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About this book

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Electronic Commerce and Web Technologies, EC-Web 2007, held in Regensburg, Germany, September 3-7, 2007 in conjunction with Dexa 2007.

The 22 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 67 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on recommender systems, business process / design aspects, mobile commerce, security and e-payment, Web services computing / semantic Web, e-negotiation and agent mediated systems, and issues in Web advertising.

Table of Contents


Security and Privacy

A Secure Payment Protocol for Restricted Connectivity Scenarios in M-Commerce

A significant number of mobile payment systems have been proposed in recent years, most of them based on a scenario where all the entities are directly connected one to another (formally called ”Full connectivity scenario”). Despite of the advantages that the aforementioned scenario offers to protocol’s designers, regarding design simplification and development of payment protocols without losing security capabilities, the full connectivity scenario does not consider those situations in which the client cannot directly communicate with the issuer (Kiosk Centric Model) or the merchant has no direct communication with the acquirer (Client Centric Model). In order to overcome this restriction and contribute to the progress of m-commerce, in this paper we propose an anonymous protocol that uses a digital signature scheme with message recovery using self-certified public keys that is suitable for both the Kiosk Centric Model and Client Centric Model. As a result, our proposal shows that m-commerce is possible in restrictive connectivity scenarios, achieving the same security capabilities than other protocols designed for mobile payment systems based on ”Full connectivity scenario”.
Jesús Téllez Isaac, José Sierra Camara

Using WPKI for Security of Web Transaction

Today, a web transaction is typically protected by using SSL/TLS. SSL/TLS without compulsion for a client’s public key certificate, which is the typical usage, is not able to fulfill the security requirements for web transactions. The main remaining threats for this use are client authentication and non-repudiation. This paper presents a scheme to address SSL/TLS security holes, when it is used for web transaction security. The focus is only on transaction that is carried out by using credit/debit cards. The scheme uses wireless public key infrastructure (WPKI) in the client’s mobile phone to generate a digital signature for the client. Thus we obtain client authentication and non-repudiation. At the same time, no overhead is imposed on the client, there is no need for any change to the actual system when performing the transaction, and no connection, by using the mobile phone, is required to perform the transaction.
Mohammed Assora, James Kadirire, Ayoub Shirvani

XℓPPX: A Lightweight Framework for Privacy Preserving P2P XML Databases in Very Large Publish-Subscribe Systems

The problem of supporting privacy preservation of XML databases within very large publish-subscribe systems is rapidly gaining interest for both academic and industrial research. It becomes even more challenging when XML data are managed and delivered according to the P2P paradigm, since malicious accesses and unpredictable attacks could take advantage from the totally-decentralized and untrusted nature of P2P networks. In this paper, we propose XPPX, a distributed framework for very large publish-subscribe systems which supports (i) privacy-preserving fragmentation of XML documents stored in P2P XML databases, and (ii) the creation of trusted groups of peers by means of “self-certifying” XPath links. Furthermore, we present algorithms for querying privacy-preserving XML fragments in both schema-aware and schema-less mode, which are common scenarios when P2P XML databases operate in very large publish-subscribe systems. Finally, we complete our analytical contributions with an experimental study showing the effectiveness of our proposed framework.
Angela Bonifati, Alfredo Cuzzocrea

Profiling and Customer Behaviour

Usability Analysis Framework Based on Behavioral Segmentation

Usability analysis tools are indispensable for improving efficiency of electronic environments including web based portals and services. The article presents a novel behaviorally centered usability analysis framework. The framework has been applied to elucidation of usability characteristic of a large corporate intranet with an extensive knowledge worker user base. Knowledge workers had a significant tendency to form elemental and complex browsing patterns, utilized relatively narrow spectrum of available resources, and generally exhibited diminutive exploratory behavior.
Peter Géczy, Noriaki Izumi, Shotaro Akaho, Kôiti Hasida

Photo-Based User Profiling for Tourism Recommender Systems

The World Wide Web has become an important source of information for tourists planning their vacation. So, tourism recommender systems supporting users in their decision making process by suggesting suitable holiday destinations or travel packages based on user profiles are an area of vivid research. Since a picture paints a thousand words we have conducted an online survey revealing significant dependencies between tourism-related photographs and tourist types. The results of the survey are packaged in a Web-based tourist profiling tool. It is now possible to generate a user profile in an enjoyable way by simply selecting photos without enduring lengthy form-based self assessments.
Helmut Berger, Michaela Denk, Michael Dittenbach, Andreas Pesenhofer, Dieter Merkl

