Commitment-Based Interoperation for E-Commerce

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Title: Commitment-Based Interoperation for E-Commerce
Author: Xing, Jie
Advisors: Muninda P. Singh, Chair
William J. Stewart, Member
Malden A. Vouk, Member
Peter R. Wurman, Member
Abstract: Successful e-commerce presupposes techniques by which autonomous trading entities can interoperate. Although much progress has been made on data exchange and payment protocols, interoperation in the face of autonomy is still inadequately understood. Current techniques, designed for closed environments, support only the simplest interactions.This dissertation concentrates on two themes. First, we develop a generic agent interaction model that supports agent coordination. We propose metacommitment patterns, which accommodate revisions and exceptions, to model agent interaction. We formalize metacommitment patterns declaratively in temporal logic. We apply statecharts to specify behavior models of agents who follow our commitment patterns. The statecharts provide an operational semantics, which can be used as a rigorous basis for agent coordination. We propose agent behavior models and prove that it operationally supports our temporal logic semantics. In this manner, we provide the basis for formally designing coordinated multiagent systems. Second, we apply agent behavior models for interoperation in e-commerce. This approach consists of (1) behavioral models to specify autonomous, heterogeneous agents representing different trading entities (businesses, consumers, brokers), (2) a metamodel that provides a language (based on XML) for specifying a variety of service agreements and accommodating exceptions and revisions, and (3) an execution architecture that supports persistent and dynamic (re)execution. Our implementation uses existing Java tool kits for parsing XML and building communicating agents. The main contributions of this dissertation are in developing some theoretical aspects of agent interaction with an emphasis on e-commerce.In addition, the proposed approach can also provide a rigorous basis for future standards for interoperation in e-commerce.
Date: 2001-07-11
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Operations Research

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