Internet bot

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Internet bots, also known as web robots, are automated internet applications controlled by software agents. These bots interact with network services intended for people, carrying out monotonous tasks and behaving in a humanlike manner. Bots can gather information, reply to queries, provide entertainment, and serve commercial purposes.


[edit] Information gathering

Many internet bots are run in the form of web software agents that interface with web pages. Web crawlers (commonly known as spiders) are web robots that recursively gather web-page information, as does the bot used by Google ("GoogleBot").

[edit] IM and IRC

Some bots communicate with other users of Internet-based services, via instant messaging (IM), Internet Relay Chat (IRC), or another web interface. These chatterbots may allow people to ask questions in plain English and then formulate a proper response. These bots can often handle many tasks, including reporting weather, zip-code information, sports scores, converting currency or other units, etc. Others are used for entertainment, such as SmarterChild on AOL Instant Messenger and Jabberwacky on Yahoo! Messenger.

An additional role of IRC bots may be to lurk in the background of a conversation channel, commenting on certain phrases uttered by the participants (based on pattern matching). This is sometimes used as a help service for new users, or for censorship of profanity.

[edit] Commercial purposes

There has been a great deal of controversy about the use of bots in an automated trading function. Auction website eBay has been to court in an attempt to suppress a third-party company from using bots to traverse their site looking for bargains; this approach backfired on eBay and attracted the attention of further bots. The United Kingdom-based bet exchange Betfair saw such a large amount of traffic coming from bots they launched a WebService API aimed at bot programmers through which Betfair can actively manage bot interactions.

[edit] Malicious purposes

Another, more malicious use of bots is the coordination and operation of an automated attack on networked computers, such as a denial-of-service attack. (see botnet) Internet bots can also be used to commit click fraud and more recently have seen usage around MMORPG games as computer game bots. A spambot is an internet bot that attempts to spam large amounts of content on the Internet, usually adding advertising links.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

cs:Internetový robot da:Bot de:Bot es:Bot fr:Bot informatique it:Bot he:בוט lb:Bot lt:Botas (programa) nl:Bot (computerprogramma) pl:Bot (program) ru:Робот (программа) sv:Bot (program)

Internet bot

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