Electronic Commerce & Agents: Electronic Commerce & Agents Frank Dignum
firstname.lastname@example.org Overview: Overview Historical overview
Definition of Electronic Commerce (EC)
Examples of EC
Electronic markets and auctions
The role(s) of agents in EC
Conclusions Historical perspective: Historical perspective (Big) calculators
distributed information and word processing
client/server connected databases
support of (administrative) internal processes (WFMS) Historical perspective: Historical perspective Support of internal communication (groupware)
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 fulfilment (directives)
etc. Product/service exchange: Product/service exchange (micro-)payment
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
On-line marketing and advertising
Procurement and purchasing
Video on demand Examples of EC (B-C): Examples of EC (B-C) Retail
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)
Automotive industry (collective buying)
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 regulations on behaviour during transactions and means to enforce them Infrastructure for electronic markets: Infrastructure for electronic markets Banking facilities
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?
One-on-one advertisement allowed?
Format of advertisements?
Who can advertise? Types of markets: Types of markets Direct transactions
auctions Types of markets II: Types of markets II Direct transactions
direct contact buyer and seller
less structured transactions
influence market (institution) smaller
controlled contact between buyer and seller
transaction protocol very strict
institution has total control Auctions: Auctions Only “negotiate” about price.
etc. Auctions: Auctions Sealed auctions
First priced sealed bid
Sealed double auction
English auction First price sealed bid: First price sealed bid Rules (protocol):
Bidders submit a single sealed bid before deadline
Winner is highest bid at bid price
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
Winner is highest bid at second highest price
Bid private value of item Sealed double auction: Sealed double auction Rules (protocol):
Bidders and sellers submit a single sealed bid before deadline
Auctioneer determines a single market-clearing price and matches buyers and sellers
Bid private value of item Dutch auction: Dutch auction Rules (protocol):
Auctioneer calls out descending price.
Bidder calls out a bid
Winner is first bidder to call out at price bid
Bid just below private value of item English auction: English auction Rules (protocol):
Bidders successively raise bid for item until one bidder remains
Winner is last bidder remaining at price of second-highest bidder
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)
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
Interrelated auctions Examples of auctions: Examples of auctions http://www.wehkamp.nl/Veiling/
http://www.auctionconnect.lycos.com/ Technologies in EC: Technologies in EC EDI
Work Flow Management
Electronic payment, smart cards, etc.
... Agents: Agents Agent properties:
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)
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/
Agents for negotiation: Agents for negotiation Limited use due to complexity, but
Very useful for e.g. auctions with:
“Simple” world model
One shot relations
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?