The Big Picture

The goal of OnTo-Agents is to establish an agent infrastructure on the WWW or WWW-like networks. Such an agent infrastructure requires an  information food chain: every part of the food chain provides information, which enables the existence of the next part. 

The food chain starts with the construction of an ontology, preferably with the OnTo-Agents Ontology Construction Tool. An ontology is the "explicit specification of a conceptualization", which provides all the required terminology, and a basis for a community of interest for information exchange. The ontology defines the terms that are possible to use for annotation information in webpages, using the DAML language. The proposed OnTo-Agents Webpage Annotation Tool has means to browse the ontology and to select appropriate terms of the ontology map to mark-up sections of a webpage. The webpage annotation process creates a set of annotated webpages, which are available to an OnTo-Agent to achieve its tasks. The OnTo-Agent itself needs several sub-components, specifically the OnTo-Agents Inference System for the evaluation of rules and queries and general inferences, the OnTo-Agents Ontology Articulation Toolkit for mediation among information obtained from different ontologies. The data in from the annotations can be used to construct additional websites: a Community Web Portal, that presents a community of interest to the outside word in a concise manner. And finally, information-seeking users can give specific retrieval tasks to an OnTo-Agent, or they can query a Community Web Portal for immediate access to the information.