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					          INFORMATION SOCIETY TECHNOLOGIES
                                  (IST)
                            PROGRAMME




Contract for:                Shared-cost RTD



                Annex 1 - “Description of Work”

Project acronym: ERMIS
Project full title: Electronic commeRce Measurement through
                    Intelligent agentS
Proposal/Contract no.:
Related to other Contract no.: (to be completed by Commission)


Date of preparation of Annex 1: 22/5/2000


Operative commencement date of contract: (to be completed by Commission)
ERMIS - Annex I: “Description of Work”                                                                                          Rev. 1 of 22.05.00




                                                     TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. PROJECT SUMMARY ............................................................................................................................. 4
    1.1. OBJECTIVES ........................................................................................................................................... 4
    1.2. DESCRIPTION OF WORK .......................................................................................................................... 4
    1.3. MILESTONES & EXPECTED RESULTS....................................................................................................... 4
2. PROJECT OBJECTIVES ......................................................................................................................... 5
    2.1. MOTIVATION AND NEED ........................................................................................................................ 5
    2.2. SCOPE AND AIM OF THE PROJECT........................................................................................................... 5
    2.3. PROJECT OBJECTIVES............................................................................................................................. 5
3. PARTICIPANT LIST ................................................................................................................................ 8
4. CONTRIBUTION TO PROGRAM/KEY ACTION OBJECTIVES ..................................................... 9
    4.1. CONCEPTUALISATION AND DEFINITION OF STATISTICAL INDICATORS .................................................... 9
    4.2. NOVEL DATA GENERATION TECHNIQUES AND DATA COLLECTION STRATEGIES ...................................... 9
5. INNOVATION .......................................................................................................................................... 11
    5.1. STATE-OF-THE-ART.............................................................................................................................. 11
    5.2. ADVANCEMENT OF THE STATE-OF-THE-ART ........................................................................................ 11
    5.3. INNOVATION AND ORIGINALITY .......................................................................................................... 12
6. COMMUNITY ADDED-VALUE & CONTRIBUTION TO EU POLICIES ..................................... 13
    6.1. ISSUE ADDRESSED AT EUROPEAN LEVEL ............................................................................................. 13
    6.2. EUROPEAN DIMENSION ........................................................................................................................ 13
    6.3. CONTRIBUTION TO EU POLICIES .......................................................................................................... 14
7. CONTRIBUTION TO COMMUNITY SOCIAL OBJECTIVES ........................................................ 15
    7.1. COMPETITIVENESS AND GROWTH ........................................................................................................ 15
    7.2. QUALITY OF LIFE ................................................................................................................................. 15
    7.3. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS .................................................................................................................. 16
8. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND S&T PROSPECTS .................................................................. 17
    8.1. DISSEMINATION PLAN AND DISSEMINATION MANAGEMENT ............................................................... 17
    8.2. THE ERMIS USER GROUP ................................................................................................................... 17
    8.3. ACADEMIC DISSEMINATION ................................................................................................................. 17
    8.4. EXPLOITATION OF RESULTS ................................................................................................................. 18
9. WORKPLAN ............................................................................................................................................ 20
    9.1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION ....................................................................................................................... 20
    9.2. WORK-PACKAGE LIST .......................................................................................................................... 32
    9.3. WORK-PACKAGE DESCRIPTIONS........................................................................................................... 33
    9.4. DELIVERABLES LIST ............................................................................................................................. 40
    9.5. PROJECT PLANNING AND TIMETABLE ................................................................................................... 41
    9.6. GRAPHICAL PRESENTATION OF PROJECT COMPONENTS ........................................................................ 42
    9.7. PROJECT MANAGEMENT ...................................................................................................................... 43
10. CLUSTERING ........................................................................................................................................ 46
11. APPENDIX A – CONSORTIUM DESCRIPTION ............................................................................. 47
    THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS (NTUA) .................................................................. 48
    CENTRE OF STUDIES FOR APPLIED MANAGEMENT SCIENCES (CESAG) ..................................................... 50
    DIPARTMENTO DI MATEMATICA E STATISTICA (DMS), UNIV. DI NAPOLI .................................................. 52
    LIAISON SYSTEMS SA ................................................................................................................................. 54




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COMMENTS ADDRESSED
This version of the Technical Annex, which is actually an updated version of the ERMIS
proposal, based on the comments stressed out in the evaluation sheet and in the first
negotiations meeting. All these comments have been met in the following sections of this
version:

                                         Table 1: Issues addressed
                                     Comment                         Section
                     Anonymity and privacy of personal data           § 7.3
                     Exploitation plan                                § 8.4
                     Risk management                                  § 9.7
                     Clustering with other projects                   § 10




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1. PROJECT SUMMARY
1.1. Objectives
Facing the challenges of the new economy, the project will define a new business and
economic model, as well as a system of new indicators for e-commerce. The development
of an integrated system of data collection, evaluation and dissemination will contribute to
the critical objective of reduction of the time between data collection and dissemination.
Major objectives are also the information accessibility and the quality of both collected
data and new indicators produced. The project aims to tackle the problem in a holistic
way, by considering all aspects of the information life-cycle and combining advanced
methodology and tools of areas such a statistics IT and Business Modelling.

1.2. Description of work
The proposed integrated system will combine closely related technical (software) and
methodological tools, which will be designed, developed and validated within the project.
New business and economic models will provide the methodological reference framework
for the development and interpretation of the required indicators. These indicators will be
designed so as to reflect both the structural changes and the quantitative growth of E-
Commerce, in the points identified as critical by the above mentioned models. A statistical
methodology and relevant software tools for the calculation and validation of these
indicators, along with a methodology for the interpretation of these indicators and their
trends by the information consumers, based on the aforementioned methodological
reference framework. Advanced software tools, namely autonomous intelligent agents and
“softbots”, to enable automated and frequent data collection and transmission. Automated
calculation of the indicators and storage along with the relevant meta-data into a structured
statistical repository and a functionally rich web platform for the delivery of the statistical
information to the user community, which will be based on the repository and be enriched
with documentation (such as methodological guidelines). A further aim of the project is to
further stimulate a discussion among the community (including commercial entities
involved in e-commerce, consumers, statistical institutes and academia) on the concept of
measuring e-commerce by establishing a web-based virtual forum, organise events as well
as using "traditional" information dissemination mechanisms.

1.3. Milestones & expected results
Major phases of the project will lead to specific milestones, which will serve as basic
components to the proposed integrated system. Starting with the E-Commerce Reference
Model and including classification schemes and definitions, the set of new indicators will
be developed. The implementation of the agent-based data collection system – along with
other data collection techniques will continuously provide input to the Web delivery
platform, which serves as the main dissemination tool of the proposed system.




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2. PROJECT OBJECTIVES
2.1. Motivation and Need
The Digital Economy entails not only technological but also and mainly process-related
and structural challenges and potentials. The way in which economic values are created is
changing fundamentally and thus transforms the general structure of the Economy.
Phenomena already empirically observed such as new industry structures, new value webs
and intermediaries, emerging products etc. render typical business models inappropriate
to interpret the new economic reality.
Consequently, the current systems of statistical indicators, which are inherently based on
these models, by failing to closely monitor these structural changes, are not able to
provide correct and timely information to decision and policy makers if implemented for
the new economy. Moreover, this gap may also lead to misinterpretations of the new
reality, such as the famous "productivity paradox" already observed in business indicator
systems.
On the other hand, the information and knowledge based economy is structurally changing
and quantitatively growing at a dramatically faster pace than the economies our statistical
systems in use were designed for. Since the value of information lies not only on its
accuracy or completeness but also on its prompt and easy availability, typical mechanisms
for statistical data collection and processing would be inadequate, even if the right models
and indicators were available.
It is clear therefore that in order to provide information on the new economy, we have to
face a three-faceted challenge:
i) We need a new structure of statistical information (i.e. a new indicator system) able to
identify and monitor quantitative but mainly the structural changes in the economic
reality;
ii) This information must be conformant to the emerging business and economic models,
and be able to be interpreted accordingly;
iii) The lead- time from data collection to information dissemination, i.e. the duration of
the information life cycle must be dramatically reduced to follow the pace of
developments, while accessibility to this information must be optimised from a functional
point of view.
2.2. Scope and Aim of the Project
Although the development of the Digital Economy is profoundly affecting all aspects of
the economic and social reality, it is the domain of Electronic Commerce, and especially
Business-to-Consumer E-Commerce, which proves to affect economic and social life in
the most apparent way. The scope of the project therefore is confined to the
aforementioned challenges in the domain of new indicators for consumer oriented
electronic commerce.
The aim of the project is to design, develop and validate an integrated system for the
efficient statistical measurement and monitoring of E-Commerce, that will be able to
provide the final "information consumers", i.e. decision makers in the public and private
sectors of the economy, but also the European Citizen the efficient means (i.e. a set of
indicators and an appropriate conceptual framework for their interpretation) to assess
developments and risks in this rapidly changing field.
2.3. Project Objectives
The main principle, underlying the concept and design of this system, is to tackle the
problem in a holistic way, along all aspects of the information life-cycle, from data
collection to information interpretation. This requires:


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a) Methodological advances in the two related fields of statistical indicators for e-
commerce and new models for the digital economy;
b) Technical development of software tools for both seamless fast data collection directly
from the net and functionally rich delivery of information.
Thus this integrated system will comprise closely interweave technical (software) and
methodological tools, which will be designed, developed and validated within the project,
namely:
1) New business and economic models, which will provide the methodological reference
framework for the development of the required indicators as well as their interpretation.
These models, based on new concepts such as the Business Media Model and Analysis
methodology, will formally describe the new actors (such as new kinds of intermediaries),
or modified roles of actors (such as new supplier-customer interaction mechanisms),
radically different value creation chains and new kinds of products (such as emerging
products re-configured from elements of decomposed traditional products).
2) A set of new indicators designed so as to reflect both the structural changes and the
quantitative growth of E-Commerce, in the points identified as critical by the above
mentioned models. These indicators will have to describe the new reality in such diverse
aspects as payment and fund transfer usage, security methods usage, completely new
product/service types, dis- and re-intermediation, new market mechanisms such as
auctions and intelligent agent based negotiation, comparative usage of "push" and "pull"
market mechanisms and so on.
3) A statistical methodology and relevant software tools for the calculation and
validation of these indicators, that will have to deal with emerging problems such as the
lack of exact definitions, definition of the populations, the ambiguity in the link between
the network entities (portals, e-commerce sites etc.) and the underlying statistical units
(i.e. enterprises), the inadequacies of current statistical classification schemes and
nomenclatures, the ambiguities in geographically confining electronic commercial
activities and so on;
4) Advanced software tools, namely autonomous intelligent agents and softbots, to
enable automated and frequent data collection and transmission a) directly from the
Internet at large and b) from panels of selected customers, suppliers, intermediaries,
portals etc. In the first case agents will autonomously identify and classify e-commerce
actors (such as portals and e-shops or auction sites) as well as their activities, based on an
intelligent recognition of their information content. In the second case, software modules
such as specific java applets and browser plug-ins will be used by panel participants in
order to collect and transmit more detailed data (such as navigation and consumption
patterns, payment mechanisms and volumes etc.)
5) Automated calculation of the indicators and storage along with the relevant meta-data
into a structured statistical repository. The repository will be in the form of a meta-data
enriched data warehouse on top of a relational database, which will hold the collected
data, the indicator values and temporal trends etc. The repository will be also equipped
with the necessary data validation mechanisms.
6) A methodology for the interpretation of these indicators and their trends by the
information consumers, based on the aforementioned methodological reference
framework. It will include supporting documentation (such as user guides and guidelines),
terminology databases as well as specific tools.
7) A functionally rich web platform for the delivery of the statistical information to the
user community, which will be based on the repository and be enriched with
documentation (such as methodological guidelines). Far beyond being a mere web site, it
will offer web-based tools (specific Java applets) for customisable information retrieving
and handling according to the specific user needs.



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A further aim of the project is to further stimulate a discussion among the community
(including commercial entities involved in e-commerce, consumers, statistical institutes
and academia) on the concept of measuring e-commerce by establishing a web-based
virtual forum, organise events as well as using "traditional" information dissemination
mechanisms.




