The ESPRIT project WEBSELL developed new Intelligent Sales Support technology and products for the World Wide Web. These products support web shoppers in two aspects of the sales process currently neglected on the Web: helping the customer to select or configure the product that meets her needs and supporting the customer in navigating through the space of possible product alternatives. Compared to other approaches the project supports the core steps of selling products and services over the World-Wide-Web. Since we have not been able to develop full scale Electronic Commerce applications which cover all necessary aspects, e.g. electronic payments, security and privacy issues within WEBSELL, we have used emerging standards in Electronic Commerce to complement our own efforts.
The WEBSELL technology works mainly as a snap-in which can be used within standard applications like Microsoft Site-Server or SAP R/3 Web. WEBSELL used proven state-of-the-art Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) technology as a starting point for the project and built a Framework for Intelligent Sales Assistants which makes use of CBR to support the customer. The project also optimised the use of current CBR technology for use on the Web by building Intelligent Transaction Management into the sales server and intelligent navigation aids into the client systems. WEBSELL established a business model for the successful uptake of the results. As a first starting point the channel to market for the WEBSELL products and services was through established and emerging product and information brokers (distributors) on the We
WEBSELL was funded by the European Union (ESPRIT Project) and was carried out between July 1998 to January 2000.
The Consortium consisted of six partners.
- Tec:inno GmbH (meanwhile empolis arvato)
- Interactive Multimedia Systems (meanwhile IMS MAXIMS)
- WIN Verlag
- University of Kaiserslautern
- Trinity College Dublin
Two members of the Wi2-group have been working within WEBSELL.
- Prof. Dr. Ralph Bergmann
- Dr. Rainer Maximini
- Ralph Bergmann, Ralph Traphöner, Sascha Schmitt, Pádraig Cunningham, and Barry Smyth. Knowledge-intensive product search and customization in electronic commerce. E-Business Applications, Advanced Information Systems. Springer-Verlag, 2002.
- Ralph Bergmann, Sascha Schmitt, and Armin Stahl. Intelligent customer support for product selection with case-based reasoning. E-Commerce and Intelligent Methods. Physica-Verlag, 2002.
- Pádraig Cunningham, Ralph Bergmann, Sascha Schmitt, Ralph Traphöner, Sean Breen, and Barry Smyth. Intelligent Support for Online Sales: The WEBSELL Experience. In R. Weber, and Christiane Gresse von Wangenheim, editors, Proceedings of the Workshop Program at the Fourth International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning (ICCBR 2001), 2001.
- Andreas Kohlmaier, Sascha Schmitt, and Ralph Bergmann. Evaluation of a similarity-based approach to customer-adaptive electronic sales dialogs. In Stephan Weibelzahl, David Chin, and Gehard Weber, editors, Workshop on Empirical Evaluations of Adaptive Systems, pages 41-50, July 2001.
- Sascha Schmitt, and Ralph Bergmann. A formal approach to dialogs with online customers. In 14th Bled Electronic Commerce Conference, 2001.
- Andreas Kohlmaier, Sascha Schmitt, and Ralph Bergmann. A Similarity-based Approach to Attribute Selection in User-Adaptive Sales Dialogs. In 4th International Conference on CBR (ICCBR 2001), volume 2080, 2001, Springer.
- Pádraig Cunningham, Ralph Bergmann, Sascha Schmitt, Ralph Traphöner, Sean Breen, and Barry Smyth. WEBSELL: Intelligent sales assistants for the World Wide Web. KI - Künstliche Intelligenz, (01), 2001.
- Jürgen Schumacher, and Ralph Bergmann. An Efficient Aproach to Similarity-Based Retrieval on Top of Relational Databases. In Proceedings of the 5th European Workshop on Advances in Case-Based Reasoning, pages 273 - 284, 2000.
- Jürgen Schumacher, and Ralph Bergmann. Similarity-based retrieval on top of relational databases. In 8th German Workshop on CBR (GWCBR'2000), 2000.
- Armin Stahl, and Ralph Bergmann. Applying recursive CBR for the customization of structured products in an electronic shop. In 8th German Workshop on CBR (GWCBR'2000), 2000.
- Armin Stahl, and Ralph Bergmann. Applying recursive CBR for the customization of structured products in an electronic shop. In 5th European Workshop on Case-Based Reasoning, 2000, Springer Verlag.
- Sascha Schmitt, Rainer Maximini, Gerhard Landeck, and Jörg Hohwiller. Implementation of a Product Customization Module for CBR Systems in Electronic Commerce Environments. In Proceedings of the 8th German Workshop on Case-Based Reasoning (GWCBR2000), Lämmerbuckel, Germany, March 2000.
- Sascha Schmitt, Rainer Maximini, Gerhard Landeck, and Jörg Hohwiller. A Product Customization Module Based on Adaptation Operators for CBR Systems in Electronic Commerce Environments. In E. Blanzieri, and L. Portinale, editors, Advances in Case-Based Reasoning. Proceedings of the 5th European Workshop on Case-Based Reasoning (EWCBR2k), volume 1898 of LNAI, Trento, Italy, September 2000, Springer.
- Ralph Bergmann, Sean Breen, Pádraig Cunningham, R. Dobal, H.-J. Grohmann, P. McNaulty, Sascha Schmitt, Ralph Traphöner, M. Voltz, and Max Wolf. Design of the intelligent sales architecture, WEBSELL Deliverables D3.1 & D4.1. WEBSELL Consortium. Technical Report, University of Kaiserslautern, 1999.
- Ivo Vollrath, Wolfgang Wilke, and Ralph Bergmann. Intelligent Electronic Catalogs for Sales Support- Introducing Case-Based Reasoning Techniques to On-Line Product Selection Applications. In Proceedings of the 3rd World Conference on Soft Computing: Advances in Soft Computing - Engineering Design and Manufacturing, 1998, Springer.
- Ivo Vollrath, Wolfgang Wilke, and Ralph Bergmann. Case-based reasoning support for online catalog sales. IEEE Internet Computing, 2(4):47-54, 1998.