Electronic Commerce and Virtual Organizations

This project was developed at NIAD&R - Distributed Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Group. The researchers involved in the project were:

    Electronic Commerce

Traditional commerce concerns the establishment of business transactions where participants meet personally in physical places. Electronic Commerce (EC) uses the information and communication technology enabling the electronic support - and optionally automation - of some stages of the business transaction life cycle. We call Electronic Market (EM) to the virtual marketplace where business participants can meet each other. Links for simple presentations (in powerpoint) about this subject can be found at the end of this page.

    Virtual Organizations

A Virtual Organization (VO) is a temporary network of independent companies having several different roles connected through a communication network in order to share skills and competencies to access new markets. VO will only exist for a temporary time limit, taht is the time needed to satisfy its purpose. VO life cycle can be decomposed in: identification of needs, formation, operation and dissolution. For now, our research is focused on the second phase - formation. We are convinced that EC techniques are essential in the process of VO formation. The VO will be modelled as a Multi-Agent System where individual agents (mapping the individual companies) are heterogeneous semi-autonomous intelligent units which exist in a EM.

    Objectives of the Project
The main objectives of the current project include the following topics (VO formation, Agents Negotiation protocols, Learning Agents) which are here closely inter-related:
NOTE: I would like to draw your attention to our work on SMACE (see also below).