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3. PARTICIPANT LIST


                                              List of Participants


Partic.   Partic.           Participant name             Participant     Country     Date enter      Date exit
Role*      no.                                           short name                  project**       project**

  C          1       National Technical University          NTUA            EL         Start of         End of
                     of Athens                                                         project          project

   P         2       Centre d'Etudes des Sciences          CESAG             F         Start of         End of
                     Apliquees a la Gestion –                                          project          project
                     Universite Robert Schuman

   P         3       Dipartimento di Matematica e            DMS             I         Start of         End of
                     Statistica – Universita degli                                     project          project
                     Studi di Napoli "Federico II"

   P         4       Liaison Systems S.A.                   LSSA            EL         Start of         End of
                                                                                       project          project




*C = Co-ordinator (or use C-F and C-S if financial and scientific co-ordinator roles are separate)
 P - Principal contractor
A - Assistant contractor


** Normally insert “Start of project” and “End of project”. These columns are need for possible later
contract revisions caused by joining/leaving participants




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4. CONTRIBUTION TO PROGRAM/KEY ACTION OBJECTIVES
The research content of the project has to be seen primarily in the context of the 1999 IST
Work Programme’s Cross Programme Action 4 (CPA.4, New Indicators and Statistical
Methods), and more specifically of the research objective for indicators. More specifically
the main motivation and concept of the project lies in: a) the conceptualisation and
definition of statistical indicators, able to capture the nature and dynamics of the emerging
digital economy, especially in the field of consumer oriented E-Commerce; b) The
development and usage of novel data generation techniques and data collection strategies,
aimed to ensure rapid delivery and quality of information;
4.1. Conceptualisation and definition of statistical indicators
In order to capture the structural changes induced in economic activities by ICT and
reflect the dynamics of the digital economy, the new indicators need to be conceptually
based on the very nature of the new economic reality. Therefore, any statistical and
methodological work needs to be based on a profound understanding of the actors
involved, their roles, relationships and interactions, which are all completely different
from what they used to be. In this aspect, the project, following a multi-disciplinary
approach, combining ICT architectural frameworks, flexible business and economic
models and statistical methods, contributes a novel methodological framework for the
mapping, analysing and understanding of E-Commerce activities, advancing beyond
typical (and inadequate) value-chain models. One of the main deliverables of the project is
a complete reference model of E-Commerce, upon which the conceptualisation but also
the interpretation of new indicators will be based. Apart from this, the model will prove to
be useful for further methodological work on E-Commerce, even beyond the scope of the
project.
The most apparent contribution of the project lies in the development and validation of a
complete, theoretically sound and practically applicable indicator system for consumer
oriented E-Commerce, including methodology, software tools for their calculation,
metadata and documentation. Furthermore, the project’s contribution extends beyond the
mere development to their actual exploitation. Since the ultimate goal cannot be other than
understanding the real characteristics and dimensions, the content and structure, and
finally the social impact of the new economy, one of the main tasks concerns the
elaboration of a methodology for the interpretation of these indicators in conjunction with
economic and social ones, and the preparation of relevant information-user guidelines.
Furthermore, a specific task is devoted to assessing the relevance, quality, coherence and
comparability of existing statistics on E-Commerce, in order to exploit them within the
new system.
4.2. Novel data generation techniques and data collection strategies
One of the core concepts of the proposed system is the exploitation of advances in ICT to
facilitate data collection and minimise the lead-time for the delivery of the relevant
statistical information. The architecture is based on the concept of autonomous intelligent
agents (or know-bots). The project will propose a general architecture and specifications
of intelligent agents specific to statistical data collection, and further on develop and use a
series of agents that will be able to examine, recognise and classify E-Commerce sites
(either sales sites or E-Commerce portals) and their activities, based on a context aware
processing of their public content. The agents will automatically transmit these data to the
indicator repository.
Concerning data generation the project will contribute a software architecture, as well as
the development of the corresponding software modules, for the automatic generation of
the required data from steady panels of selected E-Commerce actors (users, suppliers,


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intermediaries etc.). This architecture will be based on a combination of techniques
including intelligent agents, specific browser plug-ins and applets that will be able to
record E-Commerce activity and transmit the data to the indicator repository.




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5. INNOVATION
5.1. State-of-the-art
The development of business supported by information and communication technologies
(ICT) is currently assessed from a rather restricted perspective. Electronic Commerce,
perceived as the utilisation of the Net for additional communication, marketing and sales
channels based on only very moderately changed business models, indicates a rather
evolutionary path of development, a mere channel enhancement. This approach, i.e. the
application of typical business and economic models for E-Commerce, fails to correctly
comprehend and interpret the rather revolutionary structural changes already empirically
observed as well as the extensive impact on value creation.
Furthermore, apart from some notable exceptions, most indicators currently used
attempting to measure Electronic Commerce, or other aspects of the Digital Economy, are
either based on the aforementioned business models of the “old” economy, or are of an ad-
hoc and unsystematic nature. In the first case, these statistics are restricted to the same (or
adapted) indicators and classification schemes used for non-electronic commerce. Thus,
they fail to measure and monitor phenomena such as new industry structures emerging
through dis- and re-intermediation in value webs and new intermediaries; reversed value
creation processes applying novel market co-ordination mechanisms such as electronic
auctions; emerging products often re-configured from elements of decomposed traditional
ones and so on. In the second case, due to their ad-hoc nature and the lack of a systematic
reference framework, the present severe incoherence, comparability problems etc.
A further problem, concerning the current state of the art in E-Commerce and Digital
Economy statistics, is that usually traditional questionnaire (quite often paper ones!) based
methods are used for surveys and data collection. The only attempts to collect information
from the Internet in electronic form are referring to occurrences, where electronic data
repositories already exist (such as for the domain name system). This approach, which has
an inevitable long lead-time, prohibits the frequent publication of statistics in a field where
certain aspects demonstrate rapid exponential growths.

5.2. Advancement of the state-of-the-art
By providing an integrated system encompassing the whole life cycle of statistical
information on E-Commerce, the project will contribute specific and tangible advances to
all three aforementioned axes, namely modelling, statistical indicators and data collection.
Concerning methodological work on E-Commerce modelling, the project will built upon
the results already achieved by the international research community in the field, and
further advance these emerging new concepts towards the proposition of a detailed model
for E-Commerce. The project will use the promising “Media Model” and further advance
the Business Media (BM) Framework, presented in section B6. The originality of the BM
Framework lies in the fact that it integrates the Business and ICT perspectives of E-
Commerce, thus giving a holistic view on business media and surpassing the inadequacies
of using typical value-chain models.
In the statistical domain, the project will propose a complete system of statistical
indicators. Here, complete means not only a fully documented, meta-data rich indicator
system, but furthermore, statistical repository architecture for the storage and handling of
indicators, software specifications and prototype software modules, integrated in the
repository, for the calculation and handling of the indicators, as well as a sound
methodology for the interpretation of these indicators towards assessing the social and
economic impact of E-Commerce.


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Concerning data generation and collection, the project will deliver a complete architecture
based on Intelligent Agents, for the automatic collection of the data necessary for the
calculation of indicators directly from the Internet. This will enable the cost-effective
frequent publication of E-Commerce statistics, with minimum lead-time.
A further advancement of the state-of-the-art, lies in the usage of an advance web-based
system, coupled with the indicators repository, aimed at the rapid and functional delivery
of this statistical information in ways customisable by the users themselves. The system
will deliver not only indicator data, but also meta-data and tools and guidelines to assist
the correct exploitation of information.

5.3. Innovation and Originality
One of the main aspects of the originality of the project lies exactly on its holistic
approach: rather than being focused on confined technological or methodological subject,
the project follows the entire life-cycle of statistical information on E-Commerce and
exploits all the necessary enablers (i.e. new business models, new indicators, intelligent
agents for data collection and object-oriented delivery of information).
Two specific innovative aspects are:
i) The construction of indicators based on radically different models, focusing not on
typical value chains but on structural changes and the convergence of ICT and business
practice;
ii) The usage of Intelligent Agents for the acquisition of rich statistical data.
With Java and the emerging technology of intelligent agents, the Internet provides new
ways of collecting information. Technologies such as Java/CORBA (Common Object
Request Broker Architecture), Java RMI (Remote Method Invocation), has the potential to
add a lot to the development of agent-based systems that collect, manage and filter the
huge amount of information provided today by the Internet.
The proposed project will exploit the unique features of the intelligent agent technology in
order to provide a set of information/Internet agents, which will collect information
concerning the fast-growing area of E-Commerce. The project will contribute original
strategies for creating and controlling the agents in the scope of Information/Internet agent
environment.
The project will not focus on open research issues in the area of intelligent agents. Rather,
it will exploit existing intelligent agent standards, tools and platforms with a view to
producing a novel agent-based information collection system. Nevertheless, some aspects
of the project’s research will certainly boost the intelligent agent technology. In particular
several intelligent agents platforms will be compared and evaluated with respect to their
efficiency for producing information collect applications. The applicability of intelligent
agents in collecting information though the Internet will also be investigated.
The use of intelligent agents for the collection of specific information through the Internet
is destined to replace the traditional methods (e.g. questionnaires, etc) leading to more
efficient automatic information collecting mechanisms.




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6. COMMUNITY ADDED-VALUE & CONTRIBUTION TO EU
POLICIES
6.1. Issue addressed at European Level
The rapid development of electronic commerce is a phenomenon that has many journalists
and private researchers publishing numerous figures, often contradictory, sometimes over-
estimated, but counting for a real and palpable phenomenon, for which not much tools and
methodologies have been developed. This has been a major impediment for a deeper
understanding of the New Economy. Reliable and internationally comparable statistics
that measure the level, growth and composition of electronic commerce are lacking, as is a
consistent definition of electronic commerce. Determining the economic and social
impacts of e-commerce is also a question of monitoring and measuring change in the
marketplace, the generation of new product and business models, the need for new skills
and news ways to organise work. Developing measures of electronic commerce addresses
a number of technical challenges to European Statistical Agencies (and not only).
The users of information related to the evolution and impact of electronic commerce in the
European market - private and public organisations and citizens - have important needs in
being better informed on the new reality. Business and consumer attitudes have to be
based on relevant and reliable information. In addition, a number of social, environmental
and regulatory issues cannot be adequately understood without statistics. As one can
imagine, the immediate needs of all these different actors vary significantly. Policy
choices are embedded in the choice of indicators to be developed. At the same time, policy
choices are highly sensitive to statistical information. Up to now, member countries have
responded to the information needed by policy makers in a less structured way than they
might have wished; their responses have varied depending on the statistical infrastructure
available in those countries. Because there have been no international statistical
frameworks or definitions to follow, the indicators that have been produced to date are not
necessarily comparable. These important information requirements raise timeliness,
availability and burden problems to European statistical agencies.
In line with the aforementioned challenges, the major issue that our project tries to address
at a European level is related to the creation of a reference model for retail e-commerce.
This effort intends to provide meaningful insights not only on the real characteristics (e.g.
intangibility) and structure of e-commerce, but also on its social implications for the
European countries. Therefore, a significant challenge throughout this effort will be to
develop such a methodological framework and tools, which will match the necessary
diversity and complexity needed for the timely and reliable assessment of the impact of
consumer based e-commerce.

6.2. European Dimension
Due to its strong interdisciplinary nature, the project’s objectives can only be achieved
through the contribution of highly specific expertise from organisations found in different
EU Member States (see also section C6). E-commerce is continuously and very rapidly
evolving in the European market, therefore a collective approach that incorporates partners
who may be active in different business sectors or activities, but are closely related to the
overall e-commerce concept is of critical importance for the successful implementation of
the project. Moreover, considering the fact that the maturity level and the latest
developments in retail e-commerce vary significantly among EU countries constitutes an
additional component, which justifies the necessity for complementarity among members
of the Consortium and for participation of several research EU institutes and companies in
it. In order to improve further the European dimension and the quality of the Consortium,

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significant efforts are currently been made, so as to get a more active involvement of users
(private companies, statistical agencies, etc.) in the ERMIS project. The ultimate purpose
of these efforts is to facilitate the development of secure software tools that safeguard the
privacy and anonymity of collected information, as analysed in section 7.3.
The European dimension of the project can also be justified by its dissemination and
exploitation strategy (see section C8). In this direction, the main dissemination vehicle of
the project – the “ERMIS User Group” – will provide a forum for the exchange of
information and the co-ordination of efforts, encompassing several user groups from the
Academia and from several governmental bodies in EU countries (primarily NSOs).

