With the vast and expanding amount of interconnected information resources available today, the problem of how to pool them to obtain useful information is becoming more and more critical. Information gathering agents are computer systems that given a high level information request by a user use search, inference and knowledge to determine how to satisfy the request. Speaker presents an information gethering agent architecture called SIMS developed at the Information Sciences Institute (http://www.isi.edu) that uses the LOOMS knowledge representation scheme to build models of a number of distributed, autonomous, and heterogeneous information resources (such as data, databases and webpages). It treats a high level user request as a planning goal and uses artificial intelligence planning techniques along with some manually encoded heuristics to compute a good quality query-plan that can be efficiently executed to retrieve and integrate information from a number of diverse sources. I will also present the work that I have done to automatically learn the heuristics that can be used by the SIMS planner to efficiently compute high quality query resolution.
In this talk we shall discuss the structure and dynamics of the plasma environment of the earth and how it is influenced by the sun and its magnetic field, as has been revealed to us by observations, both remote and in situ, in the past 40 years or so. After presenting a brief overview of the major historical landmarks in the development of space plasma physics, we shall discuss the structure of the solar plasma and then see, by looking at its interaction with the earth�s magnetic field, how the earth�s magnetosphere and ionosphere are. We shall look into the composition of the earth�s plasma layers. We shall also briefly discuss the behaviour of comets when they come close to the sun.
GALACTIC SPLENDOUR: The milky way is a swarm of energy and brilliance. One finds exuberant astrophotography: nature in its raw - the life and birth and ultimate death of stars; the prized celebrities of the heavens; nebulae and constellations. It also gives us a glimpse into the galactic suburbs, where stars are born.
COSMIC CATASTROPHES: This part concerns epic eruptions of energy on the surfaces of celestial bodies. These havoc events may mean only pinpricks on the gianter organisms such as the Jupiter, but they mean catastrophe from a human scale. Such cataclysms may also have exterminated dinosaurs from the earth 65 million years ago and made way for humans - a catastrophe for one species, a blessing for another.