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Journal of Information Science and Engineering, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 325-347 (March 2004)

Integrated Business Agents for Processing
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I-Heng Meng, Shin-Mu Tseng**, and Wei-Pang Yang
Department of Computer and Information Science
National Chiao Tung University
Hsinchu, 300 Taiwan
**Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering
National Cheng Kung University
Tainan, 701 Taiwan

The Internet functions as an increasingly important channel for retailing commerce and business transactions. Although nearly five billion web sites exist on the World Wide Web, an integrated mediator, called a business agent, is sought to negotiate between suppliers and buyers. Such an intelligent business broker is thus necessary to support efficient and effective sharing of information. This work proposes an entirely new business agent architecture comprised of five elements, namely Business Spy Agent, Supply and Demand Analysis, Supply and Demand Classification, Matching and Negotiation, and Hidden Business Mining. The proposed architecture encompasses four trading processes, including supply and demand identification, product brokering, merchant brokering and negotiation. The architecture introduces the notion of ontology to increase the precision of classification and more the effectiveness of negotiation. Experiments involving the proposed business agent show a significant successful pairing rate of 82% among suppliers and buyers. Simulation results indicate that the options, including Negotiable, Designated Brand and Split Demand, affect the match ratio differently from various perspectives.

Keywords: business agents, ontology, negotiation, classification, supply and demand

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Received September 3, 2002; accepted March 17, 2003.
Communicated by David H. C. Du.
A preliminary version of this paper appeared in the 2002 International Conference on Computaional Science (ICCS).