6.3. Contribution to EU Policies
The importance of developing new means for describing, understanding, measuring and
assessing the New Economy has already been addressed and emphasised in several EU
documents. In more details, the “Green Paper on Commerce”, COM (96) 530
(November 1996) of the European Commission specifies that existing statistical methods
and tools cannot provide more than a very general overview of the existing situation of e-
commerce. It attributes the need for a more reliable and up-to-date statistical system to the
changes in the distribution value chain (Articles 91 and 95), the escalating role of SMEs
(Article 93) and the significant alterations in working conditions and employment
(Article 94).
In addition, a European initiative as analysed in the Commission communication on
electronic commerce COM (97) 157 (April 1997), stresses out the importance for
harmonised definitions, as well as for measures ensuring the access to the global
market and for promoting the new business environment. All these issues cannot be
tackled without an appropriate statistical system, which will provide timely and reliable
information on the New Economy.




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7. CONTRIBUTION TO COMMUNITY SOCIAL OBJECTIVES
7.1. Competitiveness and Growth
The role of e-commerce in the global economic development and in the significant
alterations that appeared on the way of conducting business has been prominent and well
stressed out throughout the decade. New, small and flexible enterprises have been
continuously showing up in the market and fully exploit the possibilities of the New
Economy. As a consequence, new jobs and opportunities for employment appear. It is
already considered there that the Internet is reshaping the whole job market, as already 6
million Americans work in the high-tech sector. In Europe, as in the US, higher education
already has started to adapt to this new trend, and more and more University degrees are
created in the field of electronic commerce. But these are just the tip of the iceberg, as e-
commerce in order to be fuelled needs not only marketing people, but also web sites
designers, graphic artists, computer maintenance staff, network administrators and so on.
In addition, the use of new means of communication and implementation of transactions
has generated an opportunity for a more balanced and healthier development of the
society. Isolated areas and territories with significant proximity problems can now get and
access to goods, services and information in a more effective and efficient way, which was
impossible or at least quite difficult to achieve a few years ago. However, in spite of the
unquestionable facilitation of economic development in the EU, e-commerce has also
created an imperative necessity for new perspectives and paradigms for understanding this
New Economy.
While electronic commerce is of interest in its own right, it is far of more interest to obtain
meaningful insights about the ways that it may affect the economy as a whole, specific
industries and sectors, and the firms that do, and do not, participate in it. These effects
include changes in the factors or inputs that enter businesses’ production processes,
changes in their production, revenue and distribution models, and in the nature of the
marketplace. In this context, it has become quite clear that the knowledge requirement in
the electronic marketplace concerns far more than the growth in transactions. As a
consequence, a set of new statistical methodologies and indicators must be developed,
which will not only focus on a more reliable assessment of growth in e-commerce, but
also on the wealth-creation potential of e-commerce. It is far more important to have
knowledge of the “qualities” of the transactions in terms of who transacts with whom,
under what conditions, the evolution of products and services, value-chain and supply-
chain dynamics, market and industry structure, industrial organisation and management.
Although measures of the impact of electronic commerce are not available off the shelf,
developing an appropriate system can begin by adapting and building on existing
measurement systems and frameworks, which is among the objectives and the
methodology that will be followed throughout this project.
7.2. Quality of Life
As a result of the new business environment and conditions that e-commerce has created
in the market, new methods of work have been emerged. Flexible and remote working
methods and tools are appearing in the market, while the new technology provides the
necessary means for the materialisation of more effective and user-friendly working
environments. In this context, it can be easily understood that the impact of e-commerce
on the quality of life (in all of its aspects) is substantial. The digital economy grows
because of the involvement of, and impact on, individuals as citizens, producers and
consumers. At the same time, it gives rise to new communities (business, cultural, social)
and it affects opportunities, living standards and life-styles. It raises socio-political issues
such as the relative roles of governments, business and academia in managing change for

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the benefit of all. Electronic commerce has the potential to radically alter some economic
activities and the surrounding social environment. These changes require new frameworks
for conducting business and pose new challenges to policy makers. To better understand
the importance, interaction and nature of these policy challenges is to track the
developments of this dynamic medium and its impact on the economy and society.
Lifestyles in new communities are no longer determined by factors outside the
individual’s control – whether nationality, social class, region of birth, regional customs,
geographical proximity or ethnic origin – but by common interests. The cyberspace is
today a normal part of an ongoing process of exploration, self-organisation, self-
adaptation and self-empowerment for many EU citizens. As a result of the further growth
of the New Economy, e-commerce will continue to make a difference on the way we live,
work, learn, play, interact and even think. However, we still lack the indicators and the
data that will tell us exactly the nature and magnitudes of those differences. These
indicators must unequivocally capture the consequences of the new economy for European
living conditions and lifestyles. Addressing for example micro-issues such as the
distribution of e-commerce users by country, e-commerce usage impact on alternative
media consumption patterns, etc., can shed light into this topic. The indicators and the
methodology and tools that will be developed during the project are completely in line
with those requirements.
The definition, growth pattern, actual use, impact and drivers of new forms of work
(telework, teamwork etc.) and job opportunities is another area for the development of
indicators. These indicators must take into consideration primary direct impacts, primary
indirect impacts and secondary impacts, substitution effects of traditional jobs, social
inclusion/exclusion effects in the labour market. Also, special features of less developed
regions need to be taken into account. The value creation business model and the
relationship map among the “enablers” of retail e-commerce tackle with this issue.
7.3. Ethical considerations
Despite the rapid expansion and the more intense involvement of e-commerce in today’s
business environment, a detailed legal framework that fully corresponds to the
requirements of the new economy and its implications lacks not only in the EU, but also in
other countries as well. In our days serious debate is been made, regarding the security and
privacy of electronic transactions. Consideration of the ethical issues in respect to these
topics is thus very important for the development of valuable and easily acceptable new
methods and applications for e-commerce.
In this direction, the ethical aspects that the ERMIS project touches upon are associated
with the collection, storage and processing of personal data. Such data will be collected
both directly from the Internet (through the intelligent agent software) and from the panels
of users (consumers and companies, through the respective plug-ins). However, this
important – for the development of indicators – kind of information has to be collected
with the prior notification and acceptance of the users involved. Therefore, the final
decision for the utilisation of the ERMIS software tools will rely upon the respective user.
In addition, it will be mandatory for the Consortium to avoid disclosure or dissemination
of personal data. In line with this requirement, the information delivery platform allowing
dynamic retrieval and presentation of the new indicators will be provided with a firewall,
so as to prohibit access of unauthorised persons to raw data. Special attention will be also
given to the anonymity of users interested in the new indicators. For this reason, the
platform will be equipped with SSL technology for the encryption of messages and
requests.




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8. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND S&T PROSPECTS
8.1. Dissemination Plan and Dissemination Management
The diffusion of project results will be the ultimate goal of a well-defined Dissemination
Plan, which will be elaborated in detail by the Project Steering Committee. This Plan will
be developed within the project start-up meetings and will be constantly reviewed
thereafter. The actual implementation of this dissemination strategy and the monitoring
and assessments of dissemination results are in the high-level responsibility of the
appointed Assistant Project Manager, responsible for Dissemination (see section C5).
Furthermore, the revised dissemination strategy documents and the regular reports on
actual dissemination activities are formal deliverables of the project.
The dissemination strategy extends beyond the diffusion of the project achievements to
encompass generally available technology advancements and best practices in the field. It
will affect three target-groups: (i) Potential Users of e-commerce (ii) Public
Administrations (i.e. National Statistical Organisations and Governmental Agencies). (iii)
The academia, consisting of scientists from Statistics and Information Science disciplines;

8.2. The ERMIS User Group
The core dissemination instrument will be the “ERMIS User Group”. In more details, it
will be a target group of invited representatives from NSOs, Internet Service Providers
(ISPs) and the aforementioned academia disciplines, coming from major European
countries. Although the “ERMIS User Group” will be formally instituted and hosted by
the project, its vision extends beyond the project duration.
The User Group will mainly act through the following co-ordinated dissemination
channels:
   events organised in different European cities, including such as open workshops,
    demonstration of the project results, press conferences, and participation in
    information days;
   a distributed “ERMIS” web site, hosted by the project web site, publishing not only
    project specific material but also material contributed by the network participants, as
    well as a mailing list and an electronic newsletter;

8.3. Academic Dissemination
A great importance in the result-dissemination process has the information of and
interaction with the academic community. The following dissemination channels are
planned to enhance communication with the academia:
   Seminars and Conferences organised by Eurostat, in order to present the results of the
    research up to the current moment. Especially the conferences will be oriented to
    Official Statistics, such as NTTS (New Techniques and Technologies Statistics)
   The results of the project, as presented at Seminars and Conferences, will be submitted
    for publication to scientific journals in the field of Official Statistics (e.g. the Research
    in Official Statistics, the Journal in Official Statistics, etc.) and to specialised
    magazines and Newsletters for e-commerce
   The course of the project and current results, as well as the results of these activities
    will be presented via a Web site




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8.4. Exploitation of Results
Successful dissemination and exploitation of results is in the interest of the Consortium
partners and fully complies with the economic, technological and social objectives of the
European Union. To further promote the expected outcome of the project, e.g. to shift
from RTD to pilot stage and finally to commercialisation, a number of hurdles related to
financial, legislative, marketing and distribution aspects has to be overcome. The critical
assessment of these factors and the formulation of an exploitation strategy in order to
attract additional partners (potential users, technology providers, etc.) are therefore of
crucial importance for the “ERMIS” project.
In this direction, the major participants of the Consortium are committed to continue their
co-operation beyond the purposes of this project, so as to continue development of the
proposed software solution for the assessment of critical E-commerce factors. Potential
foreground rights will therefore be settled in a Consortium Agreement that will be
prepared in the beginning of the project, setting a formal basis for the future collaboration
of partners. Currently, the Consortium partners have specific exploitation interests, as
follows:
   The National Technical University of Athens along with Liaison Systems S.A, will
    further exploit the pilot S/W tool for the generation of indicators. The development of
    a final product is very important for the generation of timely, accurate and meaningful
    indicators that can be used as an input for policy making in the EU. Both members of
    the Consortium have already a well-established reputation and experience in the fields
    of S/W development and Statistics, and well-established linkages with major public
    and private organisations both at a National and at a European level. Therefore, they
    will co-operate in the management and co-ordination of the exploitation activities as
    well. Moreover, the two members assess that the need for reliable information for e-
    commerce will increase dramatically in the years to come, because of the expected
    rapid expansion of the New Economy, and hence they will consider the
    commercialisation of results either in the form of direct sales, or in the form of an
    integrated solution offered to customers (NSOs, private companies, etc.)
   The University Robert Schuman (CESAG) and the University of Napoli, will
    perform tasks related to the “Elaboration of a Business Model for E-Commerce” and
    the “Development of a System of Indicators” (WP1 and WP2), which is completely in
    line with the respective research area to which they have been committed to. As a
    result, they will obtain useful insights that will further stimulate their research
    activities in those disciplines
Among the core exploitation activities envisaged during the “ERMIS” project will be the
preparation of a comprehensive Technological Implementation Plan (TIP) by the Project
Steering Committee. The ultimate goal of this plan is to pursue product maturity, through
the utilisation of European, National or other kinds of funds. A draft version will be
prepared in the start-up phase of the project and two more detailed versions will be
submitted to the Commission, during the mid-term and the final phase respectively. In the
foreseen final version, this exploitation plan will allocate potential foreground rights,
intentions for dissemination and use by each specific partner, as well as a timetable for
associated activities. Issues such as market conditions, technology reviews and market
forecasts will be also tackled. Customer targets for the final product are expected to be the
National Statistical Offices of the European Union, private companies and final
consumers. The market potential of these user categories will be assessed through a
market survey that will be conducted near the ending phase of the “ERMIS” project.




