[Other Papers] [Briefing Package]
Title: Common Datacast Architecture (CDA) and the prototype "Channel Builder" Speaker: Michel J. Hebert, MITRE Corporation Abstract: THE SCENARIO: Its a typical staff meeting. Toward the end of the meeting, John, my boss, asks me what I know about "extranets." At first I think its just another buzz word for intranets, then I remember reading an article about a technology that is being developed to allow organizations to share information, without compromising their security. John explains that a goal of his research program is to find effective and efficient ways to share information with our sponsors, while working with existing firewall technology. Further, he thinks that this type of technology could possibly help us solve some sticky problems we are having with telecomuting. John has instructed me to find information on these subjects and keep it coming for the next 3 to 4 months. YESTERDAY'S SOLUTION: I indicate that I'll get on the web and surf around to see what I can collect on the subject by this afternoon. Also, I'll contact the library and set up a continuous literature search, where we can receive excerpts from the various trade journals on a weekly basis. I provide the library with a list of web sites, related technologies, and other key words that will help them track down the required information. TODAY'S SOLUTION: I indicate that we should contact the MITRE library and have them put together a channel based on extranets for broadcast throughout the corporation. I provide the library with a list of web sites, related technologies, and other key words that will help them track down the required information. The MITRE library uses the Channel Builder software provided by my team to create and name the channel, connect the channel to various hunter/gatherer agents, and connect the channel to various webcasters (e.g., PointCast, Backweb) and an email listserv for delivery of the information. TOMORROW'S SOLUTION: Since John has been running the Adaptive Personal Channel (APC) software on his workstation, he doesn't even come to me for the information. The APC software has been monitoring John's email, bookmarks, web surfing expeditions, and files saved on his work station to determine what he is interested in. The APC realizes that John has been interested in extranets and asks John if he would like to add this to his personal channel. On John's suggestion, his profile is changed and the information is sent to his local Channel Builder, the requests are dispatched to the appropriate agents and the information is broadcast to John via PointCast. Because John recognizes that extranet information would be useful to the rest of the corporation and our sponsors, he instructs the APC to establish a general extranet channel, selecting the channel for specific release to our sponsors. There are two primary ideas explored in the proposed presentation: 1) In the wake of a very young market with little standardization, and information providers required to generate content in several proprietary formats, another layer in the "push architecture" which collects, aggregates, and publishes information to the various push products would be useful. We discuss a generalized architecture called the Common Datacast Architecture (CDA) and the prototype "Channel Builder" work going on at MITRE. 2) Looking forward to the time when the number of channels rivals the number of web sites, the ultimate problem of finding information that is of use to the typical internet user still remains. One solution lies in the direction of agents that watch what you do (the email you save, the web sites you bookmark, the documents you store,...) and then adapts you personal information profile and therefore, your personal channel, to the information you need now. We discuss our research, architecture, and prototype work for an Adaptive Personal Channel (APC).