Connecting An Information Change Monitoring Service with PDAs

Sponsor Ling Liu / Wei Tang, wtang@cc
223 CCB /225b CCB
Area Systems and Databases

The rapid growth of the Web has changed the way in which information is delivered and disseminated. The mode of data transfer is shifting from a ``pull-only'' model to a ``push-pull'' model. Instead of having users track when to visit Web pages of interest and identify what and how the page of interest has been changed, the push delivery enables changes to be delivered while they are still fresh.

WebCQ is an automated change detection and notification service for Web pages, developed at Georgia Tech. It can monitor and track various types of changes to static and dynamic web pages, provide personalized delivery of information change notifications, and personalized summarization and prioritization of web pages being monitored. You may play with WebCQ at One of the useful additions to the WebCQ is to build a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) agent for WebCQ, allowing users to install web page sentinels and receive change notification from a hand-held computer.

Your objective in this project is to design and implement a PDA agent, which includes a WebCQ user interface for PDA and a message exchange service between WebCQ and the PDA agent. The goal of this project is to build an active channel between WebCQ and PDAs, which enables information changes to be delivered to the PDA users while they are still fresh. Practical applications include monitoring weathers or airplane ticket price for travelers (see an example: Flight tracking), monitoring product information for e-consumers, or tracking how specific stocks are doing and notifying the PDA users when the change to their stocks reaches certain thresholds.  You are encouraged to put your own insight into the PDA-WebCQ design and implementation. For instance, there are at least two ways to build the PDA-WebCQ agent:
1. Java GUI client without browser on PDA (Palm Pilot preferred);
2. Converting WebCQ site to be WML-friendly (Wireless Markup Language) so that access to WebCQ can be through a WML-enabled browser on PDA. Currently, a prototype front-end on Palm devices is implemented in WebCQ using Web Clipping technology. Two example screenshots are displayed below:
Discuss with Dr. Ling Liu and me if you have any questions.


You are expected to have a solid grasp of Java/Servlet programming. Java will be the programming language. Sockets programming is not required but desirable. Familiarity with the development on PalmOS or WindowsCE platforms is a plus but not required. Understanding of basic XML/WML technology will be useful in the project. You are expected to be a fast learner because there are a lot to learn in this project and you need to be able to apply the new technology relatively fast. But it is worth the time since you will learn cutting-edge technologies.


Here are some links to help you get started (be sure to read the licensing documents before you download the software packages):

A report, describing your application, the insights in your project, and future improvements/extensions.
The source code for your PDA-WebCQ agent, including the UI software and the PDA-WebCQ communicator, and your application. Target application needs to be tested on the PalmOS Emulator.

You will be graded on the novelty and quality of your PDA agent and your report.