Keywords: agent-based systems, multi-agent systems, MAS, information retrieval, web search, knowledge acquisition, personal medical knowledge, health consumerism, health information, simulation, healthcare, information overload, information reliability
Managing personal medical knowledge: agent-based knowledge acquisition
Information that is available on the World Wide Web (WWW) is already more vast than can be comprehensibly studied by individuals and is increasing at a staggering pace. Health consumerism is fuelled by knowledgeable patients. A key to health consumerism is locating reliable health information on the WWW. Unfortunately, much health information on the web is of suspect quality. Differences between individual and clinician information seeking requirements are discussed. An agent-based health Information Retrieval (IR) system is developed using validated existing technology. The agent system satisfies the health information requirements for individuals. A simulation of the system indicates a significant reduction in information overload and also high perceived reliability of information.