WORKSHOP: Novel E-Commerce Applications of Agents

Subject: WORKSHOP: Novel E-Commerce Applications of Agents
From: Bruce Spencer (
Date: Fri Nov 17 2000 - 12:09:12 MET

We apologize if you receive multiple copies of this announcement.

                            The AI-2001 Workshop on
                    Novel E-Commerce Applications of Agents
                           to be held at AI 2001
                  June 7-9, 2001, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

   Economic activity, accelerated via Internet connections between human
   buyers and sellers, is accelerated further with software agents acting
   on behalf of the humans. Before this agent-mediated economic activity
   can be adopted and used successfully by non-expert humans,
   technologies of different types must be advanced. Existing AI
   techniques are often applicable.
     * Search techniques must find products and services that match the
       user's needs, where the offerings may be described in different
       terms than the requirements, or not explicitly described.
       Internet search, user modeling, learning and natural language
       understanding are applicable.
     * Products and services must be combined into packages that meet the
       users needs. The package may be a simple combination with some
       interdependence, such as reservations for dinner and a movie in an
       evening. Or the package can be a coordinated set of products and
       services that, when performed in a specified order, achieves some
       goal, such as a manufacturing supply chain.
       Relevant technologies include combinatorial search, planning and
       scheduling, temporal and spatial reasoning and reasoning about
     * Trust must be established, and negotiating techniques are needed
       to achieve a fair exchange of resources.
       Logics of beliefs, and optimization techniques are applicable.
   This workshop aims to attract researchers concerned with incorporating
   AI techniques into the software agents that undertake commercial
   activities over the Internet.
   Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
     * negotiations: bargaining, auctions
     * emergent behaviour of agent societies: congestion, starvation
     * belief logics
     * description logics
     * distributed reasoning by agents
     * collaborative and competitive behaviour of multiple agents
     * planning and scheduling by agents
     * mobility of agents
     * privacy and agents
  Workshop format
   The workshop will consist of some short introductory remarks by the
   organizers and then mostly of presentations of submitted works,
   followed by an open discussion session, where the state of the field,
   current problems and new directions will be considered.
  Participation and Submissions
   Participation in this workshop is by invitation only and invitees must
   be registered for the AI-2001 conference. Also attendance is limited.
   Therefore, in case that a selection becomes necessary, we ask
   researchers that just want to attend the workshop without contributing
   a paper to send a short email to expressing their
   particular interest in the workshop.
   Researchers interested in contributing a paper should send it to (please send a uuencoded gzipped postscript file).
   Papers should not exceed 8 pages. Papers may be submitted in either
   the ACM format or the Springer-Verlag Lectue Notes format.
   The papers will be reviewed by the organization committee (and some
   additional referees) and all papers of sufficient quality will be
   included into the workshop notes (and their authors invited to the
   workshop, of course). Out of these papers several will be selected for
   presentation at the workshop. The main criteria of this selection will
   be to cover a broad variety of both application areas and
   parallelization and distribution concepts and the contribution to the
   goals stated above. To facilitate a lively and interesting discussion,
   we will try to make all the papers available to the participants of
   the workshop before the workshop takes place.
  After workshop activities
   We plan two activities after the workshop:
    1. Adding to this web page, links to all participants (that agree to
       this) and their projects related to parallel and distributed
       search, hopefully, as a result of the workshop, indexed with
       respect to several criteria. This should provide people who are
       interested in the specific problems of AI agents for e-commerce
       with a web-based resource.
    2. A resubmission of the papers for a formal collective publication.
       We are negotiating with an international journal to form a special
       issue. (More details will follow.)
  Important dates
     * Deadline for Submissions/Requests for Participation:
       January 31, 2001
     * Invitations will be sent out: March 15, 2001
     * Workshop: June 7, 8 or 9, 2001
                               Organizing Committee
             Virendra Bhavsar Jörg Denzinger
      Faculty of Computer Science Department of Computer Science
 University of New Brunswick, Fredericton University of Calgary
          Email: Email:
                Ali Ghorbani Steve Marsh
       Faculty of Computer Science Institute for Information Technology
 University of New Brunswick, Fredericton National Research Council, Ottawa
           Email: Email:
                                  Bruce Spencer
                           Faculty of Computer Science
                     University of New Brunswick, Fredericton

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