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Method and apparatus for match making

Image Number 12 for United States Patent #6023729.

A method and apparatus related to grouping (or matching) network users and computers associated with multi-user applications is disclosed. Each user is associated with a client computer that is connected to a network. A match maker application resides on one or more server computer(s). The match maker application controls the process of collecting Clients into matched sets, called client groups, based upon a wide range of attributes of the users, their client computers, the server computers, software application titles, application instances and/or data communication links of the network, for example. Each time the match maker application creates a client group, it creates a group data set that represents the client group. Network match making information is presented to users in an understandable manner using icons, other graphical images or collections of icons and/or images, for example, displayed on a display screen. For example, a non-textual element of a graphical image can be varied to communicate group information about a client group to a user. A variety of non-textual elements can be used to communicate a variety of group information to a user.

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