as substitutes.
Note that the pattems which are grayed out are also commented in the code. BF
has the capability to support these patterns but
we decided that matching these pattems is not essential at this point.
. .. PAT# PATTERN , .
1 a $PEOPLE$ of $COMPANY$ Paul Maritz of Microsoft
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b $PEOPLE$ from $COMPANY$ Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Paul
Maritz from Microsoft
2 a $TOPIC_UPPER$ meeting Push Technology Meeting
b $TOPIC_UPPER$ mtg Push Technology Mtg
c $TOPIC_UPPER$ demo Push Technology demo
d $TOPIC_UPPER$ interview Push Technology interview
e $TOP1C_UPPER$ presentation Push Technology presenta6on
f $TOPIC_UPPER$ visit Push Technology visit
g $TOPIC_UPPER$ briefing Push Technology brie6ng
h $TOPIC_UPPER$ discussion Push Technology discussion
$TOPIC_UPPER$ workshop Push Technoiogy workshop
$TOPIC_UPPER$ prep Push Technology prep
k $TOPIC_UPPER$ review Push Technology review
$TOPIC_UPPER$ lunch Push Technology lunch
m $TOPIC_UPPER$ project Push Technology project
n $TOPIC_UPPER$ projects Push Technology projects
3 a $COMPANY$ corporation Intel Corporation
b $COMPANY$ corp. IBM Corp.
c $COMPANY$ systems Cisco Systems
d $COMPANY$ limited IBM limited
e $COMPANY$ ltd IBM ltd
4 a about $TOPIC ALL$ About intelligent agents technology
b discuss $TOPIC_ALL$ Discuss intelligent agents
technology
c show $TOPiC_ALL$ Show the client our intelligent
agents technology
d re: $TOPIC_ALL$ re: intelligent agents technology
e review $TOPIC_ALL$ Review intelligent agents technology
f agenda The agenda is as follows:
--clean up
--clean up
--clean up
g agenda: $TOPIC ALL$ Agenda:
--demo client intelligent agents
technology.
-demo ecommerce.
a w/$PEOPLE$ of $COMPANY$ Meet w/Joe Carter of Andersen
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Consulting
b w/$PEOPLE$ from $COMPANY$ Meet wlJoe Carter from Andersen
Consulfing
6 a w/$COMPANY$ per $PEOPLE$ Talk w/Intel per Jason Foster
7 a At $TIME$ at 3:00pm
b Around $TIME$ Around 3:00 pm
8 a At $LOCATION$ At LuLu's resturant
b In $LOCATION$ in Santa Clara
9 a Per $PEOPLE$ per Susan Butler
a call w/$PEOPLE$ Conf call w/John Smith
B call with $PEOPLE$ Conf call with John Smith
11 A prep for $TOPIC_ALL$ Prep for London meeting
B preparation for $TOPIC_ALL$ Preparation for London meeting

Figure 4 is a detailed flowchart of pattern matching in accordance with a
preferred embodiment. Processing commences at
function block 400 where the main program invokes the pattern matching
application and passes control to function block 410 to
5 commence the pattern match processing. Then, at function block 420, the
wrapper funcfion loops through to process each
pattern which includes determining if a part of the text string can be bound
to a pattem as shown in function block 430. Then, at
function block 440, various placeholders are bound to values if they exist,
and in function block 441, a list of names separated
by punctuation are bound, and at function block 442 a full name is processed
by finding two capitalized words as a full name
and grabbing the next letter after a space after a word to determine if it is
capitalized, Then, at function block 443, time is
10 parsed out of the string in an appropriate manner and the next word after a
blank space in function block 444. Then, at function
block 445, the continuous phrases of capitalized words such as company, topic
or location are bound and in funcfion block 446,
the next word after the blank is obtained for further processing in accordance
with a preferred embodiment. Following the match
meeting field processing, function block 450 is utilized to loacte an
indicator which is the head of a pattern, the next word after
the blank is obtained as shown in function block 452 and the word is checked
to determine if the word is an indicator as shown
in function block 454. Then, at function block 460, the string is parsed to
locate an indicator which is not at the end of the
pattem and the next word after unnecessary white space such as that following
a line feed or a carriage return is processed as
shown in function block 462 and the word is analyzed to determine if it is an
indicator as shown in function block 464. Then, in
function block 470, the temporary record is reset to the null set to prepare
it for processing the next string and at function block
480, the meeting record is updated and at function block 482 a check is
performed to determine if an entry is already made to
the meeting record before parsing the meeting record again.

USING THE IDENTIFIED MEETING FIELDS
Now that we have identified fields within the meeting text which we consider
important, there are quite a few things we can do
with it. One of the most important applications of pattem matching is of
course to improve the query we construct which
eventually gets submitted to Alta Vista and News Page. There are also a lot of
other options and enhancements which exploit
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the results of pattern matching that we can add to BF. These other options
will be described in the next section. The goal of this
section is to give the reader a good sense of how the results obtained from
pattem matching can be used to help us obtain
better search results.

Figure 5 is a flowchart of the detailed processing for preparing a query and
obtaining information from the Internet in accordance
with a preferred embodiment. Processing commences at function block 500 and
immediately flows to function block 510 to
process the wrapper functionality to prepare for an Internet search utilizing
a web search engine. If the search is to ufilize the
Alta Vista search engine, then at function block 530, the system takes
information from the meeting record and forms a query in
function blocks 540 to 560 for submittal to the search engine. If the search
is to utilize the NewsPage search engine, then at
function block 520, the system takes information from the meeting record and
forms a query in function blocks 521 to 528.
Alta Vista Search Engine
The strength of the Alta Vista search engine is that it provides enhanced
flexibility. Using its advance query method, one can
construct all sorts of Boolean queries and rank the search however you want.
However, one of the biggest drawbacks with Alta
Vista is that it is not very good at handling a large query and is likely to
give back irrelevant results. If we can identify the topic
and the company within a meeting text, we can form a pretty short but
comprehensive query which will hopefully yieid better
results. We also want to focus on the topics found. It may not be of much
merit to the user to find out info about a company
especially if the user already knows the company well and has had numerous
meetings with them. It's the topics they want to
research on.

News Page Search Engine

The strength of the News Page search engine is that it does a great job
searching for the most recent news if you are able to
give it a valid company name. Therefore when we submit a query to the news
page web site, we send whatever company name
we can idenfify and only if we cannot find one do we use the topics found to
form a query. If neither one is found, then no search
is performed. The algorithmn utilized to form the query to submit to Alta
Vista is illustrated in Figure 7. The algorithmn that we
will use to form the query to submit to News Page is illustrated in Figure 8.

The following table describes in detail each function in accordance with a
preferred embodiment. The order in which functions
appear mimics the process flow as closely as possible. When there are
situations in which a function is called several times, this
function will be listed after the first function which calls it and its
description is not duplicated after every subsequent function
which calls it.
'=-= C ==
Main Public Sub None This is the main function where the
(BF.Main) program first launches. It initiatizes BF
with the appropriate parameters(e.g.
Intemet time-out, stoplist...) and calls
GoBF to launch the main part of the
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= : Descripton
pmgram.
ProcessComman Private Sub Main This function parses the command
dLine line. It assumes that the delimiter
(BF.Main) indicating the beginning of input from
Munin is stored in the constant
CMD_SEPARATOR.
CreateStopList Private Main This function sets up a stop list for
(BF.Main) Function future use to parse out unwanted
words from the meeting text.
There are commas on each side of
each word to enable straight checking.
CreatePattems Public Sub Main This procedure is called once when BF
(BF.PatternMatch is first initialized to create all the
potential pattems that portions of the
meeting text can bind to. A pattem can
contain however many elements as
needed. There are
two types of elements. The first type
of elements are indicators. These are
real words which delimit the potential
of a meeting field (eg company) to
follow. Most of these indicators are
stop words as expected because
stop words are words usually common
to all meeting text so it makes sense
they form patterns. The second type of
elements are special strings which
represent placeholders.
A placeholder is always in the form of
$=$ where' can be either PEOPLE,
COMPANY, TOPIC_UPPER,
TIME,LOCATION or TOPIC_ALL. A
pattem can begin with either one of the
two types of elements and can be
however long, involving however any
number/type of elements. This
procedure dynamically creates a new
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rt= = . Description
pattern record for
each pattem in the table and it also
dynamically creates new
tAPatternElements for each element
within a pattern. In addition, there is
the concept of being able to substitute
indicators within a pattern. For
example, the pattern $PEOPLE$ of
$COMPANY$ is similar to the pattem
$PEOPLE$ from $COMPANY$. "from"
is a substitute for "of" . Our structure
should be able to express such a need
for substitution.
GoBF Public Sub Main This is a wrapper procedurer that calls
(BF.Main) both the parsing and the searching
subroutines of the
BF. It is also responsible for sending
data back to Munin.
ParseMeetingTex Public GoBackGroundFinder This function takes the initial
meeting
t Function text and identifies the userlD of the
(BF.Parse) record as well as other parts of the
meeting text including the title, body,
participant list, locafion and time. In
addition, we call a helper function
ProcessStopList to eliminate all the
unwanted words from the original
meeting title and meeting body so that
only keywords are left. The information
parsed out is stored in the
MeetingRecord structure. Note that
this function does no error checking
and for the most time assumes that the
meeting text string is correctly
formatted by Munin.
The important variable is thisMeeting
Record is the temp holder for all info
regarding current meeting. IYs