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The commercialisation of results and the critical assessment of the market potential for
both the statistical indicators and the S/W tools developed during the project, calls for a
thorough examination of the following strategic alternatives: (i) promotion of the
integrated system of indicators as a consulting service, (ii) promotion of the integrated
system in the form of a dedicated web platform, (iii) promotion of the browser plug-in and
the associated indicators. In more details, these alternatives can be analysed as follows:
   Consulting services: The integrated system, after further development and evaluation
    will be promoted as an integrated consulting service offered to National Statistical
    Organisations. This system will include: (i) Statistical indicators for consumer-based
    E-commerce, (ii) Statistical methodology and software tools for data collection,
    calculation and validation of indicators (especially in respect to company electronic
    transactions), (iii) relational database and meta-data repository for data storage, (iv)
    methodology for the interpretation of indicators. Installation of such an integrated
    system will provide NSOs with real value-added services and will substantially reduce
    the lead time of processes involved in the statistical information life-cycle, i.e. from
    data collection to data dissemination
   Web platform: The Information Delivery Platform provided during WP5 will set the
    basis for the development of a dedicated portal, through which several user categories
    (companies, consumers, professionals, etc.) will be able to access and retrieve useful
    information regarding certain aspects and trends of retail e-commerce. Classified
    directories will enable companies that are involved in the e-commerce value chain to
    register and promote themselves, while visitors will be provided with all the necessary
    documentation, terminology, reports and links for the topic
   Browser plug-in: Another commercial alternative that can be considered is the
    collaboration with Internet Service Providers. More specifically, ISPs will encourage
    their customers to use the “browser plug-in” developed during their navigation over
    the Internet1, providing therefore the relational database and statistical repository with
    the necessary input for the generation of respective e-commerce indicators. Since these
    indicators will comprise a valuable marketing tool for retail companies, reports based
    on this information will be generated and promoted by the exploitation team




1
 In order to tackle with the issue of privacy and anonymity, there will be a declaration from the ISP that no
personal data will be disclosed or used. In addition, the ultimate decision for the utilisation of the browser
plug-in during navigation will rely upon the user

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9. WORKPLAN
9.1. General Description
The project is based on two main concepts: (a) the elaboration of a business model for E-
Commerce and the definition of a set of statistical indicators emulating this model, and (b)
the development of an intelligent agent based system for automatic collection and
transmission of E-Commerce related statistical data and an advanced information delivery
platform. Methodological issues concerning part (a) are further explained later on, within
the relevant work package descriptions. As far as part (b) is concerned, the agent-based
system under development will support the following basic functionalities: identification,
pre-processing, transfer and storage of the information residing at different e-commerce
web sites. The relative data are finally, once stored in the Main Server of the system, they
are statistically processed, the information is extracted and presented on an advanced web
delivery platform, which is further explained within the relevant work package
description.
A visual representation of the proposed agent-based system is illustrated in figure 1.

                                  Request

 WWW Browser                                              Main
                                                                                   JAVA applets
                                                         Server
                                                         Agent
                                     Response
     Informati                       Statistical                  run           Content Repository
     on                             Information
     /Internet
     Agent
                                         Dynamic            Object
                                                           Oriented                 Database
                                    HTML page
                                                           Programs                 Metadata
                                                                                       Info

                                  Figure 1: System Architecture
A certain number of Information/Internet agents will be created to cover the needs of the
system. These agents will be of two types, stationary (associated with a specific location)
and mobile (they can move from one physical network location to another). Stationary
agents will be plugged into the Web servers of E-commerce providers or the Web
browsers of E-commerce consumers. These E-commerce providers and consumers form
the main ERMIS actor clusters. Adequately identified samples of these two clusters will
furnish, on a volunteer basis, the necessary data. Finally, the information will be extracted
from these data by statistical processing and the results will be presented on WEB panels
made from dynamic HTML pages.
On the contrary, mobile agents will move inside the Internet, from one web site to the
other, and by using knowledge management based techniques they will identify new
comers and they will examine and classify their content and activities. The intelligent
mobile agent functionality will be obtained through the use of a Mobile Agent Platform
(MAP). The MAP will support migration, operation, and communication of system agents
and will guarantee agent ability to access information of the visited systems.


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Nowadays, the majority of the existing MAPs are fully implemented in Java. In this case
the execution environment of the agent code is a Java virtual Machine (JVM). In this case,
agent information access is facilitated through browser plug-ins and applets. In addition,
the ability of Java programming language (JDBC) to fully support storage and retrieval of
data in a database will be exploited.
The Selected Mobile Agent Platform will meet the objectives of the application and
support a number of supplementary functionalities such as:
   Control (creation, activation, termination, etc.)
   Execution environment
   Migration (mobility)
   Communication and agent co-operation
   Security
   Interaction with system resources
   Portability (work on multiple Platforms)
   Data management (data transfer, data storage, persistence for fault tolerance)
For the transportation and communication of the agents, various communication protocols
may be used. The communication protocols supported by most of the existing MAPs are
CORBA, RMI and Plain Sockets
The selected MAP will also meet the following requirements:
   Hardware and Software independence: The usage of CORBA offers, through the
    provided IDL (Interface Description Language), the capability to communicate and
    interact with other existing CORBA applications, regardless of their operating system
    and programming language. In order to further increase platform independence, the
    Java programming language will be used for the implementation.
   Flexibility: The combination of Mobile Agent Technology and CORBA offers new
    ways of communication between applications, leading to the creation of more flexible
    systems.
   Scalability and Extensibility: Incorporating new agents able to communicate with
    existing ones and others modules of the system may easily extend the functionality of
    the system.
   Meet Future requirements: The Object Management Group (OMG) with its Mobile
    Agent System Interoperability Facility Specification (MASIF) is the most important
    standardization body in the area of the mobile agents. The MASIF standard offers a
    widely accepted standardization framework for mobile agent technology and leads the
    interoperability between mobile agent systems of different vendors. The MAP of the
    system under development will comply with the above standards.




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Work-plan Overview
WP1 – Elaboration of a Business Model for E-Commerce – corresponds roughly to the
problem domain definition and analysis phase of the methodological work. Within this
work package and initially based on a compilation of available methodological and survey
work, a formal reference model for E-Commerce will be elaborated in detail. The model
will primarily be used as a reference framework for the design of the indicators systems,
by providing exact definitions and classification schemes, and, most important, by
identifying the points that need to be quantitatively monitored by such a system (such as
emerging structural changes).
Based on the constraints and input of WP1, a complete indicator system will be designed
and elaborated within WP2 – Development of a system of Statistical Indicators for E-
Commerce. In a mostly top-down approach, the methodological reference, the exact data
requirements and the calculation methods will be specified for each indicator, while the
whole system will be validated using existing or simulated data. An electronic inventory
of all indicator-related meta-data will be compiled, while software modules for the
automatic calculation of the indicators will be developed. Furthermore, an accompanying
methodology for the actual interpretation of these indicators’ trends and values by
information users will be elaborated and compiled into a user guide.
WP3 – Development of Intelligent Agents for Data Collection – concerns the analysis,
design and development and testing of all the software tools necessary to enable the
system. The tasks include the development of a set of intelligent agents or know-bots for
direct data collection from the Net, and of a set of browser plug-ins and applets for panel
based data collection. (See previous section for a description of the system architecture).
The results of the project so far (i.e. model, indicators and data collection software) will be
functionally tested within WP4 - Pilot and validation phase. The results will be validated
using advanced statistical methods, as well as in reference to the calculation of the same
indicators through a typical questionnaire based survey, executed via e-mail and Internet
providers. The validation results will be used for the fine-tuning of the whole system.
An advanced statistical information dissemination system will be developed within WP5 –
Information Delivery System. The work includes design and development of the
information repository, the user tools for information retrieval and handling in the form of
java applets, and the web user interface.
The initiation of a virtual user community on the web, as well as other coordinated
dissemination activities is the subject of WP6, while WP0 concerns all activities related to
project co-ordination.
The whole Work Plan structure and the logical interactions between work packages are
depicted in Figure 2, in the form of a Structured Analysis (IDEF0) process diagram, as
follows:
 Process Boxes represent work packages (apart from WP6 and WP0) and are noted by
   WP codes.
 Output Arrows, flowing from the right side of WP’s to the top side of other WP’s,
   represent intermediate deliverables, which act as active inputs (or constraints) from the
   former to the later.
 Output Arrows to the right diagram border represent final deliverables (milestones) of
   each work package and are noted by an M code (M1 to M4).
 Input arrows from the left diagram border represent required external inputs to the
   project.
Similar diagrams exist for the hierarchical decomposition of Work packages into tasks
etc., which are not included here (since IDEF0 will form part of the project management
methodology, these diagrams will form a deliverable of the Project Management work
package).


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         Lit. Survey


       Electronic                                             M1: EC Reference Model
       Commerce
     Business Model
                  WP1                                          Repository and Interface
                            Statistical                            Specifications
                            Indicators
                                                                       M2: New Indicators Methodology
                                                   Data
                                     WP2        Requirements

                                                      Intelligent Agents
                                                            for Data            IA Software
                                                          Collection
                                                                     WP3
                                                                                     Pilot and
                                                                                     Validation
                             Actual Data                                                                     M3: Final System
                                                                                                WP4


                                                                                                                            M4
                                                                                                  Information              Web
                                                                                                Delivery Platform        Delivery
                                                                                                                         Platform
                                                                                                              WP5

 NODE:      Α0    TITLE:                  INDIGO: INDIcators through Intelligent aGent Operations                   NO.:        1




Figure 2: Project Structure IDEF0 top level diagram




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Work-plan Structure and Methodology
WP1: Elaboration of a Business Model for E-Commerce
The work content of this work package corresponds roughly to the problem domain
definition and analysis phase of the methodological work. The aim of this work package is
the elaboration of a detailed, formal reference model for Electronic Commerce, which will
serve as the methodological framework of the whole project. Furthermore, this model will
provide the basic input to the subsequent work package (Statistical Indicators) by
providing exact definitions, classification schemes and help identifying the focal points
that need to be quantitavely monitored by such an indicator system (such as emerging
structural changes).
Task T1.1, through an extensive literature survey and the compilation of already available
results and task T1.2, which refers to the identification and study of actors and their
interdependencies, will provide the basis for the elaboration of a detailed reference model
in T1.3, which will be validated by selected case studies. The model will be further
enriched with quantitative data, statistically estimated in Task T1.4.
The project output includes the integration of these results into Milestone M1.1 (E-
Commerce Reference Model), including classification schemes and definitions, as well as
the intermediary deliverable D1.1 (Identification of required metrics and indicators).
 Task T1.1: Literature Survey – Comparative Model Assessment
This task concerns a thorough research, compilation and comparative assessment of the
several models and definitions that have already been proposed for retail e-commerce. It
will primarily exploit the in-depth examination of existing research that has been done on
this topic during the execution of the SUPCOM Lot 13 project, in which partner 4 was
involved during 1999. This research will be updated and enriched with work on value
chain models and definitions that has appeared in this research area there since. The
results will be compiled into a report.
 Task T1.2: Identification of enablers
Through a series of in depth analyses of selected case studies (either “live” or through
publications) all the respective e-commerce “enablers” (ICT, actors and agents, etc.)
involved in the electronic value chain processes, as well as the interdependencies among
them will be identified. These entities include (a) applications, (b) information and
communication        infrastructure/networks,    (c)    activities     and     transactions
(marketing/advertising, order, delivery, payment, etc.), and finally (d) key players
involved (consumers, retail companies, Internet providers, banks, etc.). The results will be
compiled into a metadata reference inventory, and will provide the basis for the work on
definitions and classifications within T1.3.
 Task T1.3: E-commerce reference model
Based on the results of the two previous tasks, a detailed reference model will be
elaborated. Apart from being used to describe E-Commerce in a formal structured way, as
well as being latter used as a basis for interpreting the indicators that will be developed,
the model will provide the basic input for the design of the indicator system.
The model will be based on the Business Media Reference Framework, which is
schematically represented in Fig. 3.
The community view covers the business perspective of new media. Here, business model,
strategies, normative aspects, the roles of actors with liabilities and assets and protocols
about the interactions and transactions are described. The implementation view
implements the transactions in compliance with the community view by using the generic
services of the transaction view. The infrastructure view provides communication and co-
ordination mechanisms for relating agents of the transaction view as well as the agents
taking the roles modeled in the community view as defined in the implementation view.

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The reference model distinguishes four phases of a business transaction: In the knowledge
phase, information about the domain of discourse, i.e., about the medium and its
communities is gathered and processed. Here, the common logical space is being
established. The intention phase provides services for analysing and hereby activating
information. In the negotiation phase, a contract is negotiated which is settled in the
settlement phase. The business media framework integrates the business and the ICT-
perspective giving a holistic view on business media.

