Intelligent Agents for E-Commerce: Trends and Future Impact on Business Models and Markets

Intelligent Agents for E-Commerce: Trends and Future Impact on Business Models and Markets

Merrill Warkentin (Northeastern University, USA), Vijayan Sugumaran (Oakland University, USA) and Ravi Bapna (Northeastern University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-01-3.ch007
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Abstract

A characteristic feature of the explosive growth in electronic commerce is the rapid innovation and adoption of new technologies, which results in the creation of new business relationships between consumers, firms, and markets. One such technology that is profoundly changing the dynamics of the electronic marketplace is ‘intelligent agent’ technology. Agents have the ability to autonomously carry out various activities on behalf of their principals. At a micro-economic level, agents can help buyers and sellers achieve greater efficiencies of information exchange in the electronic business-to-consumer and business-to-business domains. Additionally, they facilitate the creation of vertically integrated portals that have a significant impact on the macroeconomic landscape. Using many real-world examples, we characterize the different roles that software agents play in the various e-commerce business models and also touch upon their impact on creation of new market structures. We address price-matching versus price-comparison agents. We highlight the various purchase decision criteria evident in various vertical markets and suggest the need for a cross-industry product (and service) attribute data representation model, based on the expanded capabilities of XML. We contrast the autonomous price comparisons enabled by agents with the expanded criteria comparisons facilitated by the e-commerce rating sites. We discuss the public policy implications of these second-generation e-commerce agents with regard to data representation standardization and consumer information privacy. We present future directions for intelligent agent functions that encompass standard representation of decision criteria such as delivery and payment options, return policies, service, quality, trust, and reputation.

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Table of Contents
Preface
Syed Mahbubhur Rahman, Robert J. Bignall
Chapter 1
Xue Li
Engineering Internet Commerce is about building Web-enabled enterprise information systems to carry out business transactions over the Internet.... Sample PDF
Engineering Issues in Internet Commerce
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Chapter 2
Munib Karavdic, Gary D. Gregory
A host of new products and services are now available to more than a half-billion consumers. Firms now have greater opportunities to customize their... Sample PDF
Internet Commerce and Exporting: Strategies for Electronic Market Entry
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Chapter 3
Shahul Hameed
The Internet network is rapidly becoming more and more popular among companies as an avenue to do business. It has made it easy for them to... Sample PDF
Consumer Trust and Confidence in Internet Commerce
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Chapter 4
Nansi Shi, David Bennett
Commerce is essentially the exchange of goods and services in various forms between sellers and buyers, together with associated financial... Sample PDF
Deploying Internet Commerce in Lottery Businesses: An Executive Guideline
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Chapter 5
Maria Indrawan
The explosive growth of Internet-based electronic commerce has increased the consumer’s choices of goods and merchants. To find a suitable good and... Sample PDF
Software Agents in Electronic Commerce: An Overview
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Chapter 6
Mahesh S. Raisinghani
One of the most discussed topics in the information systems literature today is software agent/intelligent agent technology. Software agents are... Sample PDF
Software Agents in Today's Digital Economy: Transition to the Knowledge Society
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Chapter 7
Merrill Warkentin, Vijayan Sugumaran, Ravi Bapna
A characteristic feature of the explosive growth in electronic commerce is the rapid innovation and adoption of new technologies, which results in... Sample PDF
Intelligent Agents for E-Commerce: Trends and Future Impact on Business Models and Markets
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Chapter 8
Jana Dospisil
Agents are viewed as the next significant software abstraction, and it is expected they will become as ubiquitous as graphical user interfaces are... Sample PDF
Design Agents with Negotiation Capabilities
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Chapter 9
William K. Cheung, C. H. Li, Ernest C.M. Lam, Jiming Liu
This chapter describes a conceptual framework for designing and developing software agents that will enable customized electronic commerce (CEC) and... Sample PDF
Customised Electronic Commerce with Intelligent Software Agents
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Chapter 10
Paul Timmers, Jorge Gasos
Agent technologies have proved to provide adequate solutions to some of the challenges posed by the new business models that are arising in the... Sample PDF
Agent Technologies and Business Models for Electronic Commerce
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Chapter 11
Fangming Zhu, Sheng-Uei Guan
As electronic commerce (e-commerce) booms, the demands for intelligent tools to streamline transactions are increasing. This motivates the... Sample PDF
SAFER E-Commerce: Secure Agent Fabrication, Evolution & Roaming for E-Commerce
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Chapter 12
Teoh Kok Poh, Sheng-Uei Guan
Issues on usability, security, and mobility have always been the main concerns for e-commerce implementations that aim to gain widespread public... Sample PDF
Web-Based Smart Card Agent Environment and Applications for E-Commerce
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Chapter 13
Ahmad Kayed, Robert M. Colomb
While there are many proposals to automate the buying and selling process, there has been no actual attempt to automate the tendering process... Sample PDF
Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce: Electronic Tendering
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Chapter 14
Klement J. Fellner, Klaus Turowski
In this chapter, we present an approach to a component (application) framework supporting agent-based intercompany communication and coordination.... Sample PDF
Component Framework Supporting Agent-Based Electronic Data Interchange
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Chapter 15
Seng W. Loke, Andry Rakotonirainy, Arkady Zaslavsky
We envision the integration of the concepts of virtual communities, electronic markets, and ubiquitous wireless services into agent-enhanced mobile... Sample PDF
An Enterprise Viewpoint of Wireless Virtual Communities and the Associated Uses of Software Agents
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Chapter 16
A Virtual Salesperson  (pages 290-315)
Andrew Marriott, Roberto Pockaj, Craig Parker
This chapter describes the use of a graphical humane interface—a Virtual Salesperson. The face of the Virtual Salesperson is a generic Facial... Sample PDF
A Virtual Salesperson
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Chapter 17
Feng Hua, Sheng-Uei Guan
Since the 1990s, the World Wide Web has brought about innumerable changes to the ways enterprises do business. Electronic commerce is emerging as... Sample PDF
Agents and Payment Systems in E-Commerce
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Chapter 18
Giancarlo Succi, Raymond Wong, E. Liu, Carlo Bonamico, Tullio Vernazza
The pervasiveness of Internet connectivity and the wide diffusion of Java-capable browsers foster innovative techniques for software distribution.... Sample PDF
Supporting Electronic Commerce of Software Products through Pay-Per-Use Rental of Downloadable Tools
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Chapter 19
Xun Yi, Syed Mahbubhur Rahman, Robert J. Bignall, Chee Kheong Siew, Xiao Feng Wang
In recent years Internet trading has seen explosive growth and will have a major impact in shaping future markets. It will certainly be very... Sample PDF
Software Agent-Mediated Internet Trading Framework
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Chapter 20
Badrul M. Sarwar, Joseph A. Konstan, John T. Riedl
In this chapter, we introduce the concepts of recommender systems as a very successful Internet commerce tool. Then, we describe the basic... Sample PDF
Distributed Recommender Systems: New Opportunities in Internet Commerce
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About the Authors