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(networking, chat, World-Wide Web)
(From "robot") Any type of autonomous software that operates as an agent for a user or a program or simulates a human activity. On the Internet, the most popular bots are programs (called spiders or crawlers) used for searching. They access web sites, retrieve documents and follow all the hyperlinks in them; then they generate catalogs that are accessed by search engines.

A chatbot converses with humans (or other bots). A shopbot searches the Web to find the best price for a product. Other bots (such as OpenSesame) observe a user's patterns in navigating a website and customises the site for that user.

Knowbots collect specific information from websites.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(1) See robot, chatbot, botnet and botcloud.

(2) (roBOT) A search engine program that indexes the Web. See spider.

(3) (roBOT) A program that performs a repetitive function 24/7 or waits in the background to be triggered by some event (time of day, receipt of data, etc.). The term bot is used for myriad "intelligent agents" on the Web, and it is estimated that more than half the Web's traffic comes from bots and not humans. A bot can be programmed to do almost anything from posting a message to starting up or closing down other software processes.

A bot is often used to find information. For example, a "spider" is a search engine bot that "crawls" the Web 24/7 looking for Web pages. A bot can also run in a user's machine or in a server in a private network. See social bot, scalper bot, spambot, chatbot, agent, CAPTCHA and trolling.

(4) (BOT) (Beginning Of Tape) The status of a magnetic tape file when it is first mounted in the drive. See BOF.

(5) (BOT) (Bulk-Only Transport) The early USB protocol for external storage drives. See UASP.
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References in periodicals archive ?
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