          Community
            View                         Business Community (Roles, Protocols)

        Implementation
            View                                          Processes


           Transaction                           Supply
              View             Information       Demand         Contracting          Settlement


          Infrastructure
              View                           ICT and Transaction Infrastructure


                                  Knowledge         Intention         Contract          Settlement
                                    Phase             Phase            Phase              Phase


                           Fig. 3: Business Media Reference Framework
   Task T1.4:Quantification of target population
The target population is difficult to be quantified and framed with accuracy, since the
process is time-dependent, not restricted in a specific area, but spatial correlated. A model
base sampling technique will be considered and implemented using Intelligent Agents in
the WEB. The estimation of the size, along with some other parameters of interest for the
population under study can be implemented without complete enumeration, by using
multiple recapture censuses. The method consists of the drawing of k samples, not
necessarily ordered sequentially in time. The individuals in each sample are divided into
two groups: One with those identified or marked in preceding sample and one with the
ones appeared for the first time. The data collected are cross classified in a 2k incomplete
contingency table with one missing cell. In the simple form of two independent samples
the proportion of the marked individuals of the second sample is used along with the total
number of marked individuals (1st sample) to estimate the total population size.
A sequence of samples gives us enough input to estimate the parameter of a Generalized
Linear Model (in most cases the log-linear one), corresponding to some interesting
physical parameter, like growth rate, which describe not only the size but also the dynamic
behaviour of the population. This approach has been theoretically introduced by the
Bishop, Fienberg and Holland and used in many applications as estimation of animal
abundance (Cormack), estimation of birth and death rates in large human population,
estimation of bug population in a computer program etc. The aim of this task will be to
modify the methodology of capture – recapture (both the sampling scheme and the model)
for the estimation of the population parameters of interest .




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WP2: Development of a system of Statistical Indicators for E-Commerce
The primary objective of this work package is the design, detailed specification and
documentation of a complete system of statistical indicators for consumer oriented
electronic commerce. This system is intended to function as a new and informative
benchmarking tool that will facilitate policy and decision making.
 Task T2.1: Search for existing indicators
A basic study will be elaborated with the aim to identify and collect existing advancments
in the field of new indicators for e-commerece, developed and used worldwide. Up to
now, significant efforts have been initiated in the US, Canada, Australia and certain
European countries (particularly in the Netherlands and in Scandinavian countries).
Existing indicators for e-commerce can then be classified into three broad categories (a)
those indicating e-commerce intensity (infrastructure necessary to support e-commerce,
(b) those related to e-commerce intensity (current state of e-commerce applications), and
(c) those revealing e-commerce impact (additionality and multiplier effects). Moreover,
they can be further categorised into those ones collected from enterprises, governmental
bodies and households. The ultimate goal of this task is to end up with a structured
repository of statistical indicators used for e-commerce.
 Task T2.2: Development of new indicators
The critical assessment of statistical indicators collected in Task 2.1., will include their
examination for conformity and accuracy with the e-commerce model as well as the
definitions and classifications that will have already been achieved in WP1. Theoretical
hypotheses related to the intensity and the strength of the relations will be also tested, by
means of classic statistical tools (e.g. chi-square tests, or non-parametric tests).
Furthermore, statistical indicators collected in Task 2.1 will be computed in order to go in
deep of new features of e-commerce. It could be interesting, for example, statistically
evaluating differences between the values assumed by some indicators in countries where
e-commerce is not largely spread (as Italy, or Greece) and in more e-commerce developed
countries (as Scandinavian ones).
Advancing the shortly gained experience , a main effort will be contributed to the
development of a set of new statistical indicators, “fully compatible” with the
requirements of WP1, especially targeting the focal points of interest identified therein.
The new indicators will be designed so as to reflect both the structural changes and the
quantitative growth of E-Commerce, in the points identified as critical by the previous WP
models. These indicators will have to describe the new reality in such diverse aspects as
payment and fund transfer usage, security methods usage, completely new product/service
types, dis- and re-intermediation, new market mechanisms such as auctions and intelligent
agent based negotiation, comparative usage of "push" and "pull" market mechanisms and
so on.
The proposed indicators will cover the whole life cycle of retail e-commerce (readiness-
intensity-impact). Major emphasis will be given in the accuracy, timeliness and
comparability of these indicators. Moreover, the possibility of double counting (which is
quite common in e-commerce measurements) will be examined. The new indicators
developed will also be accompanied with the appropriate methodological framework, in
order to ensure the reliability and comparability of data.
It is important to consider that we are dealing with multidimensional data sets, thus
together with indicators based on traditional forms of calculation, it will be interesting to
use multivariate data analysis tools (Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis)
for building new indicators, which jointly consider (and synthesize) a large number of
variables. Further work will be contributed to the identification of typologies of users on


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time, by means of repeated surveys, which appear to be useful in a rapidly changing
reality.
 Task T2.3: Evaluation of indicators
The statistical methodology and relevant software tools for the calculation and validation
of these indicators will have to deal with emerging problems such as the lack of exact
definitions, definition of the populations, the ambiguity in the link between the network
entities (portals, e-commerce sites etc.) and the underlying statistical units (i.e.
enterprises), the inadequacies of current statistical classification schemes and
nomenclatures, the ambiguities in geographically confining electronic commercial
activities and so on. Furthermore, it is difficult to assume regular (hypothetical)
distributions underlying the phenomenon we are studying. Thus resampling techniques
(like bootstrap, jackknife) can be used in order to build empirical confidence intervals for
estimating the parameter of model or for estimating the variability of
indicators.Automating the process, the use of a CASI system will considerably reduce the
non-sampling error in terms of accuracy of storing, editing data, controlling coherence and
dealing with missing data.
 Task T2.4: Indicator Interpretation Methodology
The objective of this task is to develop a sound methodology, which will assist the final
users of the systems (i.e. the information consumers – policy and decision makers) to
correctly interpret the observed indicator values and trends.
The main concept here is to provide the users with adequate indicator metadata and
methodological guidelines that will allow their direct or indirect correlation to other social,
economic, business etc. indicators or policy targets, thus being used as as a signalling tool
for policy making. The work will be primarily based on the conceptual coupling of the
new indicators with the reference model developed in WP1. Furthermore, this task will
include a comparison and testing of the new indicators against established ones measuring
«traditional» economic activities. The theoretical hypotheses formulated will be tested by
assessing them on historical data (where available) as well as by means of case studies
analyses.
The methodology developed will be evaluated by a panel of selected users (experts and
decision makers in industry, government and academia) and will be made available in the
form of user guides, distributable via the information delivery web platform (see WP5).




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WP3: Development of Intelligent Agents for Data Collection
The main goal of WP3 is to elaborate a software architecture specifically for seamless data
collection from the Internet, and to design, develop and validate the corresponding
software modules (agents). These will enable an automatic process, which will
a) collect all the specific data form active E-commerce systems and E-Consumers, using
static intelligent agents for steady observed panels, or mobile intelligent agents for
generalized population estimations and classifications;
b) automatically pre-process the collected data according to “intelligence” encapsulated in
the autonomous agents, towards the final statistical process;
c) transmit back the pre-processed data and feed it to the indicator repository for further
processing.
The technical objectives of this WP can be summarised as follows:
i) Requirements analysis, Architecture specifications, and design (in Task T3.1);
ii) Implementation of software modules (in Tasks T3.2, T3.3) ;
iii) System Integration and testing (in Task 3.4);
   Task T3.1: Requirements Analysis and Architecture Specifications
The main input to this task are the detailed specifications of the data required for the
calculation of the indicators, as well the algorithmic part that will be eventually
encapsulated to the agents. Formal methodologies enabled by specific CASE tools will be
used for this task. More specifically data collection and pre-processing processes will be
modeled and optimised using IDEF3 Process Description techniques. The system
architecture will be analysed and designed in detail using suitable Object-Oriented
modeling techniques such as Coadd-Yourdon. This task will lead to a set of detailed
technical specifications for the subsequent implementation tasks.
   Task T3.2: Implementation of data retrieval and pre-processing software
    modules
A set of software modules that will assist the data processing towards the calculation of
the statistical indicators will be implemented. Thus, first a software language must be
selected, based on the specific needs of the implementation. The implemented modules
will retrieve and pre-process the data collected by the agents in order to assist the final
statistical process of the information. These modules will be encapsulated to the agents in
some cases or to the repository according to requirements.
   Task T3.3: Design and implementation of intelligent agents
The designed and implemented intelligent agent system will include: (I) Specification of
the intelligent agent functionality with respect to D3.1. (II) Design and implementation of
the agent-based data collection system. The first step for the Design and Implementation
of the agent-based data collection system is the evaluation and selection of a Mobile
Agent Platform. At this step existing Mobile Agent Platforms (both commercial and
developed within research projects) will be reviewed and evaluated and the most suitable
for the objectives of the project will be selected. The second step that concludes this task,
is the agent-based data collection system implementation. This activity will:
 Create a set of intelligent agents that will carry out the task of collecting preprocessing
     and store the necessary data. The implementation will be based on the functionality
     provided by the selected MAP.
 Enchase the data retrieval and preprocessing software modules of task T3.2 to the
     agent based system. The preprocessing of the data can be achieved by either
     encapsulating the software module functionality to an intelligent agent, or by
     executing the module at the system main server.




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    WP4: Pilot and Validation Phase
    This section includes all tasks related to the pilot installation, usage and validation of the
    integrated system. The aim of this task is to check and “calibrate” the system and to
    provide feedback for the fine-tuning of the system methodological and software modules.
    The core of this work package is:
    a) the execution of pilot surveys (from data collection to indicator calculation and
    publication) using the intelligent agent software developed
    b) the assessment and validation of the statistical results.
    c) the assessment and validation of the software functionality.
    Furthermore, the results will be checked and compared against those provided by a typical
    questionnaire based survey executed by means of web questionnaires.
     Task T4.1: On-line survey
    The objective of this task is to perform a typical questionnaire survey, executed by means
    of web questionnaires and with the intermediation of major European Internet providers.
    The results of this survey will serve as a cross-reference and validation of the results of the
    fully automated scheme.
    The sampling scheme performed in this task is not able to capture complete usage across
    sites, but able to capture a lot of available demographic information. This effort is quite
    useful since our main interest lies on testing the e-commerce reference model, by
    analysing the behavior of the statistical units, i.e. enterprises and/or households.
    The sample scheme will be designed by taking into account the results of Task 1.4 as well
    as available surveys (e.g. Andersen Consulting's 1999 survey of electronic commerce in
    Europe), in order to consider both the market developments foreseen by experts, and the
    eventual stratification factors. Thus the survey will be conducted by submitting a
    questionnaire to Internet users as potential e-buyers. Consequently, the data collection will
    be performed by a CASI (Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing) System, which enable to
    assure a high quality of data (in terms of non-sampling errors.
       Task T4.2: Pilot survey with static intelligent agents for panel observations.
    This task concerns the implementation of the methodology and tools developed earlier in
    the project aiming at data collection through E-Commerce transaction monitoring. The
    application will be used from a selected group of users, which will provide structured data
    through an automated process. Partner No2 has already established a group of users who
    will participate in the survey and will benefit from the project results.
      Task T4.3: Pilot survey with mobile intelligent agents
    This task concerns the implementation of the methodology and tools developed earlier in
    the project aiming at the data collection across Internet sites using autonomous mobile
    intelligent agents and the evaluation of the data using the models from WP1.




