Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technology can be effectively used to implement cooperative e-Learning systems, where the available knowledge for a student is not only from teachers, but also from other students having similar interests and preferences. In such a scenario, a central issue is to form groups of users having similar interests and satisfying personal user’s constraints. In this paper we propose a novel approach, called HADEL (Hyperspace Agent-based E-Learning), based on an overlay network of software agents. Our approach preserves user’s privacy, allowing to locally maintain sensitive user’s data and inferring the properties necessary for determining the groups by using agents acting as personal assistants. The results obtained by some tests performed on simulated e-Learning environments show the efficiency of our approach, that suitably exploits the topology of the overlay network, which exhibits the typical properties of a small-world system.
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