A conceptual model and an implementation of an intelligent meeting-scheduler (IMS)
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Meetings are a major liaison device for achieving mutual adjustment in organizations. Several commercial meeting-schedulers and academic prototypes attempt to provide assistance in the process of scheduling meetings; however, these systems focus mainly on the calendar management and integration functions. They do not provide tools for describing the meeting-content in advance or locating the most suitable invitees based on standard organizational knowledge. This research attempts to propose and validate a conceptual model for an Intelligent Meeting-Scheduler (IMS), which is a DSS that is capable of assisting organizations in scheduling meetings. The IMS is an integrated software system. It encapsulates scheduling tools and organizational knowledge that are used to support various activities within the scheduling process, such as meeting-content planning and group composition. Our model is based on the notion of software-agents, and consists of the following functional agents: Control-Manager, Communication-Manager, Scheduling-Manager and Calendar-Manager. These agents work in cooperation and provide assistance to the host and the invitees in negotiating an acceptable solution during a scheduling session. We also describe the knowledge architecture of the IMS, which consists of a set of knowledge-base agents that support the above functional agents.