The Remembrance Agent
Because serendipity is too important to be left to chance...
What is the Remembrance Agent?
The Remembrance Agent (Remem) is an Emacs plug-in that watches over
your shoulder and suggests information relevant to what you're reading
or writing. While search engines help with direct recall, Remem is a
tool for associative memory. Suggested documents are
displayed in a buffer at the bottom of your Emacs window, and are
updated every few seconds based on the last hundred or so words
surrounding the cursor. Documents are pulled from your own text
documents, and Remem's internal indexer can parse email archives,
HTML, LaTex and plain-text documents. It runs under most Unix systems
(and maybe even properly souped-up Mac or Windows) and both Emacs and
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To receive announcements of upcoming releases, please send mail to email@example.com.
Download Current Release (2.12)
Below is the source for version 2.12 release of Remem (tarred and
gzipped). It should compile on any Unix platform including Mac OSX
(let me know if it doesn't), but you'll need Emacs-20 or XEmacs-20 to
run the front-end. I've heard it also compiles on various flavors of
Windows using Cygwin, though
there are still issues with getting the front end and back end talking
to each other. I've also included RPMs and Debian packages for version
2.11, which is functionally identical to 2.12 since the only changes
were for compiling on the Mac.
Remembrance-Agent V. 2.12 (February 16, 2004):
| debian package
| mac OSX image
Changed from v. 2.11
Made a few changes so Savant will compile on OS-X:
- Removed the include of malloc.h in dateyacc.c, since OSX has
trouble finding it and we don't seem to need it anyway.
- Added /sw/include to configure.in and /sw/lib to main/Makefile.am
so OSX can find the PCRE libraries when they are installed using
- Ran the following command: "cd remem-2.12; automake --add-missing
-c; autoreconf" to update the "missing" script to a later
- ra-index and ra-retrieve now work under Windows, but there's still
trouble with Emacs and remem.el communicating with the ra-retrieve process,
at least in XP and NT. Thanks to you guys, this is getting close.
- Dates are not currently indexed, so a mouseover-query on a date
doesn't produce any suggestions.
- No machine learning for different field weights
- Doesn't handle gzipped files
- Requires GNU make, at least on some platforms, to compile.
See the historical ChangeLog for links to previous versions
Papers on the Remembrance Agent:
- Using Physical Context for Just-in-Time Information Retrieval, Bradley Rhodes, IEEE Transactions on Computers, Vol 52, No. 8, August 2003 pp. 1011-1014.
information retrieval agents, Bradley Rhodes and Pattie Maes, IBM Systems Journal
special issue on the MIT Media Laboratory, Vol 39, Nos. 3 and 4,
2000 pp. 685-704.
Just-In-Time Information Retrieval. Bradley
J. Rhodes. Ph.D. Dissertation, MIT Media Lab, May 2000. Also available in
Notes: Building a Contextually Aware Associative Memory (html),
Bradley J. Rhodes, to appear in The Proceedings of the
International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI '00),
New Orleans, LA, January 9-12, 2000.
The Wearable Remembrance Agent: A system for augmented memory (html)
, Bradley Rhodes, in Personal Technologies Journal Special
Issue on Wearable Computing , Personal Technologies (1997)
See also the earlier version
from The Proceedings of The First International Symposium on
Wearable Computers (ISWC '97), Cambridge, Mass, October 1997,
Remembrance Agent: A continuously running automated information
retrieval system, Bradley Rhodes and Thad Starner, The Proceedings
of The First International Conference on The Practical Application of
Intelligent Agents and Multi Agent Technology (PAAM '96), London,
UK, April 1996, pp. 487-495.
RA License info
As of version 2.09, the RA is released under the GNU General Public License
(GPL). For commercial licensing under other terms, please consult the
MIT Technology Licensing Office. If you have other questions, feel free to
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The RA is maintained by Bradley Rhodes
(email@example.com). Let me know what you think, and as usual please
send all bug reports, suggestions, and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, and watch here for future releases! -- Brad
Last modified: Mon Feb 16 19:36:12 PST 2004