Effectiveness of Web Services: Mobile Agents Approach in E-Commerce System

Effectiveness of Web Services: Mobile Agents Approach in E-Commerce System

Kamel Karoui (University of Manouba, Tunisia) and Fakher Ben Ftima (University of Manouba, Tunisia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-967-5.ch106
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Abstract

With the development of the Internet, the number of people buying, selling, and performing transactions is expected to increase at a phenomenal rate. The emergence of e-commerce applications has resulted in new net-centric business models. This has created a need for new ways of structuring applications to provide cost-effective and scalable models. Mobile Agents (MA) systems are seen as a promising paradigm for the design and implementation of distributed applications, including e-commerce. MA are also useful in applications requiring distributed information retrieval because they move the location of execution closer to the data to be processed. While MA have generated considerable excitement among the research community, they have not been applied into a significant number of real applications. Web services (WS) are emerging as a dominant paradigm for constructing distributed business applications and enabling enterprise-wide interoperability. A critical factor to the overall utility of WS is a scalable, flexible and robust discovery mechanism; an application can be built by integrating multiple services together to make a more efficient service. WS represent a major development in the e-commerce sector. They enable companies to capitalize on their existing architecture by making their application services accessible via the Internet. The application of MA and WS technologies to e-commerce will provide a new way to conduct business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and consumer-to-consumer transactions (C2C) and facilitate the communication between heterogeneous environments. In this article, we first focus on these two technologies of actuality and show their integration in an e-commerce system. Second, we present different kinds of interaction between MA and WS and study their effect on application performance. We also study an example that illustrates an e-commerce system including three categories of transactions: -Shopping transactions: a customer delegates one MA for research and purchase of articles online. The MA will interact with available WS to find the article and its best price. -Salesman transactions: to valorize their products, WS will invoke MA to make publicity for the customers. -Auction transactions: for this type of transaction, a MA (respectively a WS) can sell and buy a product from/to others MA (WS) by auction. Finally, we conclude with a discussion on our inferences and their implications. This work is structured as follows: Section “background” reviews the notions of e-commerce system, WS and MA paradigms. Section “Web services and mobile agents’ technologies on e-commerce system” presents the integration of these two paradigms on the e-commerce system. In section “performance evaluation,” we evaluate the performances of our approach and we study an illustrated example in the section “a case study.” The section “future trends” presents our future perspectives and we end this work with the “conclusion” in the last section.

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