DE Atkins, WP Birmingham, EH Durfee, E Glover, T Mullen, EA Rundensteiner, E Soloway, JM Vidal, R Wallace, and MP Wellman

IEEE Computer 29(5):69-76, May 1996.
Copyright © 1996 IEEE.


The University of Michigan Digital Library (UMDL) project is creating an infrastructure for rendering library services over a digital network. When fully developed, the UMDL will provide a wealth of information sources and library services to students, researchers, and educators. Tasks are distributed among numerous specialized modules called agents. The three classes of agents are user interface agents, mediator agents, and collection interface agents. Complex tasks are accomplished by teams of specialized agents working together-for example, by interleaving various types of search. The UMDL is being deployed in three arenas: secondary-school science classrooms, the University of Michigan library, and space-science laboratories. The development team expects the scale and diversity of the project to test their technical ideas about distributed agents, interoperability, mediation, and economical resource allocation.