Agent Mediated Electronic Commerce

courageouscellistΤεχνίτη Νοημοσύνη και Ρομποτική

29 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 9 μήνες)

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Agent Mediated
Electronic Commerce

Dr. Chris Preist

HP Labs

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The Three Phases of Electronic Commerce


Electronic Data Interchange



Electronic Marketplaces



Agent
-
Mediated Electronic Commerce


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Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Business Partners
electronically exchange trading
documents in a pre
-
arranged
format.


Advantages:


Reduced paperwork, faster
transactions, easy to automate.

Disadvantages:


Lock
-
in to small number of
business partners.

Purchaser

Supplier

Purchase order

Payment

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Electronic Markets

Many potential trading partners
meet and negotiate at an
internet site.


Advantages:


Very flexible. More competition,
leading to better deals.

Disadvantages:


Not automated, so slower and
more labour
-
intensive than EDI.

E
-
Market

Buyer

Buyer

Buyer

Seller

Seller

Seller

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Agent
-
Mediated Electronic Commerce

Agents represent buyers and sellers, and can participate in many

Electronic markets.

Advantages:

Best of both worlds


Flexible but automated.

Disadvantages:

Technology not yet widely accepted.

Agent

Agent

Auction

E
-
Market

Buyer

Seller

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The Stages of E
-
Commerce


Matchmaking



Negotiation



Contract Fulfilment

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List of

contacts

Matchmaking

Buyer

Buyer

Agent

Directory

Service

Purchase goal

Request

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Negotiation

Seller

Buyer

Buyer

Agent

Seller

Agent

Auction

E
-
Market

A

A

A

A

A

A

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Negotiation

Seller

Buyer

Buyer

Agent

Seller

Agent

Contract

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Contract Fulfilment

Seller

Buyer

Buyer

Agent

Seller

Agent

Payment

Service delivery

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Key Technologies for AMEC



Interoperability Standards



Intelligent Algorithms


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Interoperability Standards


Service Description Language
:

An agreed way of describing goods being traded, and the
resulting contracts. (e.g. DAML
-
S)



Communication Language
:

A set of messages with agreed meaning. (e.g. FIPA ACL)



Communication Protocol
:

An agreed set of rules stating who can send what kind of
messages, when. (e.g. English Auction)

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Intelligent Algorithms


How to negotiate with many other agents simultaneously,
to reach a good deal (specified in an agreed contract).



How to manage the interactions with other parties,
according to the various contracts you have entered into.

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NEGOTIA


The Problem Tackled


Corporate Procurement spends most of its time and effort
managing relatively low cost/value purchases.



To be competitive, these purchases potentially require
simultaneous negotiations with many sellers.



Can we automate these effectively, leaving the human
experts to focus on the important deals?

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The NEGOTIA System


Negotia manages all of the simultaneous negotiations
necessary to fulfil a purchase.


Negotia can participate in multiple 1:1 negotiations and/or
multiple auctions. It deploys individual agents in each.


Negotia computes the
best spread
of goods across
different sellers.


To do this, it considers different possible
future scenarios.


Negotiation terminates when Negotia has either completed
the overall purchase goal or there are no further options to
pursue.

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How NEGOTIA works


Historical data are used to build a belief model of the market keyed on
specific goods and suppliers.


The belief model is a probabilistic estimate of the outcome of each
negotiation and/or auction.


Negotia computes the best spread based on the belief model and
current state of negotiations.


Best spread is updated as negotiations proceed e.g. auctions close or
1:1 negotiations complete.


Negotia coordinates the behaviour of a set of agents: one for each
negotiation or auction.


The agent uses its beliefs together with the spread information to
determine its bidding tactics.

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Contract Manager


Problem Tackled


A business can enter into many contracts with other parties.


These contracts place the business under certain obligations and give
it certain rights.


If a business fails to meet obligations, it may be liable to sanctions.


Contractual agreements are often divorced from day
-
to
-
day operational
decisions.


By providing automated decision support to contract management we
can prioritise our obligations quickly and effectively.


By linking to business automation software (e.g. Workflow) we can
improve the quality of operational decisions.

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The CONTRACT MANAGER system


The system sits on top of an existing B2B execution framework, such
as a Workflow system.


Contracts are defined (through negotiation) in a structured language of
permissions, obligations and sanctions. E.g. “When the seller receives
£100 from the buyer, they are obliged to ship the goods within 3 days.”


System contains a
normative core
able to reason about obligations.
This decides which are currently active and which have the highest
priority.


System has a
fulfilment

module, which maps abstract obligations to
(one or more) execution processes which are expected to fulfil the
obligations.


Different agents using the system communicate via the
Contract
Fulfilment Protocol
to ensure that each agrees that obligations have
been successfully met.

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contract formation

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Buyer

Seller

Contract

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scheduling of enactment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment


Add contract and schedule

execution

Buyer

Seller

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An obligation is pending

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

An obligation is pending.

Its fulfilment is triggered.

Buyer

Seller

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The processes are invoked

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

4. The processes to fulfil the obligation

are retrieved, and invoked on the

execution framework

Buyer

Seller

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The processes are executed

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

5. The processes are executed

Buyer

Seller

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The obligation is fulfilled

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment


The obligation is fulfilled

Buyer

Seller

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Signals fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Signals the fulfilment of the obligation (CFP)

Buyer

Seller

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Acknowledge fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Execution Framework

Normative Core

Formation

Fulfilment

Acknowledge the fulfilment

Buyer

Seller

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Final Comments


Agent Mediated Electronic Commerce aims to create a highly flexible,
dynamic and automated business environment on the web.


This vision may not be fully realisable


either for technical or business
reasons.


Nonetheless, the technology currently being developed will increase
automation, and reduce lock
-
in.