Examining the Relationship Between Individual Characteristics, Product Characteristics, and Media Richness Fit on Consumer Channel Preference

This study examines the relationship between individual characteristics, product characteristics and media richness fit to explain the consumer channel preference. Based on prior research, hypotheses were tested with a sample of 749 consumers. The results show that the media richness fit moderates the degree of the relationship between the individual/product characteristics and the consumer channel preference. Thus, depending on the level of the media richness fit, the level of confidence in the channel, the attitude towards the channel, the experience level with the channel, the perceived risk vis-à-vis the channel, the perceived product complexity, the perceived product intangibility, and the consumer’s product involvement correlate differently with the consumer channel preference. Theoretical and managerial implications of the findings and avenues for future research are discussed.
Eric Brunelle, Josée Lapierre

Evaluation of E-Commerce Impact

An Investigation into E-Commerce Adoption Profile for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Bury, Greater Manchester, UK

E-commerce is the commercial transaction between and among organizations and individuals enabled by the digital technologies. Most recently, it is mainly referred to as the Internet-based electronic commerce. E-commerce provides many benefits for organisations to conduct business on the Internet. Since 1994, millions of companies have stepped into the digital world. However, due to the lack of knowledge and expertise of new technologies and many other reasons, the e-adoption rate for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) still lags behind. This paper investigates the e-adoption status for SMEs in the Bury area of Greater Manchester, UK. To conduct the research, a survey method is employed and questionnaires are distributed to local SMEs. The collected date is analysed and results are compared to the national statistics. Results show that the adoption rate of information and communication technology (ICT) and e-commerce in Bury is a step ahead of the UK in general.
Baomin Qi, William McGilligan

Analysis of Mobile and Pervasive Applications from a Corporate Investment Perspective

Mobile and Pervasive applications have received considerable attention over the last few years, extending the application boundaries of modern information and communication technology. However, the successful adoption of such systems in an enterprise relies on a positive investment decision. As general managers and chief information officers (CIOs) still lack exhaustive experience with ubiquitous systems, there is a need to communicate this potential to this target group, guided by reliable corporate benefit arguments. This paper presents a set of simple taxonomies that help structuring and thereby communicating the nature and benefits of mobile and pervasive systems for corporate evaluation purposes. The taxonomies were validated involving a survey gathering the opinions of 20 CIOs. The taxonomy use is portrayed in a mobile logistics application case from the chemical industry.
Daniel Simonovich

Recommender Systems and E-Negotiations

Online Shopping Using a Two Dimensional Product Map

In this paper, we propose a user interface for online shopping that uses a two dimensional product map to present products. This map is created using multidimensional scaling (MDS). Dissimilarities between products are computed using an adapted version of Gower’s coefficient of similarity based on the attributes of the product. The user can zoom in and out by drawing rectangles. We show an application of this user interface to MP3 players and give an interpretation of the product map.
Martijn Kagie, Michiel van Wezel, Patrick J. F. Groenen

Impact of Relevance Measures on the Robustness and Accuracy of Collaborative Filtering

The open nature of collaborative recommender systems present a security problem. Attackers that cannot be readily distinguished from ordinary users may inject biased profiles, degrading the objectivity and accuracy of the system over time. The standard user-based collaborative filtering algorithm has been shown quite vulnerable to such attacks. In this paper, we examine relevance measures that complement neighbor similarity and their influence on algorithm robustness. In particular, we consider two techniques, significance weighting and trust weighting, that attempt to calculate the utility of a neighbor with respect to rating prediction. Such techniques have been used to improve prediction accuracy in collaborative filtering. We show that significance weighting, in particular, also results in improved robustness under profile injection attacks.
J J Sandvig, Bamshad Mobasher, Robin Burke

Capturing Buying Behaviour Using a Layered User Model

User models are important tools for personalization, especially in ecommerce applications. But capturing dynamically changing user needs is a challenge. One of the reasons for such difficulty is that the purchasing behavior of an individual is based on a number of different aspects. In this paper we identify these aspects as a combination of demographics, domain based expectations and transactions. Since each individual can demonstrate a unique combination of these aspects, to achieve finer personalization, such individuality will have to be captured in user models. In this paper we propose such a user model architecture, which also has the ability to self-improve adapting to changes of individual behavior and long term modeling possibilities.
Oshadi Alahakoon, Seng Loke, Arkady Zaslavsky

