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Automated Appointment Scheduling by E-Mail

Automated Appointment Scheduling by E-Mail

  • Duration:

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.

  • Appointments can be planned and managed by software agents
  • Time and money savings during the arrangement of business appointments
  • Communication with a number of partners via e-mail
  • Distributed client/server solution in the Internet
  • State of the art language technology for man-machine communication
  • Robust dialogue control with intelligent failure handling
  • Shallow-Parsing techniques for the analysis of the German language
  • Scope for user definable system decisions
  • Adaptability to various Contact management systems
  • Strictly confidential personal electronic organisers


BMBF - Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology

BMBF - Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology

Publications about the project

Stephan Busemann; Thierry Declerck; Abdel Kader Diagne; Elizabeth Hinkelman; Hans Uszkoreit

DFKI-Report R:S97-216, DFKI, o.A. 1997.

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