Concept of an Agent-Based Electronic Marketplace

Concept of an Agent-Based Electronic Marketplace

Norleyza Jailani (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, MALAYSIA), Ahmed Patel (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, MALAYSIA), Muriati Mukhtar (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, MALAYSIA), Salha Abdullah (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, MALAYSIA) and Yazrina Yahya (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, MALAYSIA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-611-7.ch024
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This study explains the concepts of an electronic marketplace (e-marketplace) and the types of e-marketplaces in today’s computing environment that is facilitated and driven by the Internet. The concept of software agent and the different types of agents which may exist in an e-marketplace application in the current setting of the global economy is also discussed. Specifically the idea of using mobile agents in the implementation of an e-marketplace is investigated. This article also introduces an example of a mobile agent-based e-marketplace which offers secure infrastructure services. The complex and challenging computing environment in which agents operate requires efforts in the standardization and management of agents.
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Background Of Electronic Marketplace

A market is a meeting place for buyers and sellers where they are able to engage in trading and commerce. An e-marketplace is a virtual space that serves as a meeting place for buyers and sellers and at the same time serves also as a provider of integrated knowledge about all products and services. Transactions in an e-marketplace are carried out via various market mechanisms. Three main functions of a market, traditional or otherwise facilitate (Zwass, 2003):

  • 1)

    matching buyers and sellers;

  • 2)

    as a moderator in the exchange of information, products, services and payment related to the transactions; and

  • 3)

    to provide the infrastructure that acts as a legal institution and local authorities that are able to control and assist in the smoothness of the market functions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Agent: A software entity which can perform tasks autonomously, capable of making independent decisions, and taking actions to satisfy internal goals based upon its perceived environment.

Mobile Agent: Agent code that moves itself, including its execution state, on to another machine, to continue execution there. This is also referred to as mobile code.

Market-making mechanism: A mode of business transactions which specifies the use of money or goods exchanged by buyers and sellers with an open and understood system of value and time trade-offs to produce the best distribution of goods and services.

Agent e-marketplace: An electronic market which uses software agents to represent buyers, sellers and other components of an electronic marketplace.

Intelligent Agent: Software agent with the ability to acquire specific domain knowledge, learn and reason to make smart decision.

E-marketplace: A virtual space that provides infrastructure services for buyers and sellers to meet and conduct business transactions online.

Agent management: The activities of monitoring and handling agent communication, collaboration and resource usage between agents of the same and different agent platforms.

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