Automated Appointment Scheduling by E-Mail


Planning business appointments with a number of partners can easily become a time and money consuming process: multitudinous queries, corrections and delays have to be dealt with before all parties involved can agree upon a date. Office lines are often engaged due to lengthy telephone calls and fax-transmissions.

The contact management systems available on the market organise appointments which are planned and agreed upon by the user. Solutions allowing interaction between companies are unsatisfactory due to lacking standards and insufficient appointment data protection. And when complications arise the user is forced to take action now as ever.

With COSMA appointments involving a number of participants can now be planned and agreed upon automatically. Co-operating software agents negotiate appointments according their user's instructions and then add them to his/her electronic calendar. The arrangements are made via e-mail and participants without user agents can communicate in natural German language. This type of e-mail message has to be analysed or generated for the software agents. The COSMA-dialogue system takes charge of these tasks as well as recognising and managing the connection between the individual linguistic comments.

The COSMA-dialogue system is devised as an Internet server offering the software agents its language processing capacities. Requirements for the use of COSMA are access to e-mail, a suitable agent system, an electronic Personal Organiser and access to the Internet server.

Prototype versions of the Internet Server and agent systems are implemented in CommonLisp, C and DFKI-Oz and are available for various platforms.

Project Manager:Stephan Busemann (Stephan.Busemann@dfki.de)
Contact:Stephan Busemann (Stephan.Busemann@dfki.de)
Duration: April 1994 - December 1996