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WP5: Information Delivery System
The purpose of this work-package is to provide an advanced Web delivery platform
(milestone M4), which will be used as a tool for dynamic data retrieval and presentation of
new indicators by different user groups (individuals, companies, governmental agencies,
etc.).
During Task T5.1, the design of the database that stores and handles statistical data will
take place. This task will produce deliverable D5.1 (Repository analysis and design) as
well. Task T5.2 that follows, is related to the development of software tools and the
appropriate interface for the Web site.
   Task T5.1: Repository design and development
The IDS is considered as a DATA portal in the sense that it has to deal primarily with
structured data, such as sales and inventory numbers. A three-layer architecture is
proposed for the implementation of the IDS. These layers are the presentation layer, the
functional layer and the resources layer. The presentation layer controls how the
information is presented on the user’s desktop environment. The functional layer
processes the data to extract the information and finally sends this information to the
presentation layer. The resources layer drives an environment of static and mobile agents
(WP3) aiming to access datastores, identify the most relevant data, collect and pre-process
them (aggregation, transformation, filtering and formation) before sending them to the
functional layer.
The most difficult problem addressed by the IDS is the creation of reports to those users
who and when they need them. As opposed to pushing static reports down to users via E-
mail, the IDS will allow more dynamic solutions to be built. For the creation of the IDS, a
repository with meta tags extracted from various sources will be created and the usage the
eXtensible Markup Language (XML), Knowledge Management and WEB Warehousing
techniques will be investigated.
   Task T5.2: Development of tools and interface
The next step concerns the development of a set of software tools along with the
appropriate Web interface. These tools allow Web users to submit ad-hoc queries to the
data repository. The retrieved data will be presented in several formats according to what
the users need to know. Knowledge management processing assisted by linguistic and
information filtering to govern data flows for the Information Delivery System (IDS) will
highlight the relative information.
Due to the rapid changes in Web technology, the project will therefore architect the IDS as
a massively distributed system able to take advantage of emerging standards without being
tied to specific platforms, operating systems, or middleware products. The challenge then
shifts from trying to second-guess Web technology addressing issues of rigorous software
engineering and quality assurance when the architecture is open, self-organizing,
evolutionary, and asynchronous. This set of tools will provide up-to-the-second and
delayed information on Electronic Markets. The user will be able to monitor intraday
trading activities and carry out statistical analysis on indices and indicators. In addition,
he/she will be able to perform in-depth analysis on individual E-Commerce sites, create
custom tables, and view other analytic displays using the statistical repository.
The IDS will be accessible through a standard browser such as Internet Explorer or
Netscape. The IDS will be fully developed and managed through JAVA programming
language allowing for dynamic (continuous) updates, either real-time or on a delayed
basis. The Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) will allow the user to set queries to the
database management system through a friendly environment, accessible to non-experts.


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The central navigation strategy that will be used for the IDS will combine a consistent
information delivery environment across multiple data sources and repositories with
hypertext navigation that employs links generated automatically by the system. Statistical
data of WP2 can be inserted into desktop analytic tools, such as expert systems,
spreadsheets, forecasting models, graphic, word processors, and so on.




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          9.2. Work-package list
Work-         Workpackage title                      Lead          Person-     Start      End        Phase       Deliverable
package                                              contractor           4          5          6    7              8
                                                                   months      month      month                  No
   2                                                    3
No                                                   No

 WP0          Project Management                          1           15         M0         M23                  D0.1–D0.5
 WP1          Elaboration of a Business Model             4           20         M0         M5                   D1.1-D1.3
              for E-Commerce
 WP2          Development of a System of                  3           31         M4         M13                  D2.1-D2.3
              Indicators for E-Commerce
 WP3          Development of Intelligent Agents           1           29         M8         M18                  D3.1-D3.3
              for Data Collection
 WP4          Pilot and Validation Phase                  3           16         M19        M23                      D4
 WP5          Information Delivery System                 1           25         M18        M23                  D5.1-D5.2
 WP6          Dissemination Plan                          2           10         M0         M23                  D6.1-D6.4
              TOTAL                                                  146




          2
            Workpackage number: WP 1 – WP n.
          3
            Number of the contractor leading the work in this workpackage.
          4
            The total number of person-months allocated to each workpackage.
          5
            Relative start date for the work in the specific workpackages, month 0 marking the start of the
          project, and all other start dates being relative to this start date.
          6
            Relative end date, month 0 marking the start of the project, and all end dates being relative to this
          start date.
          7
            Only for combined research and demonstration projects: Please indicate R for research and D for
          demonstration.
          8
            Deliverable number: Number for the deliverable(s)/result(s) mentioned in the workpackage: D1-
          Dn.

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       9.3. Work-package descriptions
Workpackage number :                 WP0 – Project Management
Start date or starting event:         M0
Participant number:                     1        2         3         4
Person-months per participant:          12       1         1         1


Objectives
1. Scientific / Research Co-ordination and Progress Monitoring
2. Administrative and Financial Co-ordination, Administrative Support and Resource Allocation Monitoring


Description of work
Scientific / Research Co-ordination and Progress Monitoring and Administrative and Financial Co-
ordination are in the responsibility of participant No 1, with the active participation of all other participants.
This will be achieved through the establishment of a management structure and well-defined communication
and reporting procedures, as described in section C5. Participant No 1 will also provide to the consortium all
the necessary administrative and accounting support.
The work consists of the following tasks:
T0.1 – Preparatory Work (participant No 1): Set-up of document control system, norms, minutes and
reports and documents templates etc. Organisation of the Project Secretariat. Detailed work-plan definition.
T0.2 – Project set-up. It includes: Composition of the Project Steering Committee (PSC), composed of the
Project Manager (PM, representing participant No1), the authorised representatives of the partners (RPs),
and the two representatives who will act as assistants to the PM responsible for dissemination and quality
assurance respectively. Set-up of the Technical Committee (TC) consisting of the PM and the Work Package
leaders (may be different than the representatives). Appointment of the Project Team for each specific WP.
T0.3 –Meetings. Organised by part. No.1. PSC meetings every three months. (Assessment of progress
achieved, corrective actions, plan for next period). TC Meetings every two months, with the participation of
WP Leaders of WPs in progress only (Technical collaboration, resolution of technical problems etc.). Ad hoc
TC working meetings.
T0.4 – Set-up of the project’s intranet. (Part. No1) Set-up of a restricted access web-site, including
management documentation, document templates and guidelines, project news, internal mailing list etc.
T0.5 – Mid-term Reviews, Final Review, reporting to the Commission. (part No1)


Deliverables
D0.1 Project Management Documentation (Procedures guidelines, document templates etc.)
D0.2      Project set-up meeting minutes, report and supporting documentation
D0.3.x PSC and TC meetings minutes.
D0.4      Project Intranet
D0.5.x Commission required management reports, cost statements etc.
D0.6      Risk management report


Milestones and expected result
D11    Mid term review report         D12 Final review report




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Workpackage number :                 WP1 - Elaboration of a Business Model for E-Commerce
Start date or starting event:        M0
Participant number:                    1       2          3        4
Person-months per participant:                 5                  15


Objectives: The main objectiveof this work package is the elaboration of a detailed, formal reference model
for Electronic Commerce, which will serve as the methodological framework of the whole project, and as the
basic input for following work packages.


Description of work
Task 1.1: Litterature Survey – Comparative Model Assessment.This task concerns a thorough research,
compilation and comparative assessment of the several models and definitions that have already been
proposed for retail e-commerce.
Task 1.2: Identification of enablers. Through a series of in depth analyses of selected case studies (either
“live” or through publications) all the respective e-commerce “enablers” (ICT, actors and agents, etc.)
involved in the electronic value chain processes, as well as the interdependencies among them will be
identified.
Task 1.3: E-commerce reference model. Based on the results of the two previous tasks, a detailed reference
model will be elaborated. Apart from being used to describe E-Commerce in a formal structured way, as well
as being latter used as a basis for interpreting the indicators that will be developed, the model will provide
the basic input for the design of the indicator system.
Task 1.4: The estimation of the size, along with some other parameters of interest for the population under
study can be implemented without complete enumeration, by using multiple recapture censuses.




Deliverables
D1.1: Identification of required metrics and indicators
D1.2: E-Commerce Reference Model
D1.3: Generalised linear model for capture-recapture


Milestones and expected result
 M1.1: E-Commerce Reference Model, including classification schemes and definitions




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Workpackage number :                 WP2 – Development of a System of Indicators for E-Commerce
Start date or starting event:        M4
Participant number:                     1       2         3         4
Person-months per participant:                  6        15        10


Objectives: The primary objective of this work package is the design, detailed specification and
documentation of a complete system of statistical indicators for consumer oriented electronic commerce.




Description of work
Task 2.1: Search for existing indicators. A basic study will be elaborated with the aim to identify and
collect existing advancments in the field of new indicators for e-commerece, developed and used worldwide.
Task 2.2: Development of new indicators. The critical assessment of statistical indicators collected in
Task 2.1. as well as the development of a set of new statistical indicators, “fully compatible” with the
requirements of WP1.
Task 2.3: Evaluation of indicators. The statistical methodology and relevant software tools for the
calculation and validation of these indicators will have to deal with emerging problems.
Task 2.4: Indicator Interpretation Methodology. The development of a sound methodology, which
will assist the final users of the systems (i.e. the information consumers – policy and decision makers) to
correctly interpret the observed indicator values and trends.




Deliverables
D.2.1: Structured repository of statistical indicators used for e-commerce.
D.2.2: The set of new indicators
D.2.3: A report on the evaluation of indicators and interpretation methodology


Milestones and expected result
M.2.1: The set of new indicators along with their evaluation




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Workpackage number :                 WP3 – Development of Intelligent Agents for Data Collection
Start date or starting event:        M8
Participant number:                  1        2        3          4
Person-months per participant:       24       2                   3


Objectives: The objective of WP3 is to design and develop an automatic process, which will collect
all the necessary data form active E-commerce system, using intelligent agents (or questionnaires
for additional data) and then will automatically preprocess the collected data towards the final
statistical process.

Description of work
Task 3.1 : Definition of prototype survey system requirements
The first task of WP3 is to define the elementary data required for the prototype survey system.
Task.3.2: Implementation of data retrieval and preprocessing software modules
A set of software modules that will assist the data processing towards the calculation of the
statistical indicators will be implemented.
Task.3.3: Design and implementation of intelligent agents for the automatic collection of E-commerce
Data. Intelligent agents will carry out the collection of the required E-commerce data. At this task the
intelligent agents will be designed and implemented. This includes:
 Specification of the intelligent agents functionality based on the data of D.3.1
   Design and implementation of the agent-based data collection system.
Task.3.4: Electronically submitted questionnaire
In this task an electronically submitted questionnaire will be defined and implemented. The content of the
questionnaire will be based to the elementary data specified in D3.1 and will cover information that can not
be collected by the agents. The questionnaire will be submitted in such way that the security of the
information will be guaranteed.


Deliverables
D.3.1: Definition of architecture for automatic data collection
D.3.2: Design and Implementation of pre-processing software modules
D.3.3: Implementation of intelligent agent software


Milestones and expected result
M 3.1: Architecture of software modules
M.3.2: Implementation of software modules for the retrieval and preprocessing of the collected data.
M.3.3: Design and implementation of the agent-based data collection system




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Workpackage number :                  WP4 – Pilot and Validation Phase
Start date or starting event:         M19
Participant number:                     1        2          3        4
Person-months per participant:          1        5          7        3


Objectives: Data collection of different sources and types by utilizing methodologies and tools developed in
previous WPs of the project.


Description of work
Task 4.1 Pilot installation of on-line survey S/W. The sampling scheme will try to capture a lot of
available demographic information. This effort is compay with our main interest of testing the e-commerce
reference model, and analysing the behavior of the statistical units, i.e. enterprises and/or households. The
sample scheme will be designed by taking into account the results of Task 1.4 as well as available surveys.
Task 4.2: Pilot installation of on-line transactions S/W. The implementation of methodology and tools
developed earlier in the project aiming at the data collection through transactions from a selected group of
users
Task 4.3: Pilot installation of intelligent agent S/W. The implementation of methodology and tools
developed earlier in the project aiming at the data collection across internet sites using intelligent agents




Deliverables
D4 Software system validation and assessment report


Milestones and expected result
Pilot test of methodologies and tools and data collection




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Workpackage number :                 WP5 – Information Delivery System
Start date or starting event:        M18
Participant number:                    1        2         3         4
Person-months per participant:         12       5                   8


Objectives: The purpose of this work-package is to provide an advanced Web delivery, which will be used
as a tool for dynamic data retrieval and presentation of new indicators by different user groups (individuals,
companies, governmental agencies, etc.).


Description of work
Task 5.1: Repository design and development. The requirement analysis, along with the design and
development of the statistical repository that will manage the storage and retrieval of collected data, which is
the most critical part for the creation of a functional and user-friendly Web site.
Task 5.2: Development of tools and interface. A set of software tools along with the appropriate
Web interface will be developed. These tools will allow users on the Web to request ad-hoc queries
from the statistical repository, which can then be presented according to the output option specified
(time series analysis, summary statistics and graphs, etc.).




