RCal: An Autonomous Agent for Intelligent Distributed Meeting Scheduling

Rahul Singh
master's thesis, tech. report CMU-RI-TR-03-46, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, December, 2003


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Abstract
Meeting scheduling is an inherently difficult and time consuming task that requires multiple parties to interact and consult their various calendars in order to agree upon a common time. These interactions must take into account numerous constraints that are set by the participants and there is no a-priori knowledge of all the possible constraints that may apply when scheduling a meeting. In addition to this there is an overhead in terms of time and effort involved in scheduling a meeting that can sometime make it impossible to schedule an event, especially if the number of attendees is large.

This report details the design and implementation of an intelligent meeting scheduling agent that assists humans in office environments by scheduling meetings. RCal agents negotiate with each other on the behalf of their users and agree on a common meeting time that is acceptable to all the users and abides by all the constraints set by all the attendees.

RCal is a distributed problem solver where each RCal agent forms a component of the problem solving engine by proving its own inputs as the problem converges towards a solution. In addition to this RCal is a robust, user-friendly system that integrates well with the latest computing environments and works efficiently to aid the human user in the task of scheduling meetings.


Keywords
Intelligent agents, Distributed Systems, Distributed Meeting Scheduling, Artificial Intelligence, Contract Net Protocol, Automated Negotiation, Semantic Web

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Center for Integrated Manfacturing Decision Systems
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Advanced Agent - Robotics Technology Lab
Associated Project(s): RETSINA Semantic Web Calendar Agent

Text Reference
Rahul Singh, "RCal: An Autonomous Agent for Intelligent Distributed Meeting Scheduling," master's thesis, tech. report CMU-RI-TR-03-46, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, December, 2003

BibTeX Reference
@mastersthesis{Singh_2003_4563,
   author = "Rahul Singh",
   title = "RCal: An Autonomous Agent for Intelligent Distributed Meeting Scheduling",
   booktitle = "",
   school = "Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University",
   month = "December",
   year = "2003",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-03-46",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",
}