Existing Approaches To Decision Supportive Computer Science Essay

Published:

Previous chapter provided an introduction to the problem and the solution. This chapter explains existing approaches which are similar to Decision Supportive Application for Customers and Merchants and provides brief description about how existing approaches are differing from the solution. Basically in this chapter main features of the solution are compared with other existing approaches such as price comparison between products, user review comparison, suggestions, past behavior consideration, customization, buying behavior information for merchants, preference selection, identification of similar customers, mobile application etc.

2.2 Brief description about EpsiShoppingBot

This application does a price comparison between products and gives the best solutions as per customer requirement. And mainly it considers the user reviews of the different products from different sellers according to the customer preferred rate for user review consideration. Also this decision supportive application gives suggestions with relevant to his/her past buying behaviors and buying behavior of similar customers. Therefore it tracks the past buying behaviors of customers and identifies the different patterns of their buying behaviors and identifies the similar customers. Customization is one of the main features of the application which derives through the buying behavior form which customer fills at the time of their sign up. Customers are categorized according to their desires in order to serve them better. So with this feature this application can find the best match for the customer according to their buying behavior and also they can change their behavior with the option of preference selection. When searching for products, customers can change their normal behavior on buying products by selecting their preference from the preference selection. Relevant information regarding the customer behaviors are provided for merchants as well. The decision supportive application not only provides a web application but also provides a mobile application.

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

Professional

Essay Writers

Lady Using Tablet

Get your grade
or your money back

using our Essay Writing Service!

Essay Writing Service

2.3 Comparisons and examples of other approaches

Some of the similar approaches to the decision supportive application for customers and merchants are as follows. And comparison has made under several headings as mentioned above.

2.3.1 PhoneArena

PhoneArena has provided unique, powerful tools for users them to easily find the devices that are most suitable for their specific needs, compare specifications, check market status, carrier availability and etc. It is an effort to give a solution for customers where they can compare the features of the phones of different brands and can view the latest reviews and the ratings given by users. But the site is limited to phones and it does not give any price comparison only the features. This approach gives alternatives for certain products and also provides a mobile application. [4]

2.3.2 Compare India

Using this site user can compare the prices and features under several attributes. Also it gives a comparison between sellers. And user can compare products' user ratings and reviews. It provides broad range of products such as mobiles, home appliance, computers, electronic etc. This gives a rating and the popularity status of each product. But user cannot buy products online. Site shows only the dealer name and user has to buy products from them. And compare India covers only the Indian predefined cities. It gives opportunity for user to enter the preferred price range for item they search. [5]

2.3.3 SnapSort

Basically SnapSort compares the prices and other features of cameras and allow user to buy online. User can enter two products which he/she wants to compare or select random two products to compare. Therefore SnapSort is limited to certain things. The disadvantage of this approach is that always user can compare only two products and does not provide a mobile application. [6]

2.3.4 Bizrate

Bizrate is a price comparison site for wide range of products and allow user to buy products online. And Bizrate suggests the best retailers with prices for users. Provide user reviews for users. It gives suggestions for retailers regarding the customer buying behaviors. User can enter the preferences at the time they searching for products and thereby can get the best match for them. Also it allows user to enter the price range that he/she seeks in the narrow search result option. Bizrate is also providing a mobile application [7]

2.3.5 Shoplocal

User can buy products online and have wide range of products. User can select one product and compare prices with similar offers to the product. Shoplocal allows user to enter the preferences at the beginning and also user has the opportunity to select the price range of the product and other features brand, retailer etc. [8]

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

Comprehensive

Writing Services

Lady Using Tablet

Plagiarism-free
Always on Time

Marked to Standard

Order Now

2.3.6 Amazon

Amazon is the largest online retailer which provides wide variety of products from large suppler base. Amazon is a Comparison shopping engine integration with Google Shopping and TheFind. If the customer has been to Amazon.com before, it gives recommendations for customers to make their shopping experience best based on past experiences. Amazon knows users by name and tries to be the personal shopper of them. It dynamically customizes the user's experience based on prior searches, page views, wish-list additions, written reviews and, ultimately, purchases. Amazon allows user to rate or update product rating to provide most accurate recommendations possible. Also Amazon gives reasons for the recommendations as well. Use can select their preference at the time of searching. Also it allows user to enter the price range that he/she seeks in the narrow search result option. And provides a mobile application called Amazon mobile app. [9]

