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Markus Stolze <[log in to unmask]>
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Markus Stolze <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 7 Dec 1998 11:23:56 +0100
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     HCI INTERNATIONAL'99  (August 22-27, Munich)

                 Special Session on

          Electronic Markets on the Internet

    (see also

Important Dates
Extended Abstracts (1000 words) due  December 31, 1998
Notification of Review               January 31, 1999
Papers (3000-5000 words) due         April 30, 1999
HCI '99,  Munich, Germany            August 22-27, 1999

Workshop Chairs
Markus Stolze, IBM Zurich Research Lab, Switzerland
Martin Bichler, Vienna University of Economics and BA, Austria
Christian Rathke, Fraunhofer IAO, Germany

The emergence of the Internet leads to the creation of electronic
market places. Electronic catalogs were the first step in this
direction. During the past few years, an increasing number of
companies have put their product catalogs on the Web in order to
make them universally available. Today experienced Internet users
expect to be able to access and order from businesses through
online catalogs. This is an example of how new technological
possibilities lead to the creation of new business models and
changing customer expectations. Currently we can already
witness the next round of this co-evolution of technology,
business models and customer expectations. The introduction of
product search services and virtual catalogs has made it easy for
the customer to compare offers from different suppliers. Suddenly
strong brands have become commodities. The increased use of these
services has put pressure on vendors of standardized goods and
services like CD's, gas, and phone services to find new ways for
selling their goods on the Net.

In addition to offering products in a personalized way by a
one-to-one marketing approach, several companies such as Intuit
and Excite have created centralized marketplaces and brokerage
services that support customers to find the goods and services
they need. Typical support services offered by marketplaces are
yellow pages, catalog aggregation as well as negotiation support
(e.g. cyber-auctions) to match customers and sellers. These new
possibilities influence the way product prices and terms of a
deal are determined as well as how customers access offerings and
how merchants distribute goods and services.

Business models based on electronic marketplaces and the
technology supporting them are not yet well established. It is
not yet clear which services are most useful for customers, and
how to best exploit available technologies to make them effective
and easy to use for customers, market place operators and suppliers.

This Special Interest Group will focus on the information and
negotiation phases of electronic commerce, i.e., how product related
information is made available to the Internet community and how a
match between a buyer's needs and a supplier's capabilities is
achieved. Marketplaces supporting these stages have to address two
major issues: the issue of product information management and the
issue of product information access and matchmaking.

* Virtual marketplaces have to address the issue of product
information management, i.e., they have to define how the product
information from the different merchants is described, stored and
updated. They also have to define how updates are initiated, and
they have to provide tools that support merchants in maintaining
large and frequently changing product data-bases. Currently,
multiple initiatives are underway to create product ontologies
which standardize the structure of product descriptions and the
meaning of product description elements.

* Virtual marketplaces also have to address the issue of product
information access and matchmaking. That is,  they have to define
how products and their properties are found, retrieved, visualized
and compared in order to match a buyer's need with a supplier's
capabilities. Brokerage services, specialized search engines,
virtual catalogs, and negotiation support systems (cyber-auctions
etc.) are among the various approaches.

This Special Interest Group will concentrate on enabling
technologies and new business models for providing. accessing
and matching product and service related information on the Internet.
We ask researchers and practitioners to present prototypes,
technologies, and frameworks that show new ways of establishing
virtual marketplaces on the Internet.

Areas of Interest
* technologies and platforms for Internet commerce,
* protocols, product taxonomies, and standards,
* catalogs and description languages for products and services,
* tools supporting negotiations and matchmaking in general,
* interfaces for shopping and shop maintenance,
* product visualizations and interfaces for product comparison,
* examples of electronic intermediaries, and
* changing business models and impacts on the value chain.

Format of the Session
The session (90 min - possibly extendable to half day) will consist
of 5 to 7 short presentations. The plan is to have no more than half
the time devoted to presentations and the other half to discussion.
The theme of the discussions will be determined based on the
submissions.  A summary report on the workshop will also be posted
on the Web.

Email submission (mailto:[log in to unmask]) of abstracts are
preferred. Please use one of the following file formats: Word for
Windows, PDF, Postscript.
Please include postal and e-mail addresses, phone and fax numbers
with all submissions. Prospective presenters are advised to contact
in advance if they are in doubt about suitability of their
submissions. The papers presented in the session will appear in the
conference proceedings. The guidelines for preparation of final version
of papers, and for more details on HCI International '99 conference,
please visit: