Intelligent Wrapping of Information Sources: Getting Ready for the Electronic Market
VALA 2000 CONCURRENT SESSION 2: Technology
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Literature search and delivery in the World Wide Web becomes a rapidly expanding market. Up to now the search is mostly cost-free. But in the future we expect the appearance of more and more providers charging for their services. The main problems are finding the right provider and extracting the information. UniCats is a system for intelligent information search and extraction from multiple providers Web sites. One important part of the system is the so-called wrapper. This paper concentrates on wrappers and their generators. The wrappers’ task is the translation of a customer’s query into the source’s syntax and the re-translation of the answer. Applying these wrappers in an electronic commerce environment needs additional functionality, e.g., navigation through a provider’s site, collection of the information the customer desires or cost pre-calculation. Because of the variety of the source’s functionality, we need a flexible and individually built wrapper. This could be achieved using a modular concept. For a wide acceptance of our system, easy wrapper generation is important. Thus, we develop a wrapper generator which enables laymen with no programming skills to build an individual wrapper for an information provider in an electronic commerce environment.