Modeling Web Sources for Information Integration

Craig A. Knoblock, Steven Minton, Jose Luis Ambite, Naveen Ashish, Pragnesh Jay Modi, Ion Muslea, Andrew G. Philpot, Sheila Tejada

The Web is based on a browsing paradigm that makes it difficult to retrieve and integrate data from multiple sites. Today, the only the only way to do this is to build specialized applications, which are time-consuming to develop and difficult to maintain. We are addressing this problem by creating the technology and tools for rapidly constructing information agents that extract, query, and integrate data from web sources. Our approach is based on a simple, uniform representation that makes it efficient to integrate multiple sources. Instead of building specialized algorithms for handling web sources, we have developed methods for mapping web sources into this uniform representation. This approach builds on work from knowledge representation, machine learning and automated planning. The resulting system, called Ariadne, makes it fast and cheap to build new information agents that access existing web sources. Ariadne also makes it easy to maintain these agents and incorporate new sources as they become available.

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