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=- =
eventually retumed to caller.
FormatDelimitatio Private ParseMeetingText, There are 4 ways in which the
n DetermineNumWords, delimiters can be placed. We take care
(BF.Parse) GetAWordFromString of all these cases by reducing them
down to Case 4 in which there are no
delimiters around but only between
fields in a string(e.g. A::B::C)
DetermineNumW Public ParseMeeting This functions determines how many
ords Function Text, ProcessStop words there are in a string
(BF.Parse) List (stlnEvalString) The function assumes
that each word is separated by a
designated separator as specified in
stSeparator. The return type is an
integer that indicates how many words
have been found assuming each word
in the string is separated by
stSeparator. This function is always
used along with GetAWordFromString
and should be called before calling
GetAWordFrom String.
GetAWordFromSt Public ParseMeeting Text, This function extracts the ith word
of
ring Function ProcessStop the string(stinEvalString) assuming
(BF.Parse) List that each word in the string is
separated by a designated
separator contained in the variable
stSeparator.
In most cases, use this function with
DetermineNumWords. The function
returns the wanted word. This function
checks to make sure that ilnWordNum
is within bounds so that i
is not greater than the total number of
words in string or less than/equal to
zero. If it is out of bounds, we return
empty string to indicate we can't get
anything. We try to make sure this
doesn't happen by calling

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= = = -= Descripticii
DetermineNumWords first.
ParseAndCleanP Private ParseMeetingText This function first grabs the word and
hrase Function send it to CleanWord in order strip
(BF.Parse) the stuff that nobody wants. There are
things in parseWord that will kill
the word, so we will need a method of
looping through the body and rejecting
words without killing the whole function
i guess keep CleanWord and check a
return value
ok, now I have a word so I need to
send it down the parse chain. This
chain goes
ParseCleanPhrase -> CleanWord ->
EvaluateWord. If the word gets through
the
entire chain without being killed, it will
be added at the end to our keyword
string.
first would be the function that checks
for "I" as a delimiter and extracts the
parts of that. This I will call
"StitchFace' (Denise is more normal
and calls it GetAWordFromString)
if this finds words, then each of these
will be sent, in turn, down the chain. If
these get through the entire chain
without being added or killed then they
will be
added rather than tossed.
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=- Descriptioii
FindMin Private ParseAndCleanPhrase This function takes in 6 input values
(BF.Parse) Function and evaluates to see what the
minimum non
zero value is. It first creates an array
as a holder so that we can sort the five
input values in ascending order. Thus
the minimum value will be the first non
zero value element of the array. If we
go through entire array without finding
a non zero value, we know that there
is an error and we exit the function.

CleanWord Private ParseAndCleanPhrase This function tries to clean up a word
in
(BF.Parse) Function a meeting text. It first of all determines
if the string is of a valid length. It then
passes it through a series of tests to
see it is clean and when needed, it will
edit the word and strip unnecessary
characters off of it. Such tests
includes getting rid of file extensions,
non chars, numbers etc.
EvaluateWord Private ParseAndCleanPhrase This function tests to see if this
word is
(BF.Parse) Function in the stop list so it can determine
whether to eliminate the word from the
original meeting text. If a word is not in
the stoplist, it should stay around as a
keyword and this function exits
beautifully with no errors. However, if
the words is a stopword, an error must
be retumed. We must properly delimit
the input test string so we don't
accidentally retrieve sub strings.
GoPatternMatch Public Sub GoBF This procedure is called when our
(BF.PatternMatch QueryMethod is set to complex query
meaning we do want to do all the
pattern matching stuff.lt 's a simple
wrapper function which initializes some
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D =.
arrays and then invokes pattern
matching on the title and the body.
MatchPattems Public Sub GoPattem Match This procedure loops through every
(BF.PattemMatch pattern in the pattern table and tries to
identify different fields within a meefing
text specified by slnEvalString. For
debugging purposes it also
tries to tabulate how many times a
certain pattem was triggered and
stores it in gTabulateMatches to see
whichp pattem fired the most.
gTabulateMatches is stored as a
global because we want to be able to
run a batch fde of 40 or 50 test strings
and still be able to know how often a
pattern was triggered.
MatchAPaftern Private MatchPattems This funcffon goes through each
(BF.PatternMatch Function element in the current pattem. It first
} evaluates to determine whether
element is a placeholder or an
indicator. If it is a placeholder, then it
will try to bind the placeholder with
some value. If it is an indicator, then
we try to locate it. There is a trick
however. Depending on whether we
are at current element is the head of
the pattern or
not we want to take different
actions. If we are at the head, we
want to look for the indicator or the
placeholder. If we can't find it, then
we know that the current pattern
doesn't exist and we quit.
However, if it is not the head, then
we continue looking, because
there may sfilf be a head
somewhere. We retry in this case.
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= . Description
gField Private MatchAPattem This function uses a big switch
(BF.PattemMatch Function statement to first determine what kind
of placeholder we are talking about
and depending on what type of
placeholder, we have specific
requirements
and different binding criteria as
specified in the subsequent functions
called such as BindNames, BindTime
etc. If binding is successful we add it to
our guessing record.
BindNames Private Match Meeting Field In this function, we try to match names
(BF.PatternMatch Function to the corresponding placeholder
$PEOPLE$. Names are defined as
any consecutive two words which are
capitalized. We also what to retrieve a
series of names which are connected
by and, or & so we look until we don't
see any of these 3 separators
anymore. Note that we don 't want to
bind single word names because it is
probably
too general anyway so we don't want
to produce broad but irrelevant results.
This function calls BindAFullName
which binds one name so in a since
BindNames collects all the results from
BindAFuliName
BindAFullName Private BindNames This function tries to bind a full name.
(BF.PattemMatch Funcaon If the $PEOPLE$ placeholder is not
the head of the pattem, we know that it
has to come right at the beginning of
the test string because we've been
deleting stuff off the head of the string
all along.
If it is the head, we search untii we
find something that looks like a full
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' = Description
name. If we can't find it, then there's no
such pattern in the text entirely and we
quit entirely from this pattem. This
should eventually return us to the next
pattem in MatchPatterns.
GetNextWordAfte Private BindAFull This function grabs the next word in a
rWhiteSpace Function Name, BindTime, test string. It looks for the next word
(BF.PatternMatch BindCompanyTopicLo after white spaces, @ or /. The word is
c defined to end when we encounter
another one of these white spaces or
separators.
BindTime Private MatchMeetingField Get the immediate next word and see
(BF.PatternMatch Function if it looks like a time pattern. If so we've
found a time and so we want to add it
to the record. We probably should add
more time patterns. But people don't
seem to like to enter the time in their
titles these days especially since we
now have tools like OutLook.
BindCompanyTop Private MatchMeetingField This function finds a continuous
icLoc Funcbon capitalized string and binds it to
(BF.PatternMatch stMatch which is passed by reference
from MatchMeetingField. A continous
capitalized string is a sequence of
capitalized words which are not
interrupted
by things like,. etc. There's probably
more stuff we can add to the list of
interruptions.
LocatePatternHe Private MatchAPattem This function tries to locate an element
ad Function which is an indicator. Note that this
(BF.PatternMatch indicator SHOULD BE AT THE HEAD
of the pattem otherwise it would have
gone to the function Locatelndicator
instead. Therefore, we keep on
grabbing the next word until either
there's no word for us to grab (quit) or
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= : Description
we find one of the indicators we are
looking for.
ContainInArray Private LocatePattem ' This function is really simple. It loops
(BF.PattemMatch Function Head, Locateindicator through all the elements in the
array
'to find a matching string,
Locateindicator Private MatchAPattern This function tries to locate an element
(BF.PatternMatch Function which is an indicator. Note that this
indicator is NOT at the head of the
pattem otherwise it would have gone
to LocatePatternHead instead.
Because of this, if our pattem is to be
satistted, the next word we grab HAS
to be the indicator or else we would
have failed. Thus we only grab one
word, test to see if it is a valid indicator
and then return result.
InitializeGuesses Private Sub MatchAPattem This function reinitializes our
Record temporary test structure because we
(BF.PatternMatch have already transfered the info to the
permanent structure, we can
reinitialize it so they each have one
element
AddToMeetingRe Private Sub MatchAPattern This function is only called when we
cord know that the information stored in
(BF.PatternMatch tlnCurrGuesses is valid meaning that it
represents legitamate guesses of
meeting fields ready to be stored in the
permanent record,tlnMeetingRecord.
We check to make sure that we do not
store duplicates and we also what to
clean up what we want to store so that
there's no cluttered crap such as
punctuations, etc. The reason why we
don't clean up until now is to save time.
We don't waste resources calling
ParseAndCleanPhrase until we know
for sure that we are going to add it
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= = dure Narne Type Calied By D =
permanently.
NoDuplicateEntry Private AddToMeetingRecord This funcfion loops through each
(BF.PattemMatch Funcction element in the array to make sure that
the test string aString is not the same
as any of the strings already stored
in the array. Slightly different from
ContainlnArray.
SearchAltaVista Public GoBackGroundFinder This function prepares a query to be
(BF.Search) Func6on submited to AltaVista Search engine. It
submits it and then parses the
retuming result in the approprfate
format containing the title, URL and
body/summary of each story retrieved.
The number of stories retrieved is
specified by the constant
NUM_AV_STORIES.
Important variables include
stURLAItaVista used to store query to
submit stResultHTML used to store
htmi from page specified by
stURLAItaVista.
ConstructAltaVist Private SearchAltaVista This function constructs the URL
string
aURL Function for the alta vista search engine using
(BF.Search) the advanced query search mode. It
includes the keywords to be used, the
language and how we want to rank the
search. Depending on whether we
want to use the results of our pattern
matching unit, we construct our query
differently.
ConstructSimpleK Private ConstructAltaVistaURl, This function marches down the
list of
eyWord Function ConstructNewsPageU keywords stored in the stTitleKW or
(BF.Search) RL stBodyKW fields of the input meeting
record and links them up into one
string with each keyword separated by
a connector as determined by the input
variable stlnConnector. Retums this
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: Descript~on
constructed string.
ConstructComple Private ConstructAltaVistaURL This function constructs the
keywords
xAVKeyWord Function to be send to the AltaVista site. Unlike
(BF.Search) ConstructSimpleKeyWord which simply
takes all the keywords from the tifle to
form the query, this function will look at
the results of BF's pattem matching
process and see if we are able to
identify any specific company names
or topics for constructing
the queries. Query will include
company and topic identified and
default to simple query if we cannot
identify either company or topic.
JoinWithConnect Private ConstructComplexAVK This function simply replaces the
ors Function ey spacesbetween the words within the
(BF.Search) Word, string with a connector which is
ConstructComplexNP specified by the input.
Key
Word,
RefineWith
Rank
RefineWithDate Private ConstructAltaVistaURL This function constructs the date
(NOT CALLED Function portion of the alta vista query and
AT THE returns this portion of the URL as a
MOMENT) string. It makes sure that alta vista
(BF.Search) searches for articles within the past
PAST_NDAYS.
RefineWithRank Private ConstructAltaVistaURL This function constructs the
string
(BF.Search) Function needed to passed to Altavista in order
to rank an advanced query search. If
we are constructing the simple query
we will take in all the keywords from
the title. For the complex query, we will
take in words from company and topic,
much the same way we formed the
query in

