Web-Based Commerce in Complex Products and Services with Multiple Suppliers

  • Liliana Ardissono
  • Alexander Felfernig
  • Gerhard Friedrich
  • Anna Goy
  • Dietmar Jannach
  • Ralph Schäfer
  • Markus Zanker
Part of the Advanced Information Processing book series (AIP)


The sale of customisable products and services over the Internet is a challenging task within the area of electronic commerce, as it represents an important extension of the functionalities of electronic catalogues and Web stores, which normally do not support the dynamic configuration of the items to be purchased. In this chapter we shall present a case study which shows how the offering and selling of complex products and services from the telecommunication industry are supported within a generic framework for customer-adaptive distributed online configuration. Following the paradigm of mass customisation, products and services are nowadays sold to customers in many variants according to specific customer requirements. In a Web-based environment, the customer interaction with the sales system must be given special emphasis. Therefore we sketch how a personalised Web interaction may imitate a good salesperson who adapts expert advice according to the customer’s interests and skills. The digital economy of the 21st century will be based on flexibly integrated webs of highly specialised solution providers. Regarding configuration technology itself, the joint configuration of organisationally and geographically distributed products and services must be supported. This requires the extension of current configuration technology to include distributed knowledge bases and co-operative problem-solving behaviour. The framework developed here is designed to be generic enough to be also applicable to other industries with similar requirements for electronic commerce systems, such as the areas of facility management equipment and the building and construction industry.


Complex Product Configuration System Constraint Satisfaction Problem Configuration Process Product Configuration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liliana Ardissono
    • 1
  • Alexander Felfernig
    • 2
  • Gerhard Friedrich
    • 2
  • Anna Goy
    • 1
  • Dietmar Jannach
    • 2
  • Ralph Schäfer
    • 3
  • Markus Zanker
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di InformaticaUniversità di TorinoItaly
  2. 2.Computer Science & Manufacturing Research GroupUniversity of KlagenfurtAustria
  3. 3.DFKI GmbHSaarbrückenGermany

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