Electronic Commerce, as a gamut of activities involving electronic transactions performed over a network via software that may be more or less autonomous, is an emerging reality. Strategic studies have shown that electronic commerce is a major growth industry.
The book is devoted to the challenges and opportunities that electronic commerce opens for agent technology. For some time, electronic commerce has attracted the avid attention of agent-builders and agent technology researchers, and these have decisively contributed to advancing the state of the art in the field. The second-generation software agents now entering the scene hold great promise for the further advancement of electronic commerce. This book originates from a workshop on Agent-Mediated Electronic Trading held at Agents'98 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 1998. The eleven carefully reviewed and revised papers present a unique survey of software agents in the context of electronic commerce.