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. _

ConstructComplexAVKeyWord.
IdentifyBlock Public SearchAltaVista, This function extracts the block within
(BF.Parse) Function SearchNewsPage a string marked by the beginning and
the ending tag given as inputs starting
at a certain location(iStart). The block
retrieved does not include the tags
themselves. If the block cannot be
idenGfied with the specified delimiters,
we return unsuccessful through the
parameter iRetumSuccess passed to
use by reference. The return type is
the block retrieved.
IsOpenURLError Public SearchAltaVista,Searc This function determines whether
the
(BF.Error) Function hNewsPage error encountered is that of a timeout
error. It restores the mouse to default
arrow and then retums true if it is a
time out or false otherwise.
SearchNewsPage Public GoBackGroundFinder This function prepares a query to be
(BF.Search) Function submited to NewsPage Search
engine. It submits it and then parses
the retuming result in the appropriate
format containing the title, URL and
body/summary of each story retrieved.
The number of stories retrieved is
specified by the constant
UM NP_STORIES
ConstructNewsPa Private SearchNewsPage This function constructs the URL to
geURL Function send to the NewsPage site. It uses the
(BF.Search) information contained in the input
meeting record to determine what
keywords to use. Also depending
whether we want simple or complex
query, we call diffent functions to form
strings.
ConstructComple Private ConstructNewsPageU This function constructs the
keywords
xNPKeyWord Function RL to be send to the NewsPage site.
(BF.Search) UnlikeConstructKeyWordString which

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= : Descriptiori
simply takes all the keywords from the
title to form the query, this function will
look at the results of BF's pattern
matching process and see if we are
able to identify any specific company
names or topics for constructing
the queries. Since newspage works
best when we have a company name,
we'II use only the company name and
only if there is no company will we use
topic.
ConstructOverall Private GoBackGroundFinder This function takes in as input an
array
Result Function of strings (stlnStories) and a
(BF.Main) MeetingRecord which stores the
information for the current meeting.
Each element in the array stores the
stories retrieved from each information
source. The function simply constructs
the appropriate output to send to
Munin including a return message type
to let Munin know that it is the BF
responding and also the original
user_id and meeting title so Munin
knows which meeting BF is talking
about.
ConnectAndTran Public Sub GoBackGroundFinder This function allows Background
sferTo Finder to connect to Munin and
Munin eventually transport information to
(BF.Main) Munin. We will be using the UDP
protocol instead of the TCP protocol so
we have to set up the remote host and
port correctly. We use a global string to
store gResult Overall because
although it is unecessary with UDP, it
is needed with TCP and if we ever
switch back don't want to change code.
DisconnectFrom Public Sub

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CA 02350314 2008-03-28
' = == == Called S D= = =
MuninAnd
Quit
(BF.Main)
Figure 6 is a flowchart of the actual code utilized to prepare and submit
searches to the Alta Vista and Newspage search
engines in accordance with a preferred embodiment. Processing commences at
function block 610 where a command line is
utilized to update a calendar entry with specific calendar information. The
message is next posted in accordance with function
block 620 and a meeting record is created to store the current meeting
information in accordance with function block 630. Then,
in funcfion block 640 the query is submitted to the Alta Vista search engine
and in function block 650, the query is submitted to
the Newspage search engine. When a message is returned from the search engine,
it is stored in a results data structure as
shown in function block 660 and the information is processed and stored in
summary form in a file for use in prepara6on for the
meeting as detailed in funcfion block 670.


Figure 7 provides more detail on creating the query in accordance with a
preferred embodiment. Processing commences at
function block 710 where the meeting record is parsed to obtain potential
companies, people, topics, location and a time. Then,
in func6on block 720, at least one topic is identified and in function block
730, at least one company name is identified and finally
in function block 740, a decision is made on what materiat to transmit to the
file for ultimate consumption by the user.


Figure 8 is a variation on the query theme presented in Figure 7. A meeting
record is parsed in function block 800, a company
is identified in function block 820, a topic is identfied in function blodc
830 and finally in function block 840 the topic and or the
company is utilized in formulafing the query,

Aiternative embodiments for adding various specific features for specific user
requirements are discussed below.
Enhance Target Rate for Pattern Matching

To increase BF's performance, more patterns/pattern groups are added to the
procedure "CreatePatterns." The existing code
for declaring patterns can be used as a template fot future patterns. Because
everything is stored as dynamic arrays, it is
convenient to reuse code by cutting and pasting. The functions BindName,
BindTime, BindCompanyLocTopic which are
responsible for associating a value with a placeholder can be enhanced. The
enhancement is realized by increasing the set of
criteria for binding a certain meeting field in order to increase the number
of binding values. For exampie, BindTime currently
accepts and binds all values in the form of ##:## or #:##. To increase the
times we can bind, we may want BindTime to also
accept the numbers 1 to 12 followed by the more aesthetic time terminology
"o'clock." Vocabulary based recogni6on algorithms
and assigning an accuracy rate to each guess BF makes allowing only guesses
which meet a certain threshold to be valid.

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Depending on what location the system identifies through pattem matching or
alternativeiy depending on what location the user
indicates as the meeting place, a system in accordance with a preferred
embodiment suggests a plurality of fine restaurants
whenever it detects the words lunch/dinner/breakfast. We can also use a site
like company finder to confirm what we got is
indeed a company name or if there is no company name that pattern matching can
identify, we can use a company finder web
site as a"dictionary" for us to determine whether certain capitalized words
represent a company name. We can even display
stock prices and breaking news for a company that we have identified.

Wireless Bargain Identification in Accordance With A Preferred Embodiment

Figure 9 is a flow diagram that depicts the hardware and logical flow of
control for a device and a software system designed to
allow Web-based comparison shopping in convenfional, physical, non-Web retail
environments. A wireless phone or similar
hand-held wireless device 920 with Internet Protocol capability is combined
with a miniature barcode reader 910 (installed either
inside the phone or on a short cable) and used to scan the Universal Product
Code (UPC) bar code on a book or other product
900. The wireless device 920 transmits the bar code via an antennae 930 to the
Pocket BargainFinder Service Module (running
on a Web server) 940, which converts it to (in the case of books) its
International Standard Book Number or (in the case of other
products) whatever identifier is appropriate. The Service Module then contacts
the appropriate third-party Web site(s) to find
price, shipping and availability information on the product from various Web
suppliers 950. This information is formatted and
displayed on the hand-held device's screen. The IP wireless phone or other
hand held device 920 utilizes a wireless modem
such as a Ricochet SE Wireless Modem from Metricom. Utilizing this device, a
user can hang out in a coffee shop with a
portable computer perched on a rickety little table, with a iatte sloshing
dangerously close to the keyboard, and access the
lntemet at speeds rivaling direct connect via a telephone line.

The 8-ounce Ricochet SE Wireless Modem is about as large as a pack of
cigarettes and setup is extremely simple, simply
attach the modem to the back of your portable's screen with the included piece
of Velcro, plug the cable into the serial port, flip
up the stubby antenna, and transmit. Software setup is equally easy: a
straighfforward installer adds the Ricochet modem
drivers and places the connection icon on your desktop. The functional aspects
of the modem are identical to that of a
traditional telephone modem.