2.3.7 eBay

eBay is the world's online marketplace; a place for buyers and sellers to come together and trade almost anything. eBay provides access to listings from local, national and international sellers, and allows consumers to choose from an extensive range and depth of new and used products. It allows user to select the preference at the beginning and can chose the price range and other features that users seek. User can compare the prices as well as the rating and other user reviews. It has the option of advanced search for uses to make sure user gets what he/she really wants to buy. User can identify a seller and check the seller's feedback rating. And also they have the opportunity to rate the sellers. [10]

2.3.8 Exchange and Mart

Exchange and Mart is a leading UK classifieds website for motors and articles for sale. Exchange and Mart provides for users wide range of quality used cars that match the user need more accurately. User can do a price comparison between the motors but it does not give user reviews for the motors or the dealers. And also Exchange and Mart provides advanced search option where user can search the vehicles by different features. This solution has the feature of quick where user can search motors by entering price range and user can select their preference when searching for a motor. Exchange and Mart web application provides an iPhone application for the users as well. [11]

2.3.9 Become

Become is a comparison shopping technology which provides large selection of products for online shoppers. From diamond rings to smart phones, user can find the best online deals and interesting shopping insights on Become. It allows user to enter the price range that he/she seeks to buy. And Become provides opportunity to enter the preference for the item. Through the become user can compare the prices of various dealers as well as can compare the user ratings for the product. Become also provides iPad application for the convenience of users. [12]

2.3.10 Grocery King

Grocery King offers an easy to use interface to quickly create shopping lists for users. Once user entered the shopping list Grocery King make sure that user's shopping list is prices, organized and sorted. Grocery King provides an advanced searching feature to search for items easily and quickly. Grocery King lets users add retailer specific prices for items in the shopping list. Once you have entered the prices, the next time you shop, Grocery King will look up your previous shopping history and indicate to you if any item is cheaper or expensive as compared the price purchased in the past from another retailer. With this user can do a price comparison as well as get the best match according to their requirements. With Grocery King, user will never need to rebuild his/her shopping lists from scratch. All your previous shopping lists are always saved and easily accessible from the history view. The special feature of this application is the voice search where user just needs to say the name of item and Grocery King will automatically search the database for any matches and provide you with live results. [13]

2.3.11 Mighty Grocery Shopping List

Mighty Grocery is powerful and easy to use shopping list tool. User can create a shopping list as they want and allowing them to group under sub headings. It allows adding your regular item to a shopping list with a single click. And it gives the opportunity for users to compare the prices of several products under different stores.

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

This Essay is

a Student's Work

Lady Using Tablet

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Examples of our work

Price compare feature allows user to pick items with the best price from their shopping lists. Unit price, Compare price or price per piece in package can be used for comparison. In addition to item name, Generic name can be used to match items for comparison. Mighty Grocery history remembers users' recent purchases to serve them better. Voice recognition and barcode scanning are main features of Mighty Grocery application. [14]

2.3.12 Shopmox

Shopmox is a personalized shopping catalog application that lets users shop at their favorite stores. With Shopmox user will receive a personalized boutique with new products and the latest and greatest sales every day. It follows stores to personalize your shopping experience. User can compare the prices as well as can get the idea from user reviews. [15] 

2.3.13 ASOS

ASOS.com is the UK's largest online-only style and beauty retail store. ASOS.com allows visitors to narrow their search by trends and collection, as well as provides an online marketplace where you can buy and sell pre-owned vintage. ASOS allows user to enter the price range that they seek in the search narrow result option. Also user can select their preference to get the best match for them. ASOS user can compare the prices of different brands of a particular item. It also provides a mobile application for the users with the same functionalities. [16]