Deliverables
D5.1: Repository analysis and design
D5.2: Tools and Interface of the Web delivery platform


Milestones and expected result
M5.1: Web delivery platform




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Workpackage number :               WP6 – Dissemination Plan
Start date or starting event:       M0
Participant number:                   1         2         3         4
Person-months per participant:        1         5         2         2


Objectives
1. Dissemination of the project results to the potential e-commerce users
2. Dissemination of the project results to the official statistics community
3. Dissemination to the information technology academics and professionals


Description of work
The major part of the organisation and implementation of WP6 is in the responsibility of participant No.2
with the collaboration of other participants for the hosting of specific events etc. The assistant to the project
manager responsible for dissemination will be a representative of part. No.2. A detailed analysis of the
dissemination plan is provided in section C8. The work can be outlined in the following tasks:
Task 6.1 – Formulation and Implementation of the Dissemination Strategy (part.No.2). Preparation of a
detailed document and activities plan and approval by the PSC. Monitoring of the implementation and
revision of the document (at PSC meetings).
Task 6.2 – Institution of the User Group. (part.No.2). Identification of potential participants.
Establishment of communication channels (mailing list, questionnaires). Organisation of a major set-up
event. Set-up of the User Group web site.
Task 6.3,4,5 – Dissemination Activities (Phases I,II,III). Include:
- Organisation of User Group Events (at least three major events, after each phase)
- Organisation of local information days (hosted by different participants).
- Production of supporting material.
- Scientific Publications (incl. ROS)
- Participation in Seminars and Conferences (NTTS etc.)
- Maintenance and update of the User Group Web Site.



Deliverables
D6.1: Set up of the ERMIS user group
D6.2.x: Dissemination events 1, 2, 3
D6.3: Mid term review report
D6.4.x: Final review report


Milestones and expected result
M6.1:         Set-up of the User Group
M6.2.x:       User Group Event 1, 2 and 3




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          9.4. Deliverables list


                                                     Deliverables list



Del.       Deliverable name                          WP      Lead         Estimated     Del.       Security       Delivery
no.                                                  no.     particip-    person-       Type*      **             (proj. month)
                                                             ant          months
D 0.1      Project Management Documentation          WP0      NTUA            0,5         Rep.         Int.        M0,M12,M23
D 0.2      Project set-up meeting minutes, report    WP0      NTUA            0,2         Rep.         Int.            M0
           and supporting documentation
D 0.3.x    PSC and TC meetings minutes               WP0       NTUA           0,2         Rep.         Int.        M0,M12,M23
D 0.4      Project Intranet                          WP0       NTUA            2          Dem.         Int.            M2
D 0.5.x    Commission required management            WP0       NTUA           0,3         Rep.         Int.        M0,M12,M23
           reports, cost statements etc.
D0.6       Risk management report                    WP0       NTUA           0,5         Rep.         Int.             M1
D 1.1      Identification of required metrics and    WP1       LSSA            4          Spec.        Pub.             M2
           indicators
D 1.2      E-Commerce Reference Model                WP1       LSSA           12          Rep.         Pub.             M5
D 1.3      Generalised linear model for capture      WP1       LSSA           6           Rep.         Pub.             M5
           – recapture
D 2.1      Structured repository of statistical      WP2        DMS            4          Spec.        Pub.             M7
           indicators used for e – commerce
D 2.2      The set of new indicators                 WP2        DMS           8           Rep.         Pub.            M13
D 2.3      A report on the evaluation of             WP2        DMS           10          Rep.         Pub.            M13
           indicators and interpretation
           methodology
D 3.1      Definition of the architecture for        WP3       NTUA            4          Spec.        Pub.            M10
           automatic data collection
D 3.2      Design and implementation of pre-         WP3       NTUA           14          Prot.        Pub.            M16
           processing S/W modules
D 3.3      Implementation of Intelligent Agent       WP3       NTUA           10          Prot.        Pub.            M18
           software
D4         S/W system validation and                 WP4        DMS            8          Rep.         Pub.            M23
           assessment report
D 5.1      Repository Analysis and design            WP5       NTUA           5           Spec.        Pub.            M19
D 5.2      Tools and interface of the web            WP5       NTUA           16          Prot.        Pub.            M23
           delivery platform
D 6.1      Set up of the ERMIS User Group            WP6      CESAG            1         Dem.          Pub.            M2
D 6.2.x    Dissemination Events 1, 2, 3              WP6      CESAG           0,5        Conf.         Pub.        M7,M15,M23
D 6.3      Mid term review report                    WP6      NTUA            0,5        Rep.          Int.           M11
D 6.4.x    Final review report                       WP6      NTUA            0,5        Rep.          Int.           M23


          * A short, self-evident description e.g. report, demonstration, conference, specification, prototype…
          **Int.   Internal circulation within project (and Commission Project Officer if requested)
           Rest.   Restricted circulation list (specify in footnote) and Commission PO only
           IST     Circulation within IST Programme participants
           FP5     Circulation within Framework Programme participants
           Pub.    Public document



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9.5. Project planning and timetable
GANTT Chart




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9.6. Graphical presentation of project components


PERT Diagram




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9.7. Project Management
Management and Decision Making Structures
The envisaged management structure is layered on three levels: (i) the Decision-Making
and Project Administration level; (ii) the Technical Co-ordination level and (iii) the
Implementation level. The structure is based on the following bodies-roles:
The Project Steering Committee (PSC) is composed of:
   The Project Manager (PM) who also chairs the PSC, has the general responsibility
    for the organisation, planning and control of the project. He is the main contact person
    with the Commission officials and any third organisations and he ensures the punctual
    delivery of project deliverables.
 The Representatives of the Partners are appointed by each partner and are authorised
    to commit and negotiate on behalf of their organisation. They are responsible for the
    submission of financial and administrative data (reports) and the availability of
    adequate resources.
The PSC meets at three-month intervals to examine technical and administrative issues
regarding the project's course. Ad-hoc meetings are arranged in cases of urgent or
unexpected issues. A basic responsibility of the PSC is the handling of probable conflicts
or differentiations among the workgroups regarding technical options or operational
tactics.
Two assistants to the Project Manager, responsible for the implementation and
monitoring of the Dissemination and Quality Assurance strategies respectively, will be
nominated among the representatives of the partners.
The Project Secretariat (PS) is responsible for the efficient administration of the project,
under the supervision of the PM. The task of the PS is the provision of all the necessary
secretarial, administrative and accounting support.
The Technical Committee (TC) is composed of:
   The Project Manager, who chairs the TC and has the technical responsibility for the
    organisation and implementation of the project plan.
   The Work Package Leaders (WPL) who are responsible for the detailed co-
    ordination and execution of their allocated Work Package and arrange work package
    meetings and report progress to the PM at monthly intervals in written reports.
   Specialists and Experts from taking part in the work packages.
The TC's members meet at two-month intervals and review the technical progress or
difficulties met during the course of the project. The agenda of these meetings is
composed by the PM. The TC members may also arrange for extra meetings in cases of
urgent or unexpected issues.
The Project Team (PT) implements the project in Work Package segments under the
supervision of the corresponding Work Package Leaders.
Management procedures and Communication Flow
Meetings. In regard to their scope and the level of issues to be solved, project meetings
are divided into two categories:
   Management and co-ordination meetings of the PSC and the TC are held to verify
    work progress, to keep the project on track and to decide on necessary corrective
    actions. They should also provide information for the co-ordination of the various
    Work Packages and locate deviations, problems etc.


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   Working meetings aim at solving technical problems related to specific tasks and are
    held by the TC and among persons mainly involved in technical work.
Information flow generally concerns:
 Working papers containing data of technical nature referring to the description and
    results of specific technical activities of a phase, workpackage, task etc.
 Management papers with administrative data. These include control reports, cost
    statements and all other reports which must be submitted to the Commission
    according to contract procedures, as well as Deliverables Reports according to the
    project’s time plan.
 The project’s Intranet (i.e. a restricted-access web-site) including a document
    repository, administrative mailing list etc.
Quality Assurance and Risk Management
The Assistant Project Manager responsible for Quality Assurance will draft a quality
assurance plan in the early stages of the project. This plan will be reviewed and approved
by the PSC, and will be operative during the project. This plan will cover the following:
   methods, norms and project success metrics;
   document control system, standards and conventions for documentation;
   methods to maintain and document controlled versions of the products;
   standards to assure the quality of the result software products
During the project, the PSC will identify the factors that are critical to the final success of
the project and control these factors. For this purpose, the board will define methods and
procedures to identify, assess, monitor and control areas of risk
Legal Issues
Intellectual property rights concerning project results will be accommodated through a
consortium agreement defining the rights of each partner to specific products of the
project. The project has a stated policy for encouragement of the participation of women
in its activities. This issue has already been taken into account throughout the
establishment of the various project teams. Moreover, because of the lack of a detailed
legal framework for e-commerce, special attention will be given to issues related to the
privacy and anonymity of sources providing the data necessary for the generation of
indicators, as analysed in sections 6.2 and 7.3
Risks Involved
The innovative character of the project and its association with the complex issue of e-
commerce measurement, apart from having a challenging scientific content and a
significant business potential, seems to involve certain factors that can impede its smooth
implementation. The Consortium has already identified such constraints and works upon
the development of back-up solutions for surpassing them. A considerable obstacle can be
the reluctance of consumers against using the developed software plug-in. In this
direction, the Consortium is committed to take all the necessary precautions for protecting
the anonymity of collected data, as described in section 7.3. The demonstration of this
policy will be among the key objectives of the dissemination events organised throughout
the project. As a back-up solution for safeguarding the creation of a critical mass of
consumers, partners envisage the establishment of a direct contact with Internet service
providers. Co-operation with such companies can clearly stimulate the awareness of
individuals and can further promote the usage of the developed plug-in from consumers
performing e-commerce transactions.

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In addition, the Consortium is examining ways for the enrichment of the existing pool of
company contacts, through the attraction of enterprises from various retail sectors across
the European Union. In this direction, the dissemination events of the project will target
not only companies that have an established communication channel with CESAG, but
also Chambers of commerce that can act as further promotes of the ERMIS project to
commercial companies in their countries. Likewise, Liaison Systems will take advantage
of the stock of contacts obtained with several Greek, French, German, UK and Italian
companies during the implementation of the “E-commerce and Statistics” project
(SUP.COM 1998, Eurostat). It is also expected that the services of the European
Commission will provide the necessary administrative information for European
enterprises that are likely to be involved in the testing of the developed software tools.
All the alternative scenarios regarding the difficulties that may arise during the project will
be analysed in a “Risk Management report”, which is a formal deliverable of the project
(D0.6)




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10. CLUSTERING
The examination of synergies that build upon the results of previous and on-going projects
on e-commerce is considered as very important, since it can further stimulate research in
the field and can also increase the coherence and the business potential of the outcome of
the ERMIS project. The Consortium is strongly interested in looking for co-operation and
exchange of ideas with clusters of e-commerce projects in the following topics:
   Technologies (security and privacy, encryption, intelligent systems, portals, wireless
    communication, etc.)
   Integrated solutions (E-commerce consulting, knowledge management, logistics, etc.)
   Socio-economic impact (legal, social, economic, policy making, etc.)
   Technology transfer (dissemination of best practices, regional development,
    entrepreneurship, etc.)
Regarding the existing results on socio-economic research, there is already a strong base
of 10 projects already materialised under the 4th Framework program. In terms of existing
research, among the 84 RTD projects of the IST program 34 have at least one work-
package dedicated to economic, legal, social, or policy-related research necessary to guide
and optimise the impact of the project. Among them, 18 are performing economic
research, 9 legal, 3 social and 4 make explicit contribution to EU policy developments.
Apart from IST research projects, there is also a number of Accompanying measures that
have been selected in 1999, which focus on the social, economic and legal implications of
e-commerce. Such projects can provide useful contributions during the implementation
phase of ERMIS. Valuable assistance is also expected from the Information Society
Forum, supported from DG III of the European Commission regarding employment and e-
commerce developments.
Interaction with all these categories of “complementors” can be established through the
participation of the project team in key conferences and events organised under the
umbrella of the IST program (e.g. the “Annual conference and Exhibition of K.A. II” in
Madrid, the “IST 2000” conference in France, etc.). Contractors in projects that are closely
related with the objectives of ERMIS will be also asked to participate in several of the
dissemination events organised by our Consortium. Moreover, the Intranet that will be
created for the purposes of the project will act as an additional communication means for
the exchange of ideas and for networking with other projects on e-commerce.