Of course, wireless performance isn't nearly as reliable as a traditional dial-
up phone connection. We were able to get strong
connections in several San Francisco locations as long as we stayed near the
windows. But inside CNET's all-brick
headquarters, the Ricochet couldn't connect at all. When you do get online,
performance of up to 28.8 kbps is available with
graceful degradation to slower speeds. But even the slower speeds didn't
disappoint. Compared to the altemative-connecting
via a cellular modem--the Ricochet is much faster, more reliable, and less
expensive to use. Naturally, the SE Wireless is battery
powered. The modem has continuous battery life of up to 12 hours. And in
accordance with a preferred embodiment, we ran
down our portable computer's dual cells before the Ricochet started to fade.

Thus, utilizing the wireless modem, a user may utilize the web server software
940 to identify the right product 950 and then use
an appropriate device's key(s) to select a supplier and place an order in
accordance with a preferred embodiment. The
BargainFinder Service Module then consummates the order with the appropriate
third-party Web supplier 960.
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mySitel Personal Web Site & Intentions Value Network Prototype

mySite! is a high-impact, Internet-based application in accordance with a
preferred embodiment that is focused on the theme of
delivering services and providing a personalized experience for each customer
via a personal web site in a buyer-centric wor!d.
The services are intuitively organized around satisfying customer intentions -
fundamental life needs or objectives that require
extensive planning decisions, and coordination across several dimensions, such
as financial planning, healthcare, personal and
professional development, family life, and other concems. Each member owns and
maintains his own profile, enabling him to
create and browse content in the system targeted specifically at him. From the
time a demand for products or services is
entered, to the completion of payment, intelligent agents are utilized to
conduct research, execute transactions and provide
advice. By using advanced profiling and fiitering, the intelligent agents
learn about the user, improving the services they deliver.
Customer intentions include Managing Daily Logistics (e.g., email, calendar,
contacts, to-do list, bill payment, shopping, and
travel planning); and Moving to a New Community (e.g., finding a place to
live, moving household possessions, getting travel
and shipping insurance coverage, notifying business and personal contacts,
learning about the new community). From a
consumer standpoint, mySite! provides a central location where a user can
access relevant products and services and
accomplish daily tasks with ultimate ease and convenience.

From a business standpoint, mySite! represents a value-added and innovative
way to effectively attract, service, and retain
customers. Intention value networks allow a user to enter through a
personalized site and, and with the assistance of a learning,
intelligent agent, seamlessly interact with network participants. An intention
value network in accordance with a preferred
embodiment provides superior value. It provides twenty four hour a day, seven
days a week access to customized information,
advice and products. The information is personalized so that each member views
content that is highly customized to assure
relevance to the required target user.

Egocentric Interface
An Egocentric Interface is a user interface crafted to satisfy a particular
user's needs, preferences and current context. It utilizes
the user's personal information that is stored in a central profile database
to customize the interface. The user can set security
permissions on and preferences for interface elements and content. The content
integrated into the Egocentric Interface is
customized with related information about the user. When displaying content,
the Egocentric Interface will include the
relationship between that content and the user in a way that demonstrates how
the content relates to the user. For instance,
when displaying information about an upcoming ski trip the user has signed up
for, the interface will include information about
events from the user's personal calendar and contact list, such as other
people who will be in the area during the ski trip. This
serves to put the new piece of information into a context familiar to the
individual user.

Figure IOA describes the Intention Value Network Architecture implementation
for the World Wide Web. For simplification
purposes, this diagram ignores the complexity pertaining to security,
scalability and privacy. The customer can access the
Intention Value Network with any Internet web browser 1010, such as Netscape
Navigator or Microsoft Intemet Explorer,
running on a personal computer connected to the Intemet or a Personal Digital
Assistant with wireless capability. See Figure 17
for a more detailed description of the multiple methods for accessing an
Intention Value Network. The customer accesses the
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CA 02350314 2008-03-28

Intention Value Network through the unique name or IP address associated with
the Integrator's Web Server 1020. The
Integrator creates the Intention Value Network using a combinafion of
resources, such as the Intention Database 1030, the
Content Database 1040, the Supplier Profile Database 1050, and the Customer
Profile Database 1060.

The Intention Database 1030 stores all of the information about the structure
of the intention and the types of products and
services needed to fulfill the intention. Information in this database
includes intention steps, areas of interest, layout templates
and personalization templates. The Content Database 1040 stores all of the
informa6on related to the intention, such as advice,
referral information, personalized content, satisfaction ratings, product
ratings and progress reports.

The Supplier Profile Database 1050 contains information about the product and
service providers integrated into the intention.
The information contained in this database provides a link between the
intention framework and the suppliers. It includes
product lists, features and descriptions, and addresses of the suppliers'
product web sites. The Customer Profile Database
1060 contains personal information about the customers, such as name, address,
social security number and credit card
information, personal preferences, behavioral information, history, and web
site layout preferences. The Supplier's Web Server
1070 provides access to all of the supplier's databases necessary to provide
information and transactional support to the
customer.

The Product Information Database 1080 stores all product-related information,
such as features, availability and pricing. The
Product Order Database 1090 stores all customer orders. The interface to this
database may be through an Enterprise
Resource Planning application offered by SAP, Baan, Orade or others, or it may
be accessible directly through the Supplier's
Web Server or application server. The Customer Information Database 1091
stores all of the customer information that the
supplier needs to complete a transaction or maintain customer records.

Figure 10B is a flowchart providing the logic utilized to create a web page
within the Egocentric lnterface. The environment
assumes a web server and a web browser connected through a TCPIIP network,
such as over the public lnternet or a private
Intranet 2510. Possible web servers could indude Microsoft Intemet Information
Server, Netscape Enterprise Server or Apache.
Possible web browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape
Navigator. The client (i.e. web browser) makes a
request 1001 to the server (i.e. web server) for a particular web page. This
is usually accomplished by a user clicking on a
button or a iink within a web page. The web server gets the layout and content
preferences 1002 for that particular user, with
the request to the database keyed off of a unique user id stored in the client
(i.e. web browser) and the User profile database
1003. The web server then retrieves the content 1004 for the page that has
been requested from the content database 1005.
The relevant user-centric content, such as calendar, email, contact list, and
task list items are then retrieved 1006. (See Figure
11 for a more detailed description of this process.) The query to the database
utilizes the user content preferences stored as
part of the user profile in the User profile database 1003 to filter the
content that is returned. The content that is returned is then
formatted into a web page 1007 according to the layout preferences defined in
the user profile. The web page is then retumed
to the client and displayed to the user 1008.

Figure 11 describes the process of retrieving user-centric content to add to a
web page. This process describes 1006 in Figure
10B in a more detailed fashion. It assumes that the server already has
obtained the user profile and the existing content that is
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CA 02350314 2008-03-28

going to be integrated into this page. The server parses 1110 the filtered
content, looking for instances of events, contact
names and email addresses. If any of these are found, they are tagged and
stored in a temporary holding space. Then, the
server tries to find any user-centric content 1111 stored in various
databases. This involves matching the tagged items in the
temporary storage space with calendar items 1112 in the Calendar Database ]
113;email items 1115 in the Email Database
1114; contact items 1117 in the Contact Database 1 t 16;task list items 1119
in the Task List Database 1118; and news items
1121 in the News Database 1120. After retrieving any relevant user-centdc
content, it is compiled together and returned 1122.
User Persona
The system allows the user to create a number of different personas that
aggregate profile information into sets that are useful
in different contexts. A user may create one persona when making purchases for
his home. This persona may contain his
home address and may indicate that this user is looking to find a good bargain
when shopping. The same user may create a
second persona that can be used when he is in a work context. This persona may
store the user's work address and may
indicate that the user prefers certain vendors or works for a certain company
that has a discount program in place. When
shopping for work-related items, the user may use this persona. A persona may
also contain rules and restricGons. For
instance, the work persona may restrict the user to making airline
reservations with only one travel agent and utilizing booking
rules set up by his employer,

Figure 12 describes the relationship between a user, his multiple personas and
his multiple profiles. At the User Level is the
User Profile 11200. This profile describes the user and his account
information. There is one unique record in the database for
each user who has an account. Attached to each user are multiple Personas
1220, 1230 & 1240. These Personas are used to
group multiple Profiles into useful contexts. For instanoe, consider a user
who lives in San Francisco and works in Palo Alto, but
has a mountain cabin in Lake Tahoe. He has three different contexts in which
he might be accessing his site. One context is
work-related. The other two are home-life related, but in different locations.
The user can create a Persona for Work 1220, a
Persona for Home 1230, and a Persona for his cabin home 1240. Each Persona
references a different General Profile 1250,
1260 and 1270 which contains the address for that location. Hence, there are
three General Profiles. Each Persona also
references one of two Travel Profiles. The user maintains a Work Travel
Profile 1280 that contains all of the business rules
related to booking tickets and making reservations. This Profile may specify,
for instance, that this person only travels in
Business or First Class and his preferred airline is United Airlines. The Work
Persona references this Work Travel Profite, The
user may also maintain a Home Travel Profile 1290 that specifies that he
prefers to travel in coach and wants to find non-
refundable fairs, since they are generally cheaper. Both the Persona for Home
and the Persona for the cabin home point to the
Home Travel Profile.

