Date of Award

Fall 1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)

Department

Computer and Information Science

First Advisor

Peter A. Ng

Second Advisor

Gary L. Thomas

Third Advisor

Daochuan Hung

Fourth Advisor

Franz J. Kurfess

Fifth Advisor

Taiming Chu

Sixth Advisor

Ronald S. Curtis

Abstract

This dissertation investigates the use of active rules that are embedded in markup documents. Active rules are used in a markup representation by integrating Collaborative Software Agents with TEXPROS (abbreviation for TEXt PROcessing System) [Liu and Ng 1996] to create a powerful distributed document management system. Such markup documents with embedded active rules are called Active Documents. For fast retrieval purposes, when we need to generate a customized Internet folder organization, we first define the Folder Organization Query Language (FO-QL) to solve data categorization problems. FO-QL defines the folder organization query process that automatically retrieves links of documents deposited into folders and then constructs a folder organization in either a centralized document repository or multiple distributed document repositories. Traditional documents are stored as static data that do not provide any dynamic capabilities for accessing or interacting with the document environment. The dynamic and distributed nature of both markup data and markup rules do not merely respond to requests for information, but intelligently anticipate, adapt, and actively seek ways to support the computing processes. This outcome feature conquers the static nature of the traditional documents.

An Office Automation Definition Language (OADL) with active rules is defined for constructing the TEXPROS 's dual modeling approach and workflow events representation. Active Documents are such agent-supported OADL documents. With embedded rules and self-describing data features, Active Documents provide capability of collaborative interactions with software agents. Data transformation and data integration are both data processing problems but little research has focused on the markup documents to generate a versatile folder organization. Some of the research merely provides manual browsing in a document repository to find the right document. This browsing is time consuming and unrealistic, especially in multiple document repositories. With FO-QL, one can create a customized folder organization on demand.

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