An Agent-Based B2C Electronic Market in the Next-Generation Internet

An Agent-Based B2C Electronic Market in the Next-Generation Internet

Vedran Podobnik (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Croatia), Krunoslav Trzec (Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Croatia) and Gordan Jezic (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Croatia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-611-7.ch023
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Abstract

In a global multi-service and multi-provider market, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will increasingly need to base their operation on new consumer-centric business models. In this article, the authors present an agent-based framework for the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) electronic market, comprising User Agents, Broker Agents and Provider Agents, which enable Internet users to select an ISP in an automated manner.
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Background

The Evolution of the Internet

The Internet emerged in the early 1970s, as a small network interconnecting just a few computers. As the Internet grew through the 1970s and 1980s, many people started to realize its potential. Nevertheless, the Internet did not experience real proliferation until the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW or simply Web 1.0), a service provisioned through the Internet infrastructure. Web 1.0, as a global information medium enabling users to read and write via computers connected to the Internet, became the bearer of the digital revolution in the 1990s which was a major catalyst of globalization and an important driver of economic prosperity. Consequently, all further Internet evolution after the invention of Web 1.0, is characterized as Web X.0, in spite of the fact that the WWW is just one of many Internet services. Web 2.0, also called “the Social Web”, is no longer simply about connecting information, but also about connecting people through various forms of social networks (e.g., Facebook (http://www.linkedin.com)). The phrase “Web 2.0” was coined a couple years ago when the social networking phenomenon was recognized, having more than half a billion users world-wide in 2007, employing it on a daily basis for both personal and businesses uses (Reid & Gray, 2007). Web 3.0, also called “the Semantic Web”, is the next stage in the evolution of the Internet in which it will become a platform for connecting knowledge. Web 3.0 is an evolutionary path which will enable people and machines to connect, evolve, share, and use knowledge on an unprecedented scale and in many new ways make our experience of the Internet better (Davis, 2007). One of the most promising Web 3.0 technologies, besides the Semantic Web, are intelligent software agents which can utilize semantically annotated information and reason in a quasi-human fashion.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Semantic Web: An extension of the current Web in which information is given well-defined meaning, enabling people and machines to connect, evolve, share, and use knowledge in a better way.

Intelligent Software Agent: A program which autonomously acts on behalf of its human (or organizational) principal while carrying out complex information and communication tasks which have been delegated to it.

Ontology: A description of concepts and relationships between these concepts in an area of interest. Therefore, an ontology is the terminology used for a given domain of interest.

Electronic market: An ICT-based system that creates value by bringing together stakeholders in the market to enable transactional immediacy and supply liquidity, by supporting the exchange of demand and supply information, and reducing transaction time and cost.

Internet service: Any service provided to the user through the Internet infrastructure.

Service discovery: The process of searching for possible matches between requested and available services.

Next-generation Internet: An Internet which enables people and machines to connect, evolve, share, and use knowledge on an unprecedented scale.

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