Figure 13 describes the data model that supports the Persona concept. The user
table 1310 contains a record for each user
who has an account in the system. This table contains a username and a
password 1320 as well as a unique identifier. Each
user can have multiple Personas 1330, which act as containers for more
specialized structures called Profiles 1340. Profiles
contain the detailed personal information in Profile Field 1350 records.
Attached to each Profile are sets of Profile Restriction
1360 records, These each contain a Name 1370 and a Rule 1380, which define the
restriction. The Rule is in the form of a
pattem like (if x then y), which allows the Rule to be restricted to certain
uses. An example Profile Restrict=ion would be the rule
that dictates that the user cannot book a flight on a certain airline
contained in the list. This Profile Restriction could be
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contained in the "Travel" Profile of the "Work" Persona set up by the user's
employer, for instance. Each Profile Field also
contains a set of Permissions 1390 that are contained in that record. These
permissions dictate who has what access rights to
that particular Profile Field's information.

Intentton-Centric Interface
Satisfying Customer Intentions, such as Planning for Retirement or Relocating
requires a specialized interface. Customer
intentions require extensive planning and coordination across many areas,
ranging from financial security, housing and
transportation to healthcare, personal and professional development, and
entertainment, among others. Satisfying Intentions
requires a network of complementary businesses, working across industries, to
help meet consumers' needs.
An Intention-Centric Interface is a user interface designed to help the user
manage personal Intentions. At any given point, the
interface content is customized to show only content that relates to that
particular Intention. The Intention-Centric Interface
allows the user to manage the process of satisfying that particular Intention.
This involves a series of discrete steps and a set of
content areas the user can access. At any point, the user can also switch the
interface to manage a different Intention, and this
act will change the content of the interface to include only that content
which is relevant to the satisfaction of the newly selected
Intention.

Figure 14 provides a detailed descrip6on of the data model needed to support
an Intention-Centric Interface. Each User
Persona 1410 (see Figure 13 for a more detailed description of the Persona
data model.) has any number of active User
Intentions 1420. Each active User Intention is given a Nickname 1430, which is
the display name the user sees on the screen.
Each active User Intention also contains a number of Data Fields 1440, which
contain any user data collected throughout the
interaction with the user. For instance, if the user had filled out a form on
the screen and one of the fields was Social Security
Number, the corresponding Data Field would contain Name = "SSN" 1450, Value =
"999-99-9999" 1460. Each User Intention
also keeps track of Intention Step 1470 completion status. The Completion 1480
field indicates whether the user has completed
the step. Every User Intention is a user-specific version of a Generic
Intention 1490, which is the default model for that Intention
for all users. The Generic Intention is customized through Custom Rules 1411
and 1412 that are attached to the sub-steps in
the Intention. These Custom Rules are patterns describing how the system will
customize the Intention for each individual user
using the individual user's profile information.

Statistical Agent
An agent keeps track of key statistics for each user, These statistics are
used in a manner similar to the Tamagochi virtual
reality pet toy to encourage certain behaviors from the user. The statistics
that are recorded are frequency of login, frequency of
rating of content such as news articies, and activity of agents, measured by
the number of tasks which it performs in a certain
period. This information is used by the system to emotionally appeal to the
user to encourage certain behaviors.
Figure 15 describes the process for generating the page that displays the
agent's current statistics. When the user requests the
agent statistics page 1510 with the client browser, the server retrieves the
users' statistics 1520 from the users' profile database
1530. The server then performs the mathematical calculations necessary to
create a normalized set of statistics 1540. The
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server then retrieves the formulas 1550 from the content database 1560 that
will be used to calculate the user-centric statistics.
Graphs are then generated 1570 using the generic formulas and that user's
statistics. These graphs are inserted into a
template to create the stafistics page 1580. This page is then retumed to the
user 1590.

Personalized Product Report Service
The system provide Consumer Report-like service that is customized for each
user based on a user profile. The system records
and provides rafings from users about product quality and desirability on a
number of dimensions. The difference between this
system and traditionai product quality measurement services is that the
ratings that come back to the users are personalized.
This service works by finding the people who have the closest match to the
user's profile and have previously rated the product
being asked for. Using this algorithm will help to ensure that the product
reports sent back to the user only contain statistics
from people who are similar to that user.

Figure 16 describes the algorithm for determining the personalized product
ratings for a user. When the user requests a product
report 1610 for product X, the algorithm retrieves the profiles 1620 from the
profile database 1630 (which includes product
ratings) of those users who have previously rated that product. Then the
system retrieves the default thresholds 1640 for the
profile matching algorithm from the content database 1650. It then maps all of
the short list of users along several dimensions
specified in the profile matching algorithm 1660. The top n (specified
previously as a threshold variable) nearest neighbors are
then determined and a test is performed to decide if they are within distance
y (also specified previously as a threshold variable)
of the user's profile in the set 1670 using the results from the profile
matching algorithm. If they are not within the threshold,
then the threshold variables are relaxed 1680, and the test is run again. This
processing is repeated until the test retums true.
The product ratings from the smaller set of n nearest neighbors are then used
to determine a number of product statistics 1690
along several dimensions. Those statistics are inserted into a product report
template 1695 and returned to the user 1697 as a
product report.

Personal Profile and Services Ubiquity
This system provides one central storage place for a person's profile. This
storage place is a server available through the public
Intemet, accessible by any device that is connected to the Internet and has
appropriate access. Because of the ubiquitous
accessibility of the profile, numerous access devices can be used to customize
services for the user based on his profile. For
example, a merchant's web site can use this profile to provide personalized
content to the user. A Personal Digital Assistant
(PDA) with Internet access can synchronize the person's calendar, email,
contact list, task list and notes on the PDA with the
version stored in the Intemet site. This enables the person to only have to
maintain one version of this data in order to have it
available whenever it is needed and in whatever formats it is needed.

Figure 17 presents the detailed logic associated with the many different
methods for accessing this centrally stored profile. The
profile database 1710 is the central storage place for the users' profile
information. The profile gateway server 1720 receives all
requests for profile information, whether from the user himself or merchants
trying to provide a service to the user. The profile
gateway server is responsible for ensuring that information is only given out
when the profile owner specifically grants
permission. Any device that can access the public Internet 1730 over TCP/IP (a
standard network communications protocol) is
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able to request information from the profile database via intelligent HTTP
requests. Consumers will be able to gain access to
services from devices such as their televisions 1740, mobile phones, Smart
Cards, gas meters, water meters, kitchen
appliances, security systems, desktop computers, laptops, pocket organizers,
PDAs, and their vehicles, among others.
Likewise, merchants 1750 will be able to access those profiles (given
permission from the consumer who owns each profile),
and will be able to offer customized, personalized services to consumers
because of this.

One possible use of the ubiquitous profile is for a hotel chain. A consumer
can carry a Smart Card that holds a digital certificate
uniquely identifying him. This Smart Card's digital certificate has been
issued by the system and it recorded his profile
information into the profile database. The consumer brings this card into a
hotel chain and checks in. The hotel employee
swipes the Smart Card and the consumer enters his Pin number, unlocking the
digital certificate. The cerfificate is sent to the
profile gateway server (using a secure transmission protocol) and is
authenticated. The hotel is then given access to a certain
part of the consumer's profile that he has previously specified. The hotel can
then retrieve all of the consumer's billing
information as well as preferences for hotel room, etc. The hotel can also
access the consumer's movie and dining preferences
and offer customized menus for both of them. The hotel can offer to send an
email to the consumer's spouse letting him/her
know the person checked into the hotel and is safe. All transaction
information can be uploaded to the consumer's profile after
the hotel checks him in. This will allow partners of the hotel to utilize the
information about the consumer that the hotel has
gathered (again, given the consumer's permission).

Intention Value Network

In an Intention Value Network, the overall integrator system coordinates the
delivery of products and services for a user. The
integrator manages a network of approved suppliers providing products and
services, both physical and virtual, to a user based
on the user's preferences as reflected in the user's profile. The integrator
manages the relationship between suppliers and
consumers and coordinates the suppliers' fulfillment of consumers' intentions.
It does this by providing the consumer with
information about products and suppliers and offering objective advice, among
other things.

Figure 18 discloses the detailed interaction between a consumer and the
integrator involving one supplier. The user accesses a
Web Browser 1810 and requests product and pricing information from the
integrator. The request is sent from the user's
browser to the integrator's Web/Application Server 1820. The user's
preferences and personal information is obtained from an
integrator's customer profile database 1830 and returned to the
Web/Application server. The requested product information is
extracted from the supplier's product database 1840 and customized for the
particular customer. The Web/Application server
updates the supplier's customer information database 1850 with the inquiry
information about the customer. The product and
pricing information is then formatted into a Web Page 1860 and returned to the
customer's Web Browser.

Summary Agent
A suite of software agents running on the application and web servers are
programmed to take care of repetitive or mundane
tasks for the user. The agents work according to rules set up by the user and
are only allowed to perform tasks explicitly
defined by the user. The agents can take care of paying bills for the user,
filtering content and emails, and providing a summary
view of tasks and agent activity. The user interface for the agent can be
modified to suit the particular user.

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CA 02350314 2008-03-28

Figure 19 discloses the logic in accordance with a preferred embodiment
processing by an agent to generate a verbal summary
for the user. When the user requests the summary page 1900, the server gets
the user's agent preferences 1920, such as
agent type, rules and summary level from the user profile database 1930. The
server gets the content 1940, such as emails, to
do list items, news, and bills, from the content database 1950. The agent
parses all of this content, using the rules stored in the
profile database, and summarizes the content 1960. The content is formatted
into a web page 1970 according to a template.
The text for the agent's speech is generated 1980, using the content from the
content database 1990 and speech templates
stored in the database. This speech text is inserted into the web page 1995
and the page is returned to the user 1997.

