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An Agent-Mediated E-Commerce Environment for the Mobile Shopper

Fonseca, Steven; Griss, Martin; Letsinger, Reed

HPL-2001-157

Keyword(s): E-commerce; agents; appliances; Zeus

Abstract: Agents and mobile appliances offer the promise to change the way people purchase products by connecting the physical presence of stores with their Internet representation and delegating consumer tasks to intelligent pieces of autonomous software. The archetypical example is the shopping mall of the future; shoppers use personal digital assistants (PDA) to interact with store services while in the mall, on the way to the store, or in the store itself. Mall- wide services, such as directories and locators are also available through the PDA. Intelligent agents represent both shoppers and the store to negotiate for desired products based on shopper preferences. A lightweight version of this scenario was implemented with a multi-agent system framework (Zeus), Jornadas, CoolTown infrared beacons, and additional support software. Experience suggests that while the scenario is compelling, current agent building tools are insufficient for rapidly prototyping multi-agent societies and a more sophisticated means of staying connected to the virtual world is needed.

14 Pages

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