Let intelligent agents do
your buying for you
The advantages of electronic commerce are encouraging firms to convert
commercial practices into electronic form. Electronic transactions can help to speed up
procurement and sometimes the supply of goods and services if they can be delivered over
the Internet (as in the case of software, for example). Potentially the smallest of
companies can market their product world wide, and could possibly offer more merchandise
than would fit in one small location.
The CASBA project is developing an electronic marketplace framework using intelligent
agent technology - devices that move around the Internet representing and acting on the
behalf of their owners. The market framework automates the auction process and allows
negotiation between the various agents. These agents differ from common retrieval and
filtering agents; they are able to learn and can negotiate with other agents using
The first version of the CASBA infrastructure is focusing on three main tools - for
Administration, Client and Negotiation. The Administration tool allows the user to examine
customers, agents, markets and deals, and to add and remove markets or product categories.
The Client tool enables customers to join in an electronic auction with intelligent agents
bidding for them. The Negotiation Tool allows customers to specify all the dealing details
such as personal preferences, product attributes and values, which enable the agent to act
on their behalf.
The CASBA demonstration shows the first version of the infrastructure in action,
including the administration, client and negotiation tools. Visitors to the stand can try
the CASBA market service.