Trusted Third Party
The above scenario requires the web site to maintain a guarantee of privacy of
information according to a published policy. This
system is the consumer's Trusted Third Party, acting on his behalf in every
case, erring on the side of privacy of information,
rather than on the side of stimulation of commerce opportuni6es. The Trusted
Third Party has a set of processes in place that
guarantee certain complicity with the stated policy.
"meCommerce"
This word extends the word "eCommerce'to mean "personalized electronic
commerce."
Figure 20 illustrates a display login in accordance with a preferred
embodiment. The display is implemented as a Microsoft
Intemet Explorer application with an agent 2000 that guides a user through the
process of interacting with the system to
customize and personalize various system components to gather information and
interact with the user's personal requirements.
A user enters a usemame at 2010 and a password at 2020 and selects a button
2040 to initiate the login procedure. As the logo
2030 suggests, the system transforms electronic commerce into a personalized,
so called "me" commerce.
Figure 21 illustrates a managing daily logistics display in accordance with a
preferred embodiment. A user is greeted by an
animated agent 2100 with a personalized message 2190. The user can select from
various activities based on requirements,
induding travel 2110, household chores 2120, finances 2130 and marketplace
activities 2140. Icons 2142 for routine tasks such
as e-mail, calendaring and document preparation are also provided to
facilitate rapid navigation from one activity to another.
Direct links 2146 are also provided to allow transfer of news and other items
of interest. Various profiles can be selected based
on where the user is located. For example, work, home or vacation. The
profiles can be added 2170 as a user requires a new
profile for another location. Various items 2180 of personal information are
collected from the user to support various
endeavors. Moreover, permissions 2150 are set for items 2180 to assure
information is timely and current.

Figure 22 illustrates a user main display in accordance with a preferred
embodiment. World 2200 and local news 2210 is
provided based on a user's preference. The user has also selected real estate
2230 as an item to provide direct information on
the main display. Also, a different agent 2220 is provided based on the user's
preference.
Figure 23 illustrates an agent interaction in accordance with a preferred
embodiment. The agent 2310 is
communicating information 2300 to a user indicating that the user's life
insurance needs have changed,
includes icons (financial planner 2320, health watch 2330, retirement goals
2340, estate planning 2350, and
lifestyle 2360),and pointing the user to the chart that best summarizes the
information for the user. Particular
tips 2395 are provided to facilitate more detailed information based on
current user statistics. A chart 2370 of
the user's life insurance needs is also highlighted at the center of the
display to assist the
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user in determining appropriate action. A button 2380 is provided to
facilitate changing the policy and a set of buttons 2390 are
provided to assist a user in selecting various views of the user's insurance
requirements.

Event Backgrounder
An Event Backgrounder is a short description of an upcoming event that is sent
to the user just before an event. The Event
Backgrounder is constantly updated with the latest information related to this
event. Pertinent information such as itinerary and
logistics are included, and other useful information, such as people the user
knows who might be in the same location, are also
included. The purpose of the Event Backgrounder is to provide the most up-to-
date information about an event, drawing from a
number of resources, such as public web sites and the users calendar and
contact lists, to allow the user to react optimally in a
given situation.

Vicinity Friend Finder
This software looks for opportunities to tell the user when a friend, family
member or acquaintance is or is going to be in the
same vicinity as the user. This software scans the user's calendar for
upcoming events. It then uses a geographic map to
compare those calendar events with the calendar events of people who are
listed in his contact list. It then informs the user of
any matches, thus telling the user that someone is scheduled to be near him at
a particular time.
Information Overload
The term informafion overload is now relatively understood in both its
definition as well as its implications and consequences.
People have a finite amount of attention that is available at any one time,
but there is more and more vying for that attention
every day. In short, too much information and too little time are the primary
factors complicating the lives of most knowledge
workers today.

The first attempts to dynamically deal with information overload were
primarily focused on the intelligent filtering of information
such that the quantity of information would be lessened. Rather than simply
removing random bits of information, however,
most of these approaches tried to be intelligent about what information was
ultimately presented to the user. This was
accomplished by evaluating each document based on the user's interests and
discarding the less relevant ones. It follows,
therefore, that the quality was also increased.

Filtering the information is only a first step in dealing with information is
this new age. Arguably, just as important as the quality
of the document is having ready access to it. Once you have entered a meeting,
a document containing critical information
about the meetfng subject delivered to your office is of little value. As the
speed of business continues to increase fueled by the
technologies of interconnectedness, the ability to receive quality information
wherever and whenever you are becomes critical.
This new approach is called intelligent informatPon delivery and is heralding
in a new information age.

A preferred embodiment demonstrates the intelligent information delivery
theory described above in an attempt to not only
reduce information overload, but to deliver high quality information where and
when users' require it. In other words, the system
delivers right information to the right person at the right time and the right
place.

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Active Knowledge Management System Description
Figure 24 is a block diagram of an active knowledge management system in
accordance with a preferred embodiment. The
system consists of the following parts: back-end 2400 connection to one or
more servers, personal mobile wireless clients
(Awareness Machine)2430, 2436, public clients (Magic Wall) 2410, 2420, web
clients 2446, 2448, e-mail clients 2450, 2460.
Back-end Server (2400) Processes
Figure 25 is a block diagram of a back end server in accordance with a
preferred embodiment. The back-end
(2400 of Figure 24) is a computer system that has the following software
active: Intelligent Agents Coordinator
(Munin) 2580 (Munin DB 2590), Information Prioritization Subsystem 2530, a set
of continuously and
periodically running information gathering and processing Intelligent Agents
2500, 2502 and 2504, User Profiles
Database 2542 and supporting software, Information Channels Database 2540 and
supporting software,
communications software 2550, information transformation software 2560, and
communications transformation
auxiliary software 2570.
The Awareness Machine (2446 & 2448 of Figure 24)

The Awareness Machine is a combination of hardware device and software
application. The hardware consists of handheld
personal computer and wireless communications device. The Awareness Machine
reflects a constantly updated state-of-the-
owner's-world by continually receiving a wireless triclde of information. This
information, mined and processed by a suite of
intelligent agents, consists of mail messages, news that meets each user's
preferences, schedule updates, background
information on upcoming meetings and events, as well as weather and traffic.

Figure 26 is a block diagram of a magic wall in accordance with a preferred
embodiment.
The Magic Walf
The Magic Wall hardware includes:
= Computer system 2640 connected to the back-end server
= Sensor array 2634, 2630 and 2632 detects presence, position, and identity of
a person
= Large touch-sensitive display 2620
= Sound input 2610 /output 2614 hardware
The Magic Wall software supports:
= Multimedia output compatible with current Web standards
= Speech recognition
= Tactile input
= Intelligent agents representations in the form of speech-enabled animated
characters
The Magic Wall operates as follows:

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1. If a user appears in the vicinity of Magic Wall, the sensor array triggers
"user here" event that sends an environmental cue
containing the person's id and the location to the Intelligent Agent
Coordinator.
2. User is identified based on the information returned by the sensor array,
3. The Magic Wall switches to "locked on the user" mode. If another user
approaches, the system will nofify him or her that it
cannot serve another user while the current user is being served.
4. Intelligent Agent Coordinator is notified about the user presence.
5. The Intelligent Agent Coordinator decides if there is pertinent information
that the user would be interested in and Magic
Wall location time-sensitive information to show (e.g. traffic report, meeting
reminder). If such information exists, it is
prepared for delivery. If not, control is transferred to the Information
Prioritization Subsystem.
6. Information Prioritization Subsystem decides what information is most
relevant to the user based on their personal profile,
freshness of the information, and the Intelligent Agent Coordinator's prior
suggestions.
7. The page of information identified as the most relevant to the user at this
time and place is shown. The act of the
information delivery can also include animation and speech output of the
intelligent agent representation.
8. If a user desires, he or she can ask Magic Wall to show a particular page.
The Magic Wall recognizes the speech fragment
and then identifies and shows the requested page.
9. As the user departs from the Magic Wall area, the sensor array triggers
"user left" event.
10. The Magic Wall switches back to the waiting state.

Other Clients

The Web client is a standard browser navigating to a set of Web pages which
allow user to see the same information that is
available via the Magic Wall.

The e-mail client is any standard e-mail program.
Intelligent Agent Coordinator Description
This piece of code is the coordinating agent (or meta-agent) for the Active
Knowledge Management system. This means that all
communications between the system and each user, as well as communication
between the different minion agents are handled
(coordinated) by the Intelligent Agent Coordinator. Examples of these minion
agents are:

= BackgroundFinder - an agent that parses meeting text determining important
keywords and phrases and finds background
information on the meeting for each user
= TrafficFinder - an agent that finds traffic information for each user based
on where they live
= Several other agents that are responsible for doing statistical analysis of
the data in each user's profile and upda6ng fields
perGnent to that data

The Intelligent Agent Coordinator 2580 of Figure 25 is also the user's
"interface" to the system, in that whenever the user
interacts with the system, regardless of the GUI or other end-user interface,
they are ultimately dealing with (asking questions of
or sending commands to) the Intelligent Agent Coordinator. The Intelligent
Agent Coordinator has four primary responsibilities:

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1) monitoring user activities, 2) handling information requests, 3)
maintaining each user's profile, and 4) routing information to
and from users and to and from the other respective agents.

