in ACM Conference on Autonomous Agents [Agents-99], Seattle, 1-5 May 1999.
An important function of an agent is to be "on the lookout" for bits of information that are interesting to its user, even if these items appear in the midst of a larger body of unstructured information. But how to tell these agents which patterns are meaningful and what to do with the result? Especially when agents are used to recognize text, they are usually driven by parsers which require input in the form of textual grammar rules. Editing grammars is difficult and error-prone for end users. Grammex ["Grammars by Example"] is the first direct manipulation interface designed to allow non-expert users to define grammars interactively. The user presents concrete examples of text that he or she would like the agent to recognize. Rules are constructed by an iterative process, where Grammex heuristically parses the example, displays a set of hypotheses, and the user critiques the systemÕs suggestions. Actions to take upon recognition are also demonstrated by example.
A short version of this paper also appears in the Demonstration track at CHI-98.