| Skip to main content | Skip to sub navigation |

This is now an inactive research group it's members have moved on. You can find them at their new research groups:

ECS Intranet:
E-Business Technologies

The Group has significant activities in the area of E-business Technologies. We view this as a vibrant and exciting domain in which we can exploit the technologies that we have developed within the Group. In particular, our focus in this theme is on developing technologies that facilitate agent-mediated e-business.

Research Areas

Automated Negotiation

We believe that the fundamental form of interaction in e-business is some form of negotiation. There are autonomous agents, representing distinct stakeholders, and they need to come to a mutually acceptable agreement on some matter. In short, they need to negotiate a contract. The nature of this interaction can be highly variable: ranging from bi-lateral negotiation, through auctions, to argumentation-based models. To reflect this, we have followed an eclectic approach and developed a variety of negotiation algorithms for each of these distinct cases.

Auctions and Markets

Auctions and marketplaces are becomming increasingly prevalent as a means of organising and structuring e-business applications. Given this, we are interested in the dual facets of: (i) how to design auctions that are effective in a variety of computational settings and (ii) given a particular setting, how can we devise bidding strategies that agents can employ in order to be effective.

Scaleable Architectures

This research investigates the system structures that need to be put in place to enable e-business to take place in large-scale, open systems that are composed of thousands of interacting agents. In particular, we are looking at how such systems can be made self-organising to better cope with the dynamics of the situation

Virtual Organisations

Agent technology is ideally suited to managing the entire virtual organisation lifecycle. Once the potential or need for a new organisation has been established, agents can negotiate with one another to determine which agents should be involved in the organisation. When a new virtual organisation has formed, coalition formation algorithms can be deployed to divide the work efficiently between the participants and coordination algorithms are needed to ensure the ensemble acts in a coherent manner. Finally, when the organisation is no longer sustainable, the agents can disband.