Contracts and Policies for eCommerce

Project Overview

This project is developing ways to enable automated enterprises and intelligent agents to specify, communicate and implement business rules and policies in eCommerce (especially B2B) settings. This work is led by Benjamin Grosof and funded by the Center for eBusiness@MIT as well as the the DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML) research program.

The Challenge

Automated enterprises and the intelligent software agents that serve them will need a clear, compact, and expressive way to describe their business rules and policies to each other, for example in order to describe proposed contracts to each other, as well as for implementation of these contracts once agreed upon.

Our Vision

This work uses a knowledge representation formalism called 'courteous logic' to capture business rules in a way that can be reasoned with by computational agents, communicated as XML, and implemented by a wide range of existing business systems.

Selected Publications

Benjamin N. Grosof, Yannis Labrou, and Hoi Y. Chan. A Declarative Approach to Business Rules in Contracts: Courteous Logic Programs in XML. In: Proc. 1st ACM Conf. on Electronic Commerce (EC-99), ed. Michael P. Wellman. Held Nov. 3-5, 1999, Denver, CO, USA. New York, NY, USA: ACM Press, 1999.

Daniel P. Reeves, Michael P. Wellman, Benjamin N. Grosof, and Hoi Y. Chan. Automated Negotiation from Declarative Contract Descriptions. In: Proc. of AAAI-2000 Workshop on Knowledge-Based Electronic Markets, held Austin, TX, USA, July 2000.