Virtual Marketplace for Agent-Based Electrnic Commerce

Virtual Marketplace for Agent-Based Electrnic Commerce

Sheng-Uei Guan (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-799-7.ch192
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Information overload has become a real problem with the ever-increasing amount of available online resources. One possible solution is the application of software agents in e-commerce. Intelligent agents are already on the Web, freeing people from some of the drudgework of searching and automatically keeping them up to date. There are now many examples of software agents currently available on the Web. Shopping agents like BargainBot, Excite’s Jango and Andersen Consulting’s BargainFinder are but a few. They have their shortcomings, however, such as a lack of purchasing capability and a limited range of product selection. Furthermore, the current Web front-end to an online storefront is not conducive to autonomous browsing by search agents. A more comprehensive solution would therefore be to build a virtual marketplace whereby producers and consumers can come together, and with the help of software agents, actively participate in and conduct e-commerce. There are currently several agent-based marketplace systems that have been developed for the purpose of e-commerce, and these include Kasbah (Chavez & Maes, 1996), MAGMA (Tsvetovatyy & Gini, 1996) and MAGNET (Collins, Youngdahl, Jamison, Mobasher, & Gini, 1998). These systems have certain limitations, however, and shortcomings that make them questionable for e-commerce applications. An example is the Kasbah system architecture that did not include any form of payment mechanisms. Another is MAGMA, which is felt to be rather expensive on network bandwidth and the system performance is heavily reliant on network latencies as it communicates through socket connections. The objective of my research is to build a new virtual marketplace prototype whereby producers and consumers can meet and conduct e-commerce in the cyberspace with the help of software agents.

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