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A rule-based system for managing notifications using aggregation, buffering, summarization and flushing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125077D
Original Publication Date: 2005-May-18
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-May-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 19K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The present invention proposes a system that mediates between the sources of notification and the user. In summary, the system aggregates notifications from one or more sources and buffers them into a common queue of notifications. The notifications are held in the queue until flushed according to user-defined rules. By specifying detailed rules, the user obtains more control over the notifications instead of being interrupted by them at inopportune moments. To illustrate: User A may use the system to handle notifications of new emails, and ask to be notified only when 10 or more new messages arrive. User B may ask to be notified every half hour if new emails have arrived, but to be notified immediately if a stock alert arrives. To further reduce the number of notifications, the system can summarize several notifications into a single notification. For example, in the case of "new email" notifications illustrated above, user A only needs a single notification that 10 new email messages have arrived; user B only needs to be informed that it is time to look at new emails again, and that at least one new email has arrived.

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A rule-based system for managing notifications using aggregation, buffering, summarization and flushing

Disclosed is a rule-based system for managing notifications using aggregation, buffering, summarization and flushing. Notification mechanisms are widely prevalent in modern computing systems. Examples include system tray icons that inform a user of new email, stock alerts, bid indicators for online auctions etc. In all these examples, notifications provide valuable and timely indication of changes to information. However, users can quickly be overwhelmed by the number of notifications they receive, while they are trying to accomplish other work.

The present invention proposes a system that mediates between the sources of notification and the user. In summary, the system aggregates notifications from one or more sources and buffers them into a common queue of notifications. The notifications are held in the queue until flushed according to user-defined rules. By specifying detailed rules, the user obtains more control over the notifications instead of being interrupted by them at inopportune moments.

To illustrate: User A may use the system to handle notifications of new emails, and ask to be notified only when 10 or more new messages arrive. User B may ask to be notified every half hour if new emails have arrived, but to be notified immediately if a stock alert arrives.

To further reduce the number of notifications, the system can summarize several notifications into a single notification. For example, in the case of "new email" notifications illustrated above, user A only needs a single notification that 10 new email messages have arrived; user B only needs to be informed that it is time to look at new emails again, and that at least one new email has arrived.

The system comprises several aspects, none of which are mandatory in a given embodiment:

1) Aggregation: different sources of notification are required to send notification to the aggregation subsystem in a standard format. The aggregation subsystem classifies the arriving notification into one or more queues in the buffering subsystem described below. One preferred embodiment might use items as defined in RSS 2.0 as the standard format for notificati...