Supporting on-line resource discovery in the context of ongoing tasks with proactive software assistants

Jay Budzik*, Shannon Bradshaw, Xiaobin Fu, Kristian J Hammond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We present ongoing work on systems aimed at improving a user's awareness of resources available to them on the Internet and in intranets. First, we briefly describe Watson, a system that proactively retrieves documents from on-line repositories that are potentially useful in the context of a task, allowing the user to quickly become aware of document resources available in on-line information repositories. Next, we describe I2I. an extension of Watson that builds communities of practice on the fly, based on the work that its users do, so that users with similar goals and interests can discover each other and communicate both synchronously and asynchronously. Both Watson and I2I operate given some knowledge of the user's current task, gleaned automatically from the behavior of users in software tools. As a result, the systems can provide users with useful resources in the context of the work that they are performing. We argue that the systems can foster a greater sense of awareness of the resources available, while minimizing the effort required to discover them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-74
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • Engineering(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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