Software Agents for Dlnet Content Review: Study and Experimentation

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

This research is an effort to test our hypothesis that a software agent based architecture will provide a better response time and will be more maintainable and reusable than the present J2EE based architecture of DLNET (Digital Library Network for Engineering and Technology). We have taken a portion of the complete DLNET application for our study, namely the Content Review Process, as our test bed. In this work, we have explored the use of software agents in the current setup of DLNET for the first time, specifically for the Content Review part of the application and tried to evaluate the performance of the resulting application. Our work is a novel approach of doing content review using software agent architecture. The proposed system is an automated process that will asynchronously look for suitable reviewers based on content (the input) and create logs for the administrator to view and analyze. In the first part of the thesis we develop a new system that is parallel to the existing DLNET Content Review Process. In the second part, we compare the newly developed Content Review Process with the baseline (old Content review Process) by designing comparison tests and measuring instruments. This part of the thesis includes the selection of dependent variables, design of various measurement instruments, execution of the quasi-experiments and analysis of the empirical results of comparisons tests. The quasi-experiments are done to measure the response time, maintainability, scalability, correctness, reliability and reusability of the two systems. The results show that the proposed software agent based system gives better response time (an improvement ranging from 57% to 82%) and is more maintainable (an improvement ranging from 16% to 67%) and more reusable (an improvement ranging from 1% to 26%). The improvement in the response time may be attributed to the fact that the agent based systems are inherently multithreaded while the existing content review system is a serial application. Both the systems, however, give comparable results for other dependent variables.

Software Agents, Digital Libraries, Content Review, Performance Comparison