Building Business Relationships with Negotiation

Successful negotiators prepare by determining their position along five dimensions. We introduce a negotiation model based on these dimensions and on two primitive concepts: intimacy (degree of closeness) and balance (degree of fairness). The intimacy is a pair of matrices that evaluate both an agent’s contribution to the relationship and its opponent’s contribution each from an information view and from a utilitarian view. The balance is the difference between these matrices. A relationship strategy maintains a target intimacy for each relationship that an agent would like the relationship to move towards in future. The negotiation strategy maintains a set of Options that are in-line with the current intimacy level, and then tactics wrap the Options in argumentation with the aim of attaining a successful deal and manipulating the successive negotiation balances towards the target intimacy.
John Debenham, Carles Sierra

Web Services

Structural and Semantic Similarity Metrics for Web Service Matchmaking

Service matchmaking is the process of finding appropriate services for a given set of requirements. We present a novel service matchmaking approach based on the internal process of services. We model service internal processes using finite state machines and use various heuristics to find structural similarities between services. Further, we use a process ontology that captures the semantic relations between processes. This semantic information is then used to determine semantic similarities between processes and to compute match rates of services. We develop a case study to illustrate the benefits of using process-based matchmaking of services and to evaluate strengths of the different heuristics we propose.
Akın Günay, Pınar Yolum

Providing Methodological Support to Incorporate Presentation Properties in the Development of Web Services

Nowadays, Web services provide only raw data. However, Web service consumers need Web services with new features that allow them to obtain data with specific presentation properties. In this paper, we present an approach to develop Web services that incorporate presentation properties from a methodological point of view. To do this, we based on the models proposed by the model-driven development method OO-Method / OOWS. To document our approach, we apply our ideas to a real case study of a Web application to manage University Research Groups.
Marta Ruiz, Pedro Valderas, Vicente Pelechano

E-Commerece and Organizations

A Model of IT Evaluation Management: Organizational Characteristics, IT Evaluation Methodologies, and B2BEC Benefits

Large organizations have invested substantial financial resources in information technology (IT) over the last few decades. However, many organizations have discovered that they have not yet fully reaped the B2BEC benefits from their IT investments. A model of IT evaluation management is proposed in this paper to examine: (1) the relationship between the adoption of ITEM and B2BEC benefits; and (2) the impact of organizational characteristics (e.g. organizational IT maturity and IT evaluation resources (ITER) allocation) on the relationship between the adoption of ITEM and B2BEC benefits. The cross-national survey results provide empirical evidence in support of our proposed model, and demonstrate that: (a) the level of organizational IT maturity has a direct and significant impact on the adoption of ITEM; (b) the adoption of ITEM has a positive relationship with the ITER allocation; and (c) the ITER allocation has a significant direct influence on B2BEC benefits.
Chad Lin, Yu-An Huang

Linking M-Business to Organizational Behavior Levels – A Mobile Workforce Centered Research Framework

The potential of mobile electronic business (m-business) applications and wireless technologies has created interdisciplinary interest among researchers in the fields of computer science, business administration, and the social sciences. However, one preeminent inter-discipline has yet found little systematic inclusion: organizational behavior (OB), a study field of business administration relating to psychology. This paper highlights the three levels of OB and articulates typical questions with behavioral emphasis arising from the use of mobile applications in organizations. Empirical insights on the mobile workers gained across nine industries suggest that any research agenda addressing the effect of m-business on OB levels should reflect industrial differences. Building on the mobile workforce concept, a three-dimensional reference framework is presented as a guide for a behavioristic research agenda.
Daniel Simonovich

Web Marketing

Prediction of Keyword Auction Using Bayesian Network

Online keyword auctions, in which marketers bid for advertising slots along the search engine results, have become a new channel of advertisement. To better manage the advertisement campaign, a key challenge for advertisers is to predict each keyword’s bidding price and effectiveness (e.g. click through rate), which are not priorly known to the individual advertiser. This paper identifies those relevant variables affecting auction strategy and models them in causal connections using history data in order to simulate the bidding behavior. We verified the effective necessaries of these predictions using empirical auction data, and our result indicated that the prediction with Bayesian Network produce close-to-reality results.
Liwen Hou, Liping Wang, Kang Li

Analyzing the Influence of Websites Attributes on the Choice of Newspapers on the Internet

