A Virtual Community for Mobile Agents

A Virtual Community for Mobile Agents

Sheng-Uei Guan (Brunel University, UK) and Fangming Zhu (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch301
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Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is booming with the increasing accessibility of the Internet. E-commerce is revolutionizing the concept of carrying out business functions. By using a Web browser, buyers are able to access numerous e-commerce Web sites, where they can make purchases within a reasonable price range. Suppliers realize that e-commerce is essential to the success and competitiveness of their businesses. The benefits of conducting business online include reduction of the cost for many transactions and streamlining of operations. However, there are also some obstacles to the success of e-commerce. Firstly, buyers may be lost in the ocean of the items available. Secondly, it is a tedious task to search for a specific product through the Internet and it is difficult to bargain within the current infrastructure. Thirdly, some transactions are so complicated that they are too difficult to be dealt with. For instance, merchants often negotiate transactions with multiple issues of concern such as price, quantity, and method of delivery. Many strategies are adopted to accomplish these tasks, and both the negotiating counterparts and the environment can affect the choice of the strategies. However, in many existing auction Web sites, price is the main focus for both bidders and sellers. Bidders and sellers are seldom given a chance to negotiate the other issues, and many commercial opportunities are neglected. This chapter discusses SAFER for e-commerce (secure agent fabrication, evolution & roaming for e-commerce), which uses secure agents to alleviate problems in e-commerce

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