Dieter Fensel, Ontologies: a Silver Bullet for Knowledge Management and Electronic Commerce, Springer, 1998

"Softbots (software robots) are intelligent agents that use software tools and services on a person's behalf." [Etzioni, 1997] Shopbots are special-purpose information search, filter, and integration agents providing much better recall and precision than general-purpose search engines, and they usually add some extra service. Their general architecture is shown in Figure [at right]. This architecture is based on the concept of providing integrated access to heterogenous and distributed information sources developed in [Wiederhold, 1992], [Wiederhold et al., 1997], and [Wiederhold & Genesereth et al., 1997].