Monitoring User Activities
Anytime a user triggers a sensor the Intelligent Agent Coordinator receives an
"environmental cue." These cues not.only enable
the Intelligent Agent Coordinator to gain an understanding where users' are
for information delivery purposes, but also to leam
the standard pattems (arrival time, departure time, etc.) of each persons'
life. These pattems are constantly being updated and
refined in an attempt to increase the system's intelligence when detivering
information. For instance, today it is not uncommon
for a person to have several email accounts (work-based, home-based, mobile-
based, etc.) as well as several different
computers involved in the retrieval process for all of these accounts. Thus,
for the Intelligent Agent Coordinator to be successful
in delivering information to the correct location it must take into account
all of these accounts and the times that the user is likely
to be accessing them in order to maximize the probability that the user will
see the information. This will be discussed further in
another section,

Handling Information Requests

The Intelligent Agent Coordinator handles information requests from other
agents in order to personalize information intended
for each user and to more accurately reflect each user's interests in the
information they are given. These requests will
commonly be related to the user's profile. For instance, if an agent was
preparing a traffic report for a user it may request the
traffic region (search string) of that user from the Intelligent Agent
Coordinator. All access to the user's profile data is accessed
in this method.

Maintaining User Profiles

User profiles contain extensive information about the users. This information
is a blend of user-specified data and information
that the Intelligent Agent Coordinator has learned and extrapolated from each
user's information and activities. In order to
protect the data contained in the profiles, the Intelligent Agent Coordinator
must handle all user information requests. The
Intelligent Agent Coordinator is constantly modifying and updating these
profiles by watching the user's activities and attempting
to learn the patterns of their lives in order to assist in the more routine,
mundane tasks. The Intelligent Agent Coordinator also
employs other agents to glean meaning from each user's daily activities. These
agents mine this data trying to discover
indications of current interests, long-term interests, as well as time
delivery preferences for each type of information. Another
important aspect of the Intelligent Agent Coordinator's observations is that
it also tries to determine where each user is
physically located throughout the day for routing purposes.

lnfonnation Routing

Most people are mobile throughout their day. The Intelligent Agent Coordinator
tries to be sensitive to this fact by attempting to
determine, both by observation (unsupervised leaming) and from cues from the
environment, where users are or are likely to be
located. This is certainly important for determining where to send the user's
information, but also for determining in which format
to send the information. For instance, if a user were at her desk and using
the web client, the Intelligent Agent Coordinator
would be receiving indications of activity from her PC and would know to send
any necessary information there. In addition,
because desktop PCs are generally quite powerful, a full-featured, graphically
intense version could be sent. However, consider
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an altemative situation: the Intelligent Agent Coordinator has received an
indication (via the keycard reader next to the exit) that
you have just left the building. Minutes later the Intelligent Agent
Coordinator also receives notification that you have received
an urgent message. The Intelligent Agent Coordinator, knowing that you have
left the building and having not received any other
indications, assumes that you are reachable via your handheld device (for
which it also knows the capabilities) and sends the
text of the urgent message there, rather than a more graphicaily-oriented
version.
Inherent Innovations
The Active Knowledge Management system represents some of the most advanced
thinking in the world of knowledge
management and human computer interaction. Some of the primary innovations
include the following:
= The Intelligent Agent Coordinator as illustrated above.
= The development, demonstration, and reaiization of the theory of Intelligent
Information Delivery
= Support for several channels of information delivery, all of which utilize a
common back-end. For instance, if a user is in
front of a Magic Wall the information will be presented in a multimedia-rich
form. If the system determines that the user is
mobile, the information will be sent by to their Awareness Machine in standard
text. It facilitates delivery of information
whenever and wherever a user requires the information.
= Personalization of information based not only on a static user profile, but
also by taking into account history of the user
interactions and current reai-6me situation including "who, where, and when"
awareness.
= Utiiization of fast and scalable Information Prioritization Subsystem that
takes into account Intelligent Agents Coordinator
opinion, user preferences, and history of user interactions. It takes the load
of mundane decisions off the Intelligent Agents
part therefore allowing the agents to be much more sophisticated and precise
without compromising the system scalability.
= Speech recognition and speech synthesis in combination with intelligent
agent animated representation and tactile input
provides for efficient, intuitive, and emotionaiiy rewarding interaction with
the system.

Supporting Code in Accordance With A Prefen=ed Embodiment

The following code is written and executed in the Microsoft Active Server
Pages environment in accordance with a preferred
embodiment. It consists primariiy of Microsoft Jscript with some database
calls embedded in the code to query and store
information in the database.

intention-Centric Interface
Create an Intention ASP Page ("intention_create.asp")
<%@ LANGUAGE = "JScript" %>

Response.Buffer = true;
Response.Expires = 0;
%>
<html>

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<head>
<6fle>Create An Intention</fitle>
</head>

<body becolor="#FFE9D5" style="font-family: Ariaf" text="#000000">
I/Define some variables

upl = Server.Create0bject("SoftArtisans.FileUp")
intention_name = upl.Form("intention_name")
intention_desc = upl.Form("intention_desc")
//intention_name = Request.Form("intention_name")
I/intention_desc = Request. Form("intention_desc")
//intention_icon = Request.Form("intention_icon")
submitted = upl.Form("submitted")
items = new Enumerator(upl.Form)
%>

l/Establish connection to the database
objConnection = Server.Create0bject("ADODB,Connection")
objConnection.Open("Maelstrom")
%>
//Check to see if the person hit the button and do the appropriate thing
if (submitted == "Add/Delete")
{
flag = "false"

llloop through all the inputs
while(!items.atEnd())
{
i = items.item()

/!if items are checked then delete them
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if(upl.Form(i) == "on")
{
objConnection.Execute("detete from user_intention where intention_id =" + i);
objConnection.Execute("delete from intentions where intention_id =+ i);
objConnection.Execute("delete from toofs_to_intention where intention_id + i)
flag = "true"
}
items.moveNextO
}
// if items were not deleted then insert whatever is in the text field in the
database
if(flag == "false")
{
intention_name_short = intention_name.replace(/ /gi,"")
objConnection.Execute("INSERT INTO intentions
(intention_name,intention_desc,intention_icon) values('" +
intention_name + "','" + intention_desc + + intention_name_short + ".gif" +
"')")
Response.write("the intention short name is "+ intention_name_short);
upl.SaveAs("E:deveiopmentlasp_examplesl"+ intention_name_short +".gif")
}
}
ll Query the database to show the most recent items.
rsCustomersList = objConnection.Execute("SELECT' FROM intentions")
o~>

<input type-"Submit" name="retum_to_mcp" value="Go to Main Control Panel"
onclick="location.href='default.asp>
<form method="post" action="intention_create.asp" enctype="multipart/form-
data" >
<TABLE border=0>
<tr><td colspan="2"><font face="Arial" size="+1"><b>Enter in a new
intention</b></font></td></tr>

<tr><td><font face="Arial">Name:</font></td> <td><INPUT TYPE="text"
name="intention name"></td></tr>
<tr><td><font face="Arial">Description:</font></td><td><TEXTAREA
name="intention_desc"></TEXTAREA></td></tr>
<tr><td><font face="Arial">Icon Image:</font></td> <td>< INPUT TYPE="file"
NAME-= intention_icon" size=40></td></tr>
<tr><td colspan="2"><INPUT type="submit" name="submitted"
value="Add/DeIete"><Itd></tr>
</TABLE>
<HR>
<font face="Ariaa" size="+1 "><b>Current Intentions</b></font>
<TABLE>
<tr becolor=E69780 align="center">
<td>
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<FONT co!or-"white>De!ete</FONT>
<Itd>
<TD>
<FONT coior-"white">Itention</FONT>
</TD>
<TD>
<FONT color-"white">Description<IFONT>
</TD>
<TD>
<FONT co!or="white">Image<IFONT>
</TD>
<(tr>
// Loop over the intentions in the list
counter = 0;
while (!rsCustomersList.EOF)
{

<tr beco!or="white" sty!e="font-size: smaller">
<td a!ign=center>
<INPUT type="checkbox" name="<%=rsCustomersList("intention_id") h>">
</TD>
<td>
<%= rsCustomersList("intention_name")%>
</td>
<td>
< k= rsCustomersList("intention_desc")%>
</td>
<td>
<img src="..fimages/<%= rsCustomersList("intention_icon")%>">
</td>
</tr>
<%
counter++
rsCustomersList.MoveNext()}
</TABLE>
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<hr>
Available Tools
</form>
<IBODY>
</HTML>

Retrieve Intentions List ASP Page (NPntentions_list.asp")
<!-- #indude file="inc!ude%heck_authentication.inc" =->

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>mySite! Intentions List</TITLE>

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
function intentionsList () {
this.internalArray = new ArrayO;

ll establish connection to the database
objConnection = Server.Create0bject("ADODB.Connec6on");
objCon nection. Open ("Maelstrom");

ll create query
intentionsQuery = objConnection.Execute("SELECT' FROM intentions ORDER BY
intenfion_name asc");
"k>
// write out the optfons
num0ptions = 0
while (lintentionsQuery.EOF)
{
inten6onName = inten6onsQuery("intention_name");
intentionicon = intentionsQuery("intention_icon");
'k>

this.internalArray[<%= numOptions%>] = new Array(2);
this.intemalArrayl<%= numOptions k>][0] = "<%= intentionName %>";
this.internalArray[<%= numOptions k>][1 ] = "images/<%= intentionlcon W;
<96 num0ptions++; intentionsQuery.moveNext(; %>
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<% } %>
}
numintentions = <%= numOptions%>;
intentionArray = new intentionsLlst().internalArray;
function selectlntention () {
for (i=0;i<numintentions;i++) {
if (IntentionsListSelect.options[].selected) {
intentionNameTextField.value = intentionArray[i][0];
/IlntentionPicture.src = intentionArray[i][1];
break;
}
}
}
</SCRIPT>
</HEAD>
<BODY BGCOLOR="<%=Session("main_badcground")%>" style="font-family: Arial">
<CENTER>
<!- <FORM NAME="intention list> ->
<TABLE FRAME="BOX" border-0 CELLPADDING="2" CELLSPACING=112">