2.3.14 Keells Super

Keells super is the first online supermarket in Sri Lanka. User can search the products after selecting the city and can compare the prices. [17]

2.3.15 Pricegrabber

PriceGrabber.com is a price comparison service. With PriceGrabber shoppers can compare product price, reviews and merchant ratings before making a purchase. Merchants using Pricegrabber also have the added advantage of sending their product listings to Yahoo Shopping. [18]

2.3.16 Nextag

Nextag is a comparison shopping site for products, travel, and education. For merchants, service providers and individuals, Nextag acts as a sales channel. User can do a price comparison as well as the user review comparison for a particular product of different dealers. And also user can select their preference and price range before searching for a product. Nextag users can view their purchasing history from my list option. It customize s the content based on users' Nextag activities. It also provides a mobile application with all the functionalities. [19]

Following table 2.1 shows the comparison between different features of different approaches.

Table 2.1: Comparison between different approaches

Approaches

Features

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

PhoneArena

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

Compare India

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

SnapSort

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

Bizrate

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Shoplocal

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Amazon

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

eBay

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Exchange and Mart

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Become

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Grocery King

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Mighty Grocery Shopping List

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Shopmox

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

ASOS

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Keells Super

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

PriceGrabber

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Nextag

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Compared features of the above table are;

1. Price comparison between products

2. User review comparison

3. Suggestions

4. Past behavior consideration

5. Customization

6. Customer buying behavior information for merchants

7. Preference selection

8. Provide a mobile application

2.4 Summary

Throughout this chapter, comparison between approaches which are similar to decision supportive application for customers and merchants has provided. Main features that solution targets to implement has discussed in this chapter. Next Chapter provides a detail description of the technologies that is used for the implementation of the solution.

Chapter 3

Technology Adapted

3.1 Introduction

In the previous chapter a literature review for the Decision Supportive Application for Customers and Merchants; EpsiShoppingBot, was presented. This chapter provides a justification about the technologies adopted to implement the following objective of the proposed solution. The objective of the project is to develop an integrated system which helps customers to easily get an idea about both the price and quality in a way which matches their preferences and personalities as well as help merchants to match supply with the demand through the knowledge provided about the buying patterns of customers. Therefore, the rest of this chapter will describe and justify the technologies used in the project with respect to the problems it address.

3.2 Technologies adapted

In the rapidly developing software word each day a new technology is born. The technologies using today might be unsound in the next week. A better version or a new language with whole lot of far more advanced capabilities might be released. Therefore it is very important what to select to accomplish the targets. When considering about this project there are lots of new technologies which must be combined to implement this system. When developing the system below mentioned technologies have been mainly used.

Java Programming Language

Web Technologies

Database Technologies

Data Mining Techniques

Natural Language Processing Techniques

Agent Technologies

3.2.1 Java Programming Language

Mainly Java has been used to develop agents and for Natural Language Processing which use to provide suggestions for customers. This is platform independent, and reduced administrative costs. Platform independence is a main advantage because the system can run anywhere. The ability to run the same program on many different systems is crucial to World Wide Web software. With Java, the program need only be compiled once, and the byte code generated by the Java compiler can run on any platform. Java is a free language, so users do not have to struggle with heavy license fees each year.Java API's can easily be accessed by developers. Java is a multi-platform support language and support for web-services. Java language is reliable. Multithreading is another advantage of Java this provides capability for a program to perform several tasks simultaneously within a program. Java is simple. Java was designed to be easy to use and is therefore easy to write, compile, debug, and learn than other programming languages. Java is object-oriented and it is centered on creating objects, manipulating objects, and making objects work together. This allows creating modular programs and reusable code.

3.2.2 JADE (Java Agent Development Framework)

Mainly JADE has been used to develop agents of the system. This is a software Framework fully implemented using Java language. This simplifies the implementation of multi-agent systems. JADE uses middle-ware that complies with the FIPA specifications and graphical tools has used to support the debugging and deployment phases. The agent platform can be distributed across different machines and the configuration can be controlled through a remote GUI. The configuration can be even changed at run-time by moving agents from one machine to another one when required [20]. When concerning JADE architecture it has a distributed architecture which has multiple agent containers. There is one java process per container and agent containers are transparent to agents. Main container hosts platform services and linked together using Java RMI.

