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Use case: AR-1: "News flavoring and alert system"

From: Alberto Reggiori <alberto@asemantics.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 02:10:03 +0100
Message-Id: <A7D4BDBA-76E6-11D8-8EAC-0003939CA324@asemantics.com>
To: RDF Data Access Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>

== Use Case Name

News flavoring and alert system

== Intent: Task & Roles

Actor/User Agent wants to be notified/alerted about certain events or 
news triggers accordingly to his/her personal profile preferences - or 
he/she wants to seamlessly search/browse a specific service which 
automatically filter news/information accordingly to well-known 
kinds/flavors.

== Key Benefits / Value

Users are used to daily poll certain repositories or sources of 
information online to search for and read about specific news or get a 
gist of the daily events/threads - such a task is generally time 
consuming and not trivial especially if the number of sources to 
monitor/read is high. A more automated service is needed. By simply 
expressing his/her own preferences in a profile file available at 
certain URI, the user can delegate such tasks to an ad-hoc designed 
piece of software which will take care of collecting specific online 
news/events accordingly to his/her profile. Or by subscribing to a 
specialized alert service using the profile information, he/she can 
automatically be notified of specific events. Both the user profile and 
the target sources of information/news must be fully decoupled and 
decentralized from each other. And the user must retain full control on 
his/her personal profile information; as well as the sources.

== Description

Today there are several different News sources on the Web which provide 
near real-time fresh information about world-wide events, online 
newspapers or simple community-specific news; Google News [1] is a good 
example of a near real-time Web service providing news articles and 
related images/pictures covering most of the world daily events. 
Similarly using ad-hoc blogging systems, newsletters or some kind of 
digested messages, most IT and Web communities daily exchange 
information.

There exist several systems today which provide an integrated service 
to thematic news/information syndication such as Feedster [2], SlashDot 
[3] or casted to specific communities e.g. PlanetRDF [4] - they 
generally require the user to periodically "poll" the service and 
search for specific topics or articles of interest (or even worse, if 
the number of articles to read/digest is too high the user might not be 
able to). Even if such systems provide some sort of alert/notifcation 
system on thematic news/articles or some ad-hoc structured thematic 
browseable/searchable view over indexed information; the user must 
pre-register or provide to the third party his/her person 
information/preferences to allow the software to filter the information 
accordingly. Each change of preferences (or flavoring) require the user 
to update his/her profile onto a specific server, on a specific 
machine, requiring to remember his/her username/password. And the third 
party system to act accordingly.

What is needed is a federated service/system which is able to 
query/aggregate on-the-fly information accordingly to the users' 
preferences in a fully decentralized and decoupled way (e.g. using a 
URL of a FOAF file [5]) - which guarantees to leave parties in control 
of their respective information. Either the sources and the users must 
be able to describe their articles/flavors using terms from any 
vocabulary at any level of complexity - minimal requirement is they use 
the same URI references. The real benefit comes when the parties use a 
common vocabulary e.g. simple DublinCore [6] or FOAF [7].

The query system must be able to seamlessly search and join the user's 
preferences and the requested information sources, and provide a 
unified view over the data to the end user application. Each party 
specific provenance/source information might be used to further refine 
the query details. If a common set of vocabulary terms or references 
can not be found the result of the query result set is empty.

== Other

=== Examples

A demonstrator of a similar system [8] has been implemented using FOAF 
to express users' profiles and RSS1.0 news feeds generated from a 
selection of italian newspapers. RDF descriptions are augmented with 
some application specific properties which allow to filter/flavor news 
accordingly. Full provenance/source information is being added to the 
sources and extensively used during the query process. Extended RDQL 
queries are used through the whole application to join on-the-fly RDF 
descriptions coming from the user's specified URI FOAF file together 
with the individual newspapers articles URIs. The UI then tailors 
search and browse results accordingly.

=== Applicability/Scale

Real-time data, Personalization/FOAF


== References

[1] http://news.google.com/
[2] http://www.feedster.com
[3] http://slashdot.org
[4] http://planet.rdfhack.com/
[5] http://foaf.asemantics.com/alberto
[6] http://dublincore.org
[7] http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/
[8] http://demo.asemantics.com/biz/nb2/
Received on Monday, 15 March 2004 20:10:12 GMT

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