<TR><TD COLSPAN="3" STYLE"font: 20pt ariaf' ALIGN="CENTER'><B>Add a mySite!
Intention</B></TD></TR>
<TR><TD COLSPAN="3">8nbsp;</TD><!TR>

<TR>
<TD width-- 100"><font size="-1'>Please Select An Intention You Would Like to
Add to Your List</font></TD>
<TD colspan=2>
<SELECT ID-= IntentionsListSelect" NAME="IntentionsListSelect" SIZE="10"
style="font 9pt Arial ;
onClidc=" selectl ntention()">

intentionsQuery.moveFirst();
for(j=0;j<numOptions;j++) ( %>
<OPTION VALUE="<%= intentionsQuery("intention_id") %>" <% if (j == 0) { %>
SELECTED <% }
<%= intentionsQuery("intention_name") %>
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<% intentionsQuery.moveNext()
}
intentionsQuery. moveFirsto;
</SELECT>

<!TD>
</T'R>
<TR><TD COLSPAN="3">&nbsp;<!TD></TR>
<TR>
<TD width="100"><font size="-1 ">Customize the Intention name</font></TD>
<TD COLSPAN=2"><INPUT TYPE="text" NAME="intentionNameTextField"
ID="intentionNameTextField" SIZE="30"
VALUE="<%= intentionsQuery("intention_name") %>"><RD>
<(fR>
<TR><TD COLSPAN="3">&nbsp=<!TD></TR>
<TR>
<TD COLSPAN="3" ALIGN="CENTER">
<INPUT TYPE= button" NAME="intentionOKButton" VALUE=" OK " SIZE="10"
ID="intentionOKButton"
onClick="javaScript:top.opener.top.navframe.addAn lntention();">
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&
nbsp;
<INPUT TYPE= button" NAME-"intentionCancelButton" VALUE="Cancel" SIZE="10"
ID="intentionCanceiButton" onCiick="self.close();">
</TD>
<ITR>
</TABLE>
<!-- </FORM> -->
<lCENTER>
<% objConnection.Ciose(); %>
</BODY>
</HTML>

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Display User Intention List ASP Page (excerpted from "navigation.asp")

<DIV ID= intention!ist" sty!e="position: absolute; width:210; height:95; left:
365pt; top: -5; visibility: hidden; font-family: Arial;
font-co!or: #000000; font: 8pt Aria! ; " >
<DIV style="position: absolute; top:7; left:7; height:78; width:210; z-
index:2; background: <%=Session("main_background")%>;
border solid 1pt#000000; padding: 3pt; overflow: auto; alink: black; link:
b!ack;">
<body LINK="#000000" ALINK="#000000" v!ink='b!ack">
l/ create query
intentionsQuery = objConnection.Execute("SELECT user_intention.' FROM user
intention,
user_intention_to_persona WHERE user_intention_to_persona.user_persona_id +
Session("currentUserPersona") + AND
user_intention_to_persona.user_intention_id =
user_intention.user_intention_id" );
numintenpons = 0;
Response.Write("<SCRIPT>numintentions=" + intentionsQuery.RecordCount +
"</SCRIPT><TABLE cellpadding='0' width='100%' cellspacing='0'>");

while (!intentionsQuery.EOF)
{
%>
<TR><TD><a href="javascript:change!ntention('<%=
intentionsQuery("user_intention_id")
%>','<%=numintent!ons%>')" onmouseover="mouseOverTab()"
onmouseout="mouseOutOfTab()"><font co!or="Black"
face="aria!" size="-2"><%= intentionsQuery("intention_custom_name")
%><Ifont></a></TD><TD><IMG a!ign="right'
SRC="images/delete.gif" a!t="De!ete this intention" onClick="confirmDelete(<%=
intentionsQuery("user_intention_id")
%>)"></TD><(fR>
<%numintentions++; intentionsQuery.moveNext(); k>
Response.Write("<SCRIPT>numintentions='+numintentions +"</SCRIPT>");
%>
<tr><td colspan-- 2"><hr></td></tr>
<TR><td co!span="2"><a href="javascript:change!ntention('add ..: ,<
k=numintentions%>);"
onmouseover="mouseOverTabQ" onmouseout="mouse0ut0fTab()"><font co!or="Black"
face="arial" size="-2">add
... </font><Ia></td></TR>
</table>
</body>
<IDIV>

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<DIV style-"position: absolute: top:O; left:-5; width: 230; height:105; z-
index:l; "
onmouseout="intentionlist.style.visibility='hidden onmouseout=
intentionlist.style.visibility='hidden'"
onmouseover="intentionlist.style.visibility='hidden'"> </DIV>
</DIV>
<IDIV>

While various embodiments have been described above, it should be understood
that they have been presented by way of
example only, and not limitation. Thus, the breadth and scope of a preferred
embodiment should not be limited by any of the
above described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in
accordance with the following claims and their
equivalents.

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-------------- - --

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2010-01-19
(86) PCT Filing Date 1999-11-16
(87) PCT Publication Date 2000-06-02
(85) National Entry 2001-05-08
Examination Requested 2001-05-08
(45) Issued 2010-01-19
Expired 2019-11-18

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $400.00 2001-05-08
Filing $300.00 2001-05-08
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2001-11-16 $100.00 2001-10-30
Extension of time $200.00 2002-08-08
Registration of Documents $100.00 2002-10-29
Registration of Documents $100.00 2002-10-29
Registration of Documents $100.00 2002-10-29
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2002-11-18 $100.00 2002-11-13
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2003-11-17 $100.00 2003-09-26
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2004-11-16 $200.00 2004-09-24
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2005-11-16 $200.00 2005-09-22
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2006-11-16 $200.00 2006-11-16
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2007-11-16 $200.00 2007-11-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 9 2008-11-17 $200.00 2008-11-05
Final Fee $300.00 2009-09-28
Expired 2019 - Filing an Amendment after allowance $400.00 2009-09-28
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 10 2009-11-16 $250.00 2009-11-13
Registration of Documents $100.00 2010-10-07
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 11 2010-11-16 $250.00 2010-11-01
Registration of Documents $100.00 2010-12-08
Registration of Documents $100.00 2010-12-08
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2011-11-16 $250.00 2011-10-13
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2012-11-16 $250.00 2012-10-10
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2013-11-18 $250.00 2013-10-09
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2014-11-17 $450.00 2014-11-05
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2015-11-16 $450.00 2015-10-21
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 17 2016-11-16 $450.00 2016-11-09
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 18 2017-11-16 $450.00 2017-10-25
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 19 2018-11-16 $450.00 2018-10-24
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
KNAPP INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
ACCENTURE GLOBAL SERVICES GMBH
ACCENTURE GLOBAL SERVICES LIMITED
ACCENTURE INTERNATIONAL SARL
ACCENTURE LLP
ACCENTURE PROPERTIES (2)B.V.
ANDERSEN CONSULTING, LLP
BURKEY, CHAD
HUGHES, LUCIAN
LOPATIN, SERGEI
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Document
Description
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Representative Drawing 2001-08-23 1 6
Description 2009-09-28 56 2,688
Description 2001-05-08 54 2,600
Drawings 2001-05-08 27 1,084
Abstract 2001-05-08 1 65
Claims 2001-05-08 2 88
Cover Page 2001-09-17 1 47
Claims 2004-11-09 10 320
Description 2004-11-09 54 2,601
Description 2008-03-28 54 2,597
Claims 2008-03-28 10 329
Drawings 2008-03-28 27 1,079
Representative Drawing 2009-12-21 1 6
Cover Page 2009-12-21 2 51
Prosecution-Amendment 2009-09-28 2 79
Correspondence 2001-07-19 1 25
Assignment 2001-05-08 4 137
PCT 2001-05-08 14 557
Correspondence 2002-08-08 1 39
Correspondence 2002-09-10 1 14
Assignment 2002-10-29 68 3,446
Prosecution-Amendment 2009-11-06 1 12
Prosecution-Amendment 2004-04-08 1 37
Prosecution-Amendment 2004-05-11 4 85
Prosecution-Amendment 2004-11-09 16 571
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-10-01 3 79
Prosecution-Amendment 2008-03-28 23 932
Prosecution-Amendment 2009-09-28 5 197
Correspondence 2009-09-28 2 59
Correspondence 2010-02-08 3 100
Correspondence 2010-04-13 1 12
Correspondence 2010-04-13 1 17
Assignment 2010-10-07 9 437
Assignment 2010-12-08 26 1,637
Assignment 2011-08-01 5 201
Assignment 2011-06-15 25 1,710
Assignment 2011-09-21 9 658
Correspondence 2011-11-21 2 71
Correspondence 2011-12-13 1 13
Correspondence 2011-12-13 1 17