Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smart Agents Do Deals On The Net

Date:
May 23, 2000
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
CSIRO research is helping to take the guesswork out of buying online. Intelligent software agents which trawl the Internet getting the best deals for both buyers and sellers may soon be a reality.

CSIRO research is helping to take the guesswork out of buying online.

Related Articles


Intelligent software agents which trawl the Internet getting the best deals for both buyers and sellers may soon be a reality.

CSIRO Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers Dr Maria Lee and Dr Ryszard Kowalczyk have been working on ways of applying artificial intelligence techniques to support e-commerce.

"Say you are looking for a particular make and model of car in a particular colour with a particular set of features," says Dr Lee. "All you will need to do is to tell your software agent what you want and it will locate a dealer, negotiate the best price and close the deal in a matter of minutes."

For buyers who like to stay in control, the agent will suggest the best options and leave the final choice to the buyer.

"This is the logical next step in e-commerce," says Dr Kowalczyk. "At the moment buyers just choose from what is on offer and pay the advertised price, which is often higher than the in-store price."

Intelligent agents, programmed with their owners' personal preferences and requirements, will not only obtain the best possible price but also ensure that other requirements, like colour, warranty, trade-in, delivery date and after-sales service, are met.

Dr Kowalczyk says that people often have difficulty weighing up choices when the number of issues increases.

"'Should I get the green one if it's a bit cheaper? What's more important to me, the sporty wheels or air-conditioning?"

"By allocating an importance rating to each feature and setting acceptable limits on variation, the buyer can be sure the result will be satisfactory."

Agents will keep negotiating and trying new strategies until they deliver the goods. They don't get tired or frustrated so they are always at their best in a negotiation.

Software agents will also have the potential to simplify the complexities of supply chains by ensuring that all the parties along the chain have their requirements met.

This revolutionary idea is built on some key Artificial Intelligence principles.

Coalition formation means that agents get together to increase their bargaining power when it is in their interests to do so. An agent will only join a coalition if the terms are to its advantage, so agents need to negotiate the formation of coalitions.

Another big plus is that the agents can learn from previous negotiation experience. If a particular strategy results in a favourable outcome, the agent will learn to use it in preference to a strategy which has not worked as well.

They can also learn to adapt their strategies according to the situation and even based on prior experience with a particular buyer or seller agent.

Developing a system which can work in practice requires some complex problems to be solved.

"One of the big issues is how agents communicate," says Dr Lee. "Agents need to speak the same language when they talk about concepts such as colour, length, currency and time."

"We are developing systems which free agents from concerns about units and conversions and which provide a uniform language for negotiation."

The use of intelligent agents is not restricted to retail commerce.

CSIRO Business Manager Kevin Cryan foresees uses in a wide range of sectors.

"We would expect that intelligent agent technology will soon become an important aspect of a wide variety of e-commerce applications in areas such as finance, health and the delivery of commercial and government services."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Smart Agents Do Deals On The Net." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000522081150.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2000, May 23). Smart Agents Do Deals On The Net. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000522081150.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Smart Agents Do Deals On The Net." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000522081150.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) This is the latest development in an antitrust investigation accusing Google of unfairly prioritizing own products and services in search results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Nintendo Making A Comeback With 'Super Smash Bros.'?

Is Nintendo Making A Comeback With 'Super Smash Bros.'?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Nintendo released new "Super Smash Bros." Friday, and it's getting great reviews. Could this mean a comeback for the gaming company? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins