Application of Intelligent Agents in Mobile Shopping

Application of Intelligent Agents in Mobile Shopping

Suresh Sankaranarayanan (SRM University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch093
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1. Introduction

There has been an exponential growth in the use of digital mobile devices in various fields these days. This has resulted in an increased effort to develop various commercial applications that would provide leverage to this extensive use of these digital mobile devices rather than desktop PCs. One such area is the evolution of e-commerce having application in mobile commerce (m-commerce). There is no precise meaning for m-commerce or mobile e-commerce as such. However, the core of mobile e-commerce (Abbott, 2001) uses a terminal such as a telephone, PDA, or custom terminal and the public mobile network to access information and conduct business transactions that result in the transfer of value in exchange for information, services or goods. There are opportunities to enable mobile devices as universal devices for mobile commerce applications. But still the system lack intelligence towards shopping i.e users have to be knowledgeable in selecting the criteria towards mobile shopping and also system search based on criteria only and nothing beyond it. Therefore, it is for the user to refine if the search is not successful. Some examples of m-commerce (Abbott, 2001) include the purchasing of airline tickets, purchasing of movie tickets, restaurant bookings and reservations, mobile banking and so on.

Normally when we think of buying a particular product (Thomas & Harold, 2003), things that normally come to our mind are the price, the quality, the brand, etc., of the desired product. To get this information, we often do window shopping in the conventional shopping method before we decide on buying the product. In electronic shopping we put an appropriate query, taking into consideration factors like the cost, the quality of product, etc. We also at times, compromise on the selection of the item, if we do not get an item suiting to our preconceived specifications. We human beings, under such circumstances, interpret various aspects depending on several considerations and make a balanced compromise before taking a decision on the deal.

In the mobile environment the same job will be replicated by an intelligent Agent (Pleisch and Schiper, 2004; Jennings and Wooldridge, 1998; Altshuler et al., 2006) for getting the details on the specifications of the customer desired item by performing the search operation – a replication of the job done by a human agent in window or electronic shopping. It may be mentioned here that considerable research attention is being paid to the application of agents in various areas, these days. Quite amount of work been done in using intelligent agents for mobile shopping which accepts parameters from the user towards mobile shopping and agent does shopping based on fuzzy preferences or applying intelligence similar to how human being would do (Weng & Thomas, 2007; Guan et al., 2002; Foensca et al., 2002; Brown and Suresh, 2009; Brown and Suresh, 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

AMS: Agent Management System is a mandatory component of an agent platform and is responsible for managing the operation of an agent platform, such as the creation and deletion of agents, and overseeing the migration of agents to and from the Agent platform.

JADE-LEAP: Java Agent development environment with Light weight extensible Agent platform is a modified version of the JADE platform that can run not only on PCs and servers, but also on resource constrained devices such as mobile phones, PDAs etc. The differences between JADE and JADE-LEAP are limited to the low level communication mechanism invisible to applications and users.

FIPA: Foundation of Intelligent Physical Agents FIPA is an IEEE Computer Society standards organization that promotes agent-based technology and the interoperability of its standards with other technologies. FIPA, the standards organization for agents and multi-agent systems was officially accepted by the IEEE as its eleventh standards committee on 8 June 2005.

JADE: Java Agent Development Environment is a software Framework fully implemented in the Java language. It simplifies the implementation of multi-agent systems through a middle-ware that complies with the FIPA specifications and through a set of graphical tools that support the debugging and deployment phases. JADE is fully implemented in Java language.

CLDC: Connected Limited Device Configuration is a specification of a framework for Java ME applications describing the basic set of libraries and virtual-machine features that must be present in an implementation. The CLDC is to give developers a platform for building applications on embedded devices with very limited resources such as pagers and mobile phones.

DF: Directory Facilitator that provides a Yellow Pages service by means of which an agent can find other agents providing the services it requires in order to achieve the goals.

J2ME: It is also called Java Micro edition. It is designed for embedded systems where target devices range from industrial controls to mobile phones (especially feature phones) and set-top boxes. Designed by Sun Microsystems which is acquired by Oracle Corporation.

PDA: Personal digital Assistant also known as a handheld PC, or personal data assistant, is a mobile device that functions as a personal information manager. Most PDAs can access the Internet, intranets or extranets via Wi-Fi or Wireless Wide Area Networks.

CDC: Connected Device Configuration is a specification of a framework for Java ME applications describing the basic set of libraries and virtual-machine features that must be present in an implementation. CDC is to give developers a platform for building applications on embedded devices ranging from pagers up to set-top boxes.

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