Electronic commerce has changed the outlook of traditional business trading behavior. It is now common to see business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) commerce on the Internet. However, another type of model, consumer-to-business (C2B), is seldom found. A possible reason for this phenomenon is transaction cost; to unite a group of candidate buyers’ common needs and preferences to buy a product or service is uneasy. Difficulties arise, for example, in how to synthesize individual’s preferences into a group’s consensus, how to communicate with each other within the group, and how to collectively negotiate with a seller, etc. To establish a successful business model in the electronic market, however, these processes have to be implemented. We address these issues in this paper, and propose a Buyer Collective Purchasing (BCP) model implemented in a multi-agent framework. A prototype system, which uses a laptop computer purchasing case as an example, is created to demonstrate the idea and show how the model works.
Expert Systems with Applications 34(1) ： p.469-481