electronic commerce

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Presentation Transcript

Electronic Commerce & Agents: 

Electronic Commerce & Agents Frank Dignum Utrecht University dignum@cs.uu.nl

Overview: 

Overview Historical overview Definition of Electronic Commerce (EC) Examples of EC Electronic markets and auctions Agents The role(s) of agents in EC Conclusions

Historical perspective: 

Historical perspective (Big) calculators Central databases distributed information and word processing client/server connected databases support of (administrative) internal processes (WFMS)

Historical perspective: 

Historical perspective Support of internal communication (groupware) Knowledge management Support of external communication (Internet & WWW) Support of external processes (Electronic commerce)

Definition (?): 

Definition (?) Electronic Commerce is: Any form of business transaction in which the parties interact electronically rather than by physical exchanges or direct physical contact

Commerce: 

Commerce Information exchange Product/service/… exchange

Information exchange: 

Information exchange Partner/product search negotiation, market, auction contract contract fulfilment (directives) legal information etc.

Product/service exchange: 

Product/service exchange (micro-)payment (intangible) product logistics of products and services subscription mechanisms

Stages of Business Transactions: 

Stages of Business Transactions

Support for stages: 

Support for stages

Slide11: 

12/22 business business Consumer Public agencies

EC Applications: 

EC Applications Supply chain management Home shopping Remote banking On-line marketing and advertising Distant learning Procurement and purchasing Video on demand

Examples of EC (B-C): 

Examples of EC (B-C) Retail Internet bookshop CDNow Shopping malls Auctions Collective buying

Item watching at e-bay now: 

Item watching at e-bay now

Examples of EC (B-C): 

Examples of EC (B-C) Finance ESI (stock market) Electronic banking

Publishing: 

Publishing

Examples of EC (B-B) : 

Examples of EC (B-B) Business to business support Maxtrad (business information) MEMO (Mediating and Monitoring EC) Secure contracts (ICC) Bolero (electronic document support) Markets Automotive industry (collective buying) Retail world Insurance private exchange of virtual products

Role of institutions: 

Role of institutions Facilitate the transactions Provide efficient price discovery mechanism Provide standard transaction protocols Provide settlement mechanisms Enhance trust through Provision of info on potential partners Legal provisions to back up contracts Provide securities/guarantees Provide regulations on behaviour during transactions and means to enforce them

Infrastructure for electronic markets: 

Infrastructure for electronic markets Banking facilities Communication confidentiality integrity authentication non-repudiation Transfer and storage of products Advertising

Banking facilities: 

Banking facilities Different payment methods should be supported Payment should be safe Payment and delivery guaranteed

Communication: 

Communication Some common language should be used. Constructs in the language should have a precise and formal meaning. Note: currencies should be clear Contracts should be legally binding. Obligations should be visible

Storage and transfer of goods: 

Storage and transfer of goods Physical products can be sold only once. Their digital representation can easily be copied and sold more than once. Downloading of digital products should be possible. Transport should be arranged for other products.

Advertisement: 

Advertisement How is advertisement arranged? Blackboard? Shopping mall? One-on-one advertisement allowed? Format of advertisements? Payed advertisements? Who can advertise?

Types of markets: 

Types of markets Direct transactions shopping mall classified ads direct negotiation Brokered transactions distributors brokers auctions

Types of markets II: 

Types of markets II Direct transactions direct contact buyer and seller less structured transactions influence market (institution) smaller Brokered transactions controlled contact between buyer and seller transaction protocol very strict institution has total control

Auctions: 

Auctions Only “negotiate” about price. Fixed: product specification payment method transport delivery terms etc.

Auctions: 

Auctions Sealed auctions First priced sealed bid Vickrey Sealed double auction Open auctions Dutch auction English auction

First price sealed bid: 

First price sealed bid Rules (protocol): Bidders submit a single sealed bid before deadline Outcome: Winner is highest bid at bid price Optimal strategy: Bid just below private value of item With N bidders bid: v(N-1)/N

Vickrey: 

Vickrey Rules (protocol): Bidders submit a single sealed bid before deadline Outcome: Winner is highest bid at second highest price Optimal strategy: Bid private value of item

Sealed double auction: 

Sealed double auction Rules (protocol): Bidders and sellers submit a single sealed bid before deadline Outcome: Auctioneer determines a single market-clearing price and matches buyers and sellers Optimal strategy: Bid private value of item

Dutch auction: 

Dutch auction Rules (protocol): Auctioneer calls out descending price. Bidder calls out a bid Outcome: Winner is first bidder to call out at price bid Optimal strategy: Bid just below private value of item

English auction: 

English auction Rules (protocol): Bidders successively raise bid for item until one bidder remains Outcome: Winner is last bidder remaining at price of second-highest bidder Optimal strategy: Bid until private value of item, then drop out

Non-private value auctions: 

Non-private value auctions Value of item depends at least partly on the value others give it. Resellable products (tasks) treasury bills Strategy now also depends on expectation or knowledge of the value others give the product.

Other issues on auctions: 

Other issues on auctions Bidder collusion Lying auctioneer Interrelated auctions

Examples of auctions: 

Examples of auctions http://www.wehkamp.nl/Veiling/ http://www.ebay.com/aw/ http://www.onsale.com/ http://www.band-x.com/ http://www.auctionconnect.lycos.com/

Technologies in EC: 

Technologies in EC EDI WWW Multimedia Work Flow Management Agents Electronic payment, smart cards, etc. ...

Agents: 

Agents Agent properties: autonomous pro-active reactive social ability learning Agent functions: information gathering and filtering negotiation (simple like auction or ContractNet) monitor long-term processes

Agents and electronic commerce: 

Agents and electronic commerce Agents for support: information gathering and comparison (e.g. shopbots: firefly) logistics Agents as delegates: only when trust is not important or easy Price and risk are low Process well defined

Agent operated markets: 

Agent operated markets http://auction.eecs.umich.edu/ http://www.iiia.csic.es/Projects/fishmarket/ Stock market Power trade

Agents for negotiation: 

Agents for negotiation Limited use due to complexity, but Very useful for e.g. auctions with: “Simple” world model Predetermined interactions Fixed rules One shot relations centralised infrastructure

Agents for negotiation: 

Agents for negotiation Fully automated AMEC first in situations where: Interactions are fast Interactions are repeated Trade is of relative small value Process is repeated over long periods Products are easy to specify Examples: stock trade, power trade and telecom

Item watching at e-bay now: 

Item watching at e-bay now

Item watching with agents: 

Item watching with agents Agent watches auctions in which you are interested Agent warns when your bid is overturned Agent warns when it gets interesting to start bidding Agent bid (strategically) up till a predefined level

Conclusions: 

Conclusions EC contains many, different aspects EC is per definition multi-disciplinary Agents can support in information seeking phase (now already) Agents play a role in transactions when these are well defined and the need for speed or monitoring is high

Vraag: 

Vraag Als ik mijn auto wil verkopen, kan ik hem dan beter op een Engelse veiling (boden lopen op) of een Nederlandse veiling (veilingmeester laat prijs dalen) aanbieden? Geef aan waarom. Wat zou een agent op een Nederlandse veiling van bv. bloemen kunnen leren, waardoor hij in de loop van een ochtend beter gaat bieden? Welke informatie moet hij hiervoor bijhouden?