Published: 2004 Oktober
Buchtitel: EKAW 2004
Although several approaches have been proposed for modelling an on-line shop assistant, recent customer's analyses show that they miss some assistance in the buying process. The common problem is that the behaviour of an on-line shop assistant is modelled on the procedural level, i.e. like a workflow. In this paper we present an approach that models this behaviour on the knowledge level, i.e. it takes into account not only which actions (questions) a shop assistant will perform, but also which goals he wants to achieve by taking an action. As a generic reasoning pattern of such an e-shop agent we use the cover-and-differentiate problem-solving method, a method very successfully applied in various diagnosis and classification tasks. In that way, we can (i) model the question-answering process such that the minimal set of useful questions will be provided to a user, (ii) easily reinterpret and fine-tune shopping strategies that exist in other e-shop portals and (iii) design and integrate new methods into generic reasoning pattern. We present an evaluation study which illustrates these benefits.