Ontologies for Electronic Commerce

Deborah L. McGuinness

Electronic commerce is exploding - Forrester research projects 25 billion dollars in online spending by the year 2000. As the market segment grows, it has expanded into broader content areas. Broader domains increase the need for thoughtful content organization and browsing support. We promote the trend of using ontologies to support more than just search and also to to enhance browsing and more active "smart" notification services. In this paper, we identify some of the issues with respect to existing ontology-enhanced e-commerce applications, report and discuss findings from our own experiences building and using ontologies for web deployments in general and e-commerce specifically, identify some "low-hanging fruit" applications, and discuss some research directions

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