YouBot: A Simple Framework for Building Virtual Networking Agents

Seiji Takegata and Kumiko Tanaka-Ishii
Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, University of Tokyo


This paper proposes a simple framework for building ’virtual networking agents’; programs that have the ability to communicate with users and collect information through the internet. These virtual agents can also communicate with each other to obtain information that one agent does not have. The framework - ’YouBot’- provides basic functions such as protocol handling, authentication, and data storage. Utility functions such as a pattern matcher and web-page getter are also provided. The behaviors of the virtual agents are defined in a ’task processor’ which can be written in a light-weight language such as JavaScript. It is very easy to add new functions to a virtual agent. The last part of this paper discusses the micro-blog system ’twitter’ and other web services as information sources that a virtual agent can utilize to make its behavior more suitable to the user.