In the last years, newspaper publishing is one of the activities that have been more affected by the development of the Internet. The appearance of the new digital media has brought far-reaching changes in this sector. This research is one of the first studies that analyse online press reader behaviour on the Internet. Thus, this research studies the key factors that could influence on the choice of digital newspapers. More specifically, this study focuses on the analysis of the effect of usability of the digital newspapers, reputation, trust, privacy and familiarity with the websites, on the final choice of digital dailies. For that, a survey on the Internet was applied. The scales were validated and refined, after which the hypotheses were tested by way of a structural equation model. It was possible to find out that there is an intense effect of usability and familiarity with the websites on the choice of electronic newspaper. However, reputation and trust to the websites do not influence significantly on the choice of digital dailies. In this way, we must note that readers do not perceive risk or costs derived from making wrong choices, because the change of news´ supplier is fast and easy. Also, privacy has not a significant influence on the final reading of digital newspaper. This could be explained by the fact that readers should not usually give personal data to the daily website, except in the case of subscription to special services. In this case, the information is not too private. Consequently, the main aspects which justify digital newspaper reading should be considered by the management in order to potentate its use. Also, newspaper firms should make efforts to improve the levels of usability of their websites. Moreover, digital dailies should develop strategies in order to ensure loyal readers that could be familiarized with the new medium.
Carlos Flavián, Raquel Gurrea

Impact of Web Experience on e-Consumer Responses

Identifying the Web Experience components and understanding their role as inputs in the online customer’s decision-making process is the first step in developing and delivering an attractive online presence, likely to have the maximum impact on Internet users. Based on background literature, this study is focused on the effects of five web experience factors on virtual buying behaviour, specifically, on the choice of a virtual vendor. Additionally, in the model two user behavioural variables –motivation and experience – have been included in order to analyze their impact on web experience elements and, in consequence, on the choice of online vendors. An online consumer survey was held in a realistic virtual shopping environment. The main results of the empirical study show that four of the five web experience components analyzed (i.e., usability, trust-building, marketing mix, and aesthetics) have a positive and significant effect on the choice of e-vendor while interactivity does not have any significant effect in this choice. Experience is also an influential variable while buying motives do not substantially affect the online customer behaviour.
Carlota Lorenzo, Efthymios Constantinides, Peter Geurts, Miguel A. Gómez

A Framework for Defining Fashion Effect in Electronic Commerce Environments

The main purpose of the study is to investigate how different dimensions of consumer perception and consumer attitude may affect behaviour in electronic commerce environments. Consumer behaviour, its antecedents and outcomes, and the relationship between consumer perception, consumer attitudes and fashion effect have been analyzed at a customer level. The results indicated that fashion effect affect consumer’s behaviour in electronic commerce environments. The theoretical concepts that form the foundation of the paper appear to have a significant application to consumer marketing, but more studies are needed. The main contribution of this paper is the completion of an exhaustive analysis of the fashion effect and its antecedents. On one hand, it is a pioneer in the study of the influence of fashion effect on electronic commerce and, on other hand, it confirms results from other researches in the traditional commerce environments.
Dorin Militaru

EC Technology

DRLinda: A Distributed Message Broker for Collaborative Interactions Among Business Processes

Recently, coordinationmiddleware systemshave evolved in order to describe coordination protocols in business process scenarios. This evolution proposes the use of three main components, being one of them a message broker to handle collaborative interactions among business processes. In a previous work, we proposed a framework for coordination in open BPM systems which used a centralised Linda-based implementation of amessage broker. The use of a centralised implementation leads to some common problems which a distributed model tries to solve in an efficient manner. In this paper, we present DRLinda, a distributed and dynamic implementation of the message broker based on the RLinda model, which improves and extends the RLinda’s features and can be configured at runtime, being suitable formore complex and highly-dynamic business process scenarios. The performance of the proposed implementation is empirically evaluated on a cluster computing environment.
J. Fabra, P. Álvarez, J. Ezpeleta

Object-Based Interactive Video Access for Consumer-Driven Advertising

There are currently strong motivations to develop systems that can associate information with objects in video and allow users to access this information by selecting the objects in video. These systems could be used to create a new form of business applications such as consumer-driven advertising and audience-specific advertising. This paper presents the schematics for creating an object-based interactive video system and describes an authoring tool we have developed to create the interactive video. We also examine the opportunities and challenges of interactive video.
Guang-Ho Cha


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