Jean-Marc Andreoli, Francois Pacull, Remo Pareschi
IEEE Internet Compting, 1(4), july/august 1997
Electronic commerce is emerging as one of the main application domains on the Internet and the WWW and
promises to change radically the relationship between customers, retailers and service providers. However, for
this to happen, electronic commerce must become effectively a better way of selling goods and services than
the traditional channels. This requires a suitable infrastructure for developing electronic commerce applications
that meet the needs of both customers and providers; for instance, multiparty negotiations should be
supported, while restrictions on payment methods should as much as possible be banned. The current
capabilities for developing electronic commerce software fall short of such requirements. To contribute to the
solution of this problem, we introduce here Xpect, a generic framework for the development of electronic
commerce applications that provides powerful agent-based capabilities for the coordination of multiple services
and the intermediation and the negotiation among multiple parties.
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