Enabling Technologies for Electronic Commerce
Major Project Leader: Gregor
v. Bochmann (University of Ottawa)
Industrial Co-Leader: W.
Kou (IBM Canada Ltd.)
Enabling Technologies for Electronic Commerce is a Major Project funded
by and developed under the auspices of the Canadian
Institute for Telecommunications Research (CITR).
The term Electronic Commerce (EC) encompasses an ever broader
spectrum of commercial activities on the World Wide Web. This project addresses
the fundamental issues that arise from the common requirements of these
activities. It aims to build a prototype of EC infrastructure to meet these
and anticipated requirements for turn of the century applications. The
component research projects will advance the state-of-the-art by developing
technologies that will result in systems with more functionality than currently
available. Towards this end, new and emerging technologies will be utilized
wherever possible. Many of the constituent projects listed below are based
on the results obtained in the highly successful Phase 2 Major Project
on Broadband Services. The results obtained from these research projects
will be integrated into a system that establishes the infrastructure for
For a more detailed overview see the Preamble
for the Major Project.
Management Issues in Electronic Commerce
Principal Investigator: M.T.
Özsu, University of Alberta
There are a number of data management issues that need to be addressed
in electronic commerce. These include, among others, the development of
virtual catalogs, intelligent query across these catalogs, and support
for the management of transactions between customers and vendors. In the
short term, the focus of this project will be on the development of catalogs.
These catalogs should have multimedia capabilities and should allow for
the integration of different catalogs developed by each vendor. The objective
of the project is to enable users to be able to access multiple, distributed,
and potentially heterogeneous catalogs in a uniform and transparent manner.
of Service and Distributed Systems Management
Principal Investigator: G.v.
Bochmann, University of Ottawa
Co-Investigator: B. Kerhervé,
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
Lutfiyya, University of Western Ontario
Electronic commerce activities will involve a range of end-user equipment
(from low-end PCs to powerful workstations) that are connected to a range
of access network technologies (from wireless link to high-speed attachment).
Therefore the management of quality of service and the adaptation of the
application within such system and network environments poses new challenges.
This project addresses these issues.
Principal Investigator: G.
Agnew, University of Waterloo
Fader, University of Waterloo
Security issues in distributed environments, particularly in applications
which involve financial transactions, are obvious. The general security
issues on the Internet have a bearing on electronic commerce. In addition,
there are specific security issues that arise due to the particular characteristics
of this application. This project considers both the general security issues
on the Internet (as they apply to electronic commerce) and the specific
problems generated by this application.
Interface and Intelligent Agents
Principal Investigator: N.
Georganas, University of Ottawa
Radhakrishnan, Concordia University
Any software application requires a nice and simple user interface.
The interface should be provided with navigation tools and some "intelligence"
to assist the users in easily executing desired tasks. In electronic commerce,
navigating through the plethora of electronic catalogs of products, selecting
items of interest and interacting in real-time with a sales person, if
desired, poses new design challenges. This project investigates the design
and integration in the major project of a user interface employing distributed
virtual environment concepts for navigating the virtual electronic commerce
mall, web-based telecollaboration tools and also using appropriate intelligent
and Network Performance and Application Management
Principal Investigator: J.W. Wong, University of Waterloo
For systems that support distributed multimedia applications, it has
been recognized that the "analysis of applications through detailed simulation
and modeling of the application as well as measurement of actual traffic
is needed to provide accurate characterization of application behavior".
It has also been recognized that accurate traffic models are important
for the performance evaluation of the various system components, especially
when one considers the issue of scalability. This project uses the deployed
electronic commerce application as a testbed to collect data and conduct
measurements on application behavior.