This paper aims to report work on achieving semantic interoperability in electronic auctions. In particular, it considers the advantages and drawbacks of using hard‐coding and using semantic messages in the communication between the auction system and the participants of the auction.
It is demonstrated that although XML‐documents are commonly used for information exchange they do not provide any means of talking about the semantics (i.e. meaning) data. It is also shown that by expressing exchanged documents by resource description framework (RDF) the semantics of the messages can be captured in the message.
It is recognized that hard‐coding is proven to be a valuable and powerful way for an exchange of structured and persistent business documents (messages). However, if we use hard‐coding in the case of non‐persistent documents and non‐static markets we will encounter problems in deploying new auction policies and extending the system by new participants.
The introduction of the RDF‐technology in message exchange is challenging as it incorporates Semantic web technologies into many parts of the auction system, e.g. on data stores and query languages. The introduction of this technology is also an investment. The investment on new Semantic web technology includes a variety of costs including software, hardware and training costs.
By automating electronic auctions both buyers and sellers can benefit as they can achieve cost reductions and shorten the duration of the auction processes. Also new auction formats can be easily deployed.
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