When concerning the Main Container Agent Management system (AMS) provides the naming service, ensure uniqueness and create or destroy agents. Directory Facilitator (DF) that provides a Yellow Pages service which an agent can find other agents providing the services he requires in order to achieve his goals. Agent is a single-threaded Java program. Agents send and receive messages through API [1]. Each agent has a set of active behaviours which are java objects. When considering agent communication it is asynchronous message passing. Each agent has mailbox where messages sent by other agents are posted. Messages have a format specified by FIPA's Agent Communication Language (ACL). JADE ontology provides description of concepts in the world and relationships between them.

3.2.3 MySQL

MySQL is an extensible, open storage database engine, offering multiple variations. MySQL supports primary keys, along with key indices which allow speeding up queries and constraining input. In the way of performance, MySQL is the clear leader, mainly due to the format of its default table. This database system is pretty much deadlocked in regards to security. All password traffic is encrypted connecting to a server and a privilege and password system that is very flexible and allows host-based verification. For our system we need large a database because there can be lot of users who are involve in a buying process so by using MySQL this helps to handle large databases. All MySQL table types are implemented as files which makes it really easy to back up, move, delete, and even symlink databases and tables.

3.2.4 PHP

PHP is one of the most popular server side scripting languages running today. PHP has been used to create web pages that interact with the user offering customized information and basically to get the use of web services provided by eBay. The framework used for creating the website is CakePHP which is a MVC framework. PHP offers many advantages. It is fast, stable, secure, easy to use and open source. PHP is a server side technology so the user does not need any special browser or plug-ins to see the PHP in action. PHP offers many levels of security to prevent malicious attacks. Another key advantage of PHP is its connective abilities. PHP uses a modular system of extensions to interface with a variety of libraries. MySQL is the popular online database and can be interfaced very well with PHP. Therefore, PHP and MySQL are excellent choice for webmasters looking to automate their web sites. PHP also has powerful output buffering that further increases over the output flow. PHP internally rearranges the buffer so that headers come before contents. So in general PHP is cheap, secure, fast and reliable for developing web applications.

3.2.5 JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) 

JSON has been used basically to retrieve customer information regarding the requested products and to store information retrieved through the web services provided by eBay. JSON preferred for web service responses since it is a lightweight format. It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language. JSON is built on two structures, as a collection of name, value pairs and an ordered list of values. JSON is smaller compared to XML and it is faster that is parsing is faster. JSON enables the transmission of structured data, which don't have to parse in client side. JSON was designed for the purpose of serializing and un-serializing data being sent to and from JavaScript applications. If XML has used first the sender must encode the data to be serialized based on a document type definition that the recipient understands. Doing so creates a great deal of extra padding around the actual data no matter which DTD is used. So, the size of XML documents is often fairly large in comparison with the actual set of values they contain. Second, the recipient must receive the stream of XML and decode the data in order to then put that data into memory. In comparison, the serialization of data using JSON by the sender is relatively quick and compact because the structure of JSON reflects the structure of standard programming data types and the encoding mechanism adds only the minimum number of characters required to indicate the structure and value of the data.

3.2.6 NLP (Natural Language Processing)

Basically Natural Language Processing has been used to provide suggestions for customers regarding the quality of products based on user reviews about products and services [3]. NLP is a form of human-to-computer interaction where the elements of human language the words spoken or written, are formalized so that a computer can perform value adding tasks based on that interaction. The approach is phrase-level sentiment analysis that first determines whether an expression is neutral or polar and then disambiguates the polarity of the polar expressions then the system can identify the contextual polarity for a large subset of sentiment expressions. [23]

3.4 Summary

This chapter described about the technologies adapted to the project. Mainly the technologies like Database Technologies, Data Mining Technologies, Web Technologies, Natural Language Processing and Agent Technologies have been used to implement the system. Next chapter describes about our approach to the Decision Supportive Application for Customers and Merchants.