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Article  June 1, 1999

Task-based Information Management


Wolverton, M. Task-based Information Management. ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 31, no. 2es, June 1999.


Effective collaboration in fast-changing environments can put great demands on a collaborator’s time. Therefore, information retrieval and filtering tools for these environments should impose as little on that time as possible. Not only should they exclude as many irrelevent documents as possible from those presented to the user (to avoid the time wasted sorting through and reading those documents), they should also minimize the user’s effort in characterizing his or her information needs. The goal of the Task-based Information Distribution Environment (TIDE) system is to achieve these objectives by explicitly representing each collaborator’s current task and using those representations to deliver documents that meet the information needs implied by those tasks. It does this by treating information gathering as a diagnosis problem, in which the situation (i.e., the current state of beliefs about various questions related to a task) leads probabilistically to a test that will provide the most evidence toward reaching a diagnosis (i.e., a description of the documents most likely to be useful to that task). It encodes tasks as nodes in a Bayesian network, and computes document descriptions based on the probabilistic relationship among tasks and their corresponding information requirements. Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence Center, AIC

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