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11. APPENDIX A – Consortium Description
In order to cover the multi-faceted nature of the proposed project, the co-ordinated
contribution of complementary multidisciplinary expertise is required, in fields such as:
Official Statistics, Statistical methodology, Mathematics, Business modelling, Information
systems, Software development, WEB applications & New Technologies. The consortium
structure, briefly summarized here, as well as the work distribution among the partners,
fully reflects this need for multidisciplinary synergy.
National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). The Telecommunications Laboratory
of NTUA has developed considerable knowledge and experience, among others, in
encryption systems and technologies for e-commerce applications, design tools and
methods for telecommunications systems and services, hardware protocol implementation
and testing, statistical methodologies and software development. In the framework of the
proposed project, NTUA will undertake the critical task of the software based on
intelligent agents development and testing, as well as part of the web site development.
Also, having considerable experience in the fields of Technology Consulting and Project
Management Services, has been appointed in charge for the Financial–Administrative Co-
ordination of the project. All partners will contribute to the dissemination activities from
their prospective point of view.
CESAG, the Centre of Studies for Applied Management Sciences of the Robert Schuman
University, focus on knowledge creation and observation of socio-economic reality
through studies and practices on international management, European integration, new
economy, globalisation and multicultural society, industrial economics, MIS, etc. It has
established a close and fruitful cooperation between companies and academia through a
number of dissemination and program organization activities. SESAG will contribute to
the business model of e-commerce, the interpretation of indicators as well as the
organization of the pilot study with its group of cooperative companies.
The University of Naples, dept. of Mathematics and Statistics (DMS), is a leading
Academic Institution in the area of New Techniques and Technologies in Official
Statistics (host institute of NTTS’98) with also considerable expertise in classical
statistical methodologies (multivariate analysis, multi-dimentional data analysis). DMS
will undertake the assessment of the target population through sample base research, and
will have a major contribution to the calculation and evaluation of the new indicators
using statistical methods and techniques.
Liaison Systems S.A., has acquired expertise in statistical methodologies in official
statistics (data validation, meta-data, data integration), e-commerce and statistics, as well
as WEB applications. The permanent scientific group, which will be involved in the
project includes, among others, scientists with high level research in model sampling
techniques (capture- recapture), new techniques in official statistics and perspective and
strategic analysis of digital economy. LSSA will contribute to the analysis and definition
of the business model, the capture recapture model, the calculation and evaluation of
indicators and the statistical web site development.




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The National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)
The National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) is the oldest and most prestigious
technical University of Greece. It was founded in 1837 and has since then been
contributing in the progress of the engineering science in Greece, through the education of
young engineers and its multi-faceted research and development activities. The University
consists of seven departments, each one covering a different aspect of the engineering
field. During the last decade, NTUA has fostered extensive R&D activities in numerous
fields, with all departments contributing to the evolution of new theories, the development
of technologies and implementation of solutions for problems related to the engineering
science. The achievements realised so far highlight the contribution of the Division of
Computer Science (DCS) within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of
NTUA as the leader in this R&D boost.
Being the most research active department in NTUA, the Division of Computer Science
incorporates 23 laboratories and study groups, which are currently involved in more than
60 national and international scale research and development projects.
The Telecommunications Laboratory employs 20 members with Ph.D. degree in the areas
of information and communication technologies and supervises postgraduate research
work of more than 100 highly qualified graduate engineers. The group is entirely devoted
to research activities and its members have extensive theoretical and computational
experience in the fields of communication network design and management, protocol
verification and simulation, OSI architecture, analysis and performance evaluation,
software development, Internet applications, distributed database design and management,
ISDN, IBCN, LANs, WANS, mobile and personal communications, etc. The main
international projects that the Telecommunications Labaratory has participate are the
following:
   Race: Advance, ATMOSPHERIC, Technology for ATD, NETMAN, MOBILE, CSF.
   ESPRIT: BWN 73, MANTIS, ARCHON, DOMAINS, MAXI, M-CUBE.
   BRITE/EURAM: ODT, FANSTIC II, IMAGES 2000.
   EURET: EURATN, AEGIS.
   TELEMATICS: SAPIENS, UCAMS, MANDATE,PIPER, RAINBOW II, BIRD.
    ACTS: DOLMEN, VITAL, STORMS, COBUCO, EXODUS, INSIGNIA, NICE,
    ATHOC, MISA, AMUSE, WATT, ABROSE, ABS.
   INFO2000: KID's TV MINE.
   CTS-3: Network Management

The major areas of interest for the Telecommunications Laboratory of NTUA include:
 Multi-media services.
 Information servers and platforms for Internet applications.
 O-O, distributed databases.
 Network management architectures and platforms.
 Encryption systems and technologies for e-commerce applications.
 Design tools and methods for telecommunications systems and services.
 R&D of open system platforms.
 Design and development of interfaces for heterogeneous system communication.
 Statistical methodologies and software development.



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Professor Eleftherios Kayafas has acquired a Bachelor of Science, Physics attending the
University of Athens, Greece in 1970. In 1975 he finished the Master of Science,
Electronic Control Engineering, University of Salford in England. He has received Doctor
of Philosophy, Electrical Engineering in the University of Salford, England n 1978. His
Expertise and Research activities include: Theoretical and applied electronics,
microprocessor systems and control, signal processing techniques and applications, Man-
Machine interface, multimedia presentation systems and CAD Tools. He has also
published 62 publications in scientific journals, national and international symposia.
Associate Professor Vassili Loumos received his Doctor of Philosophy Diploma in
Computer Science from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 1988. He
has also attended the University of Orleans in France in 1976 to obtain the Diplome d'
Etudes Approfondies in Plasma Physics. In 1975 he received the Electrical Engineering
Diploma, National Technical University of Athens in Greece. His Expertise and Research
activities include Distributed Multimedia Systems in Medicine and Administration,
Intelligent Multimedia Communication systems. Some of the projects that he has
participate are the following: ESPRIT/OMI-Dis, ESPRIT/OMI-Newspad, STRIDE/Sapfo,
MED-URB/DirDem, Human Capital, ACTS/AMUSE, CTS/ VITAL, INFO2000/Kids'
TV. He has published more than 50 papers in International Journals and Conference
Proceedings




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Centre of Studies for Applied Management Sciences (CESAG)
CESAG created in 1980 by Professor Sabine URBAN and it is part of the Robert
Schuman University and IECSM Strasbourg. Every year, it welcomes students studying
for a doctorate in management sciences, final year IECS students preparing their
compulsory dissertation, IEP students (political science), Masters level students following
the DESS in International Business (Strasbourg), students preparing their Masters by
research (DEA) in Management Science or European Service Sector Markets as well as
young colleagues preparing for recruitment or promotion examinations.
CESAG's specialist areas of study are the following:
 Companies internationalization strategies
   Globalization and multicultural society
   International management
   European integration
   Industrial economics, macro and micro-economics policies
   Management of information systems and new technology
CESAG's tries for dissemination of knowledge and programme organization are the
following:
 Local: studies on the impact of international institutions in Strasbourg, on the role of
  sport in the city, on cross-border dynamics e.t.c.
 European: a series of seven volumes on European integration which have appeared
  since 1994 in trilingual editions published by Gabler, Wiesbaden Germany
  organization of conferences and round table discussions, participation in meetings,
  symposiums, international conferences, teaching at universities abroad, welcoming
  visiting professors.
CESAG's work has been published in the following editions: Litec, Gabler, PUF, Basil
Black Well, Verlag Otto Schmidt, Verlag Bcck, Pergamon, de Boeck-Universite,
Economica, Editions Complexe, Hatier, Lla Decoyverte, as well as in refereed scientific
journals in France, Germany, Italy, England and Canada. Since 1997 CESAG has been
setting up a watchdog organization for medium sized European companies, with the
participation of the European Commission (FSE, ADAPT programme).
CESAG as was created as an integral part of IECS, it has the benefit for logistical support
from the establishment (office space, operational and communications facilities,
reprographic materials, computer equipment, libraries, resource centers). The number and
background of participants in the different programmes varies according the contracts to
be carried out. CESAG has the allowance from the Ministry of Education and Scientific
Research, grants from local and regional organizations and contract income. It manages
study or research contracts regularly agreed with directors from organizations such as the
Industry Ministry, the Economic Advisory committee, the European Union and
Manufacturing or service enterprises.
The current programmes which group studies carry out, are the following:
 Strategic alliances and international partnerships
 Strategies of adaptation and development of medium-sized companies in Europe
 Globalization and multicultural society
 Development of new information and communication technology and multimedia
  programmes.

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Professor Sabine Urban: She is professor of management at Robert Schuman university
of Strasbourg. As director of CESAG, she collaborates with several enterprises and
international research centers. She is also author and editor of several articles and books in
the field of business economics and management. Head of department of economics and
business policy in Robert Schuman School of Management, she gives lectures in strategic
management and international business. Also, she has participated in many meetings that
concern business economics and management. Furthermore, she has taken part in a large
number of international projects.
Professor Gilles Lambert: He is professor at Robert Schuman university of Strasbourg.
He has a longstanding experience in teaching corporate finance and innovation. Involved
in several research projects in CESAG and BETA, his research activity is focused on
issues related to innovation process, strategic decision making and quality management.
He is also the author of several research studies and articles in management. Furthermore,
he is member in many international institutes and he collaborates with several
international centres as he has participated in many international research programmes.
Babac Mchmanpzir: He is associated professor of management at Robert Schuman
University, and held a P.h.D. in economics from Louis Pastcur university of Strasbourg.
As a member of CESAG and associated researcher at BETA, he participates to research
projects related to knowledge management and strategic conducts of globalized and small
and medium sized firms. He has in charge several courses in strategic management and
industrial organization. He is also author of articles in corporate strategy and
organization.




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Dipartmento di Matematica e Statistica (DMS), Univ. di Napoli
The Department of Mathematics & Statistics is one of the most known universities in Italy
and every year welcomes students to study Mathematics and Statistic. It has a large
number of secretariat and an excellent system.
The main laboratory of the Department qualifies many researchers and a large number of
his postgratuated studies. As well as, they have participated in many international statistic
projects and they have collaborated with international institutions and universities in order
to have better results. Furthermore, every year publish several papers describing their
work. Also, they have offered their services and have collabor6ated with National
Statistical Service of Italy.
The department operates three PhD courses at the moment: Computational Statistics and
Applications, Financial Sciences for the Firm, and Methods for Analysis in Economics
and Finance. DMS infrastructure consists of a wide library (about 20.000 volumes, 150
journals in statistics mathematics and computing) and 2 computing laboratories (45 pc's, 5
graphic workstations and 4 servers). DMS consists of 25 professors and researchers, 15
technicians and administrative employees, 24 PhD students.
The department of Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Naples has been involved in several
research activities related to Multidimensional Data Analysis, Three-way matrix analysis,
Time and Spatial data analysis, Computational Statistics, Forecasting and Decision-
Making, and Multivariate Methods. Involvement in similar projects: DMS is the principal
contractor in the Esprit programme TESS, which aims at developing an automatic system
for time-series analysis and forecasting.


Prof. N. Carlo Lauro, is a full Professor of Statistics since 1984 at the University of
Naples 'Federico II' and a former director of DMS. Nowadays, he is director of the Ph.D.
course on Computational Statistics. His research activities are related to factorial analysis,
analysis of longitudinal data, cluster analysis, Computational Statistics, statistical
databases. He holds several memberships and he is a member in various Editorial Boards
(Journal of Classification, Applied Stochastic Models and Data Analysis, Computational
Statistics and Data Analysis and Research in Official Statistics). Moreover, he is a former
chairman in the Evaluation Committee of the DOSES Program. He has been a coordinator
in several national research units in ESPRIT projects (SODAS, ISO-3D, TESS).
Rosanna VERDE, is a graduate in Economics. She holds a Ph.D. degree in computational
statistics and a post-doctorate fellowship at DMS. From 1995 to 1998 she was a researcher
at the University of Napoli, and since 1998 she became an associate professor in Statistics.
She is a member of editorial board of the review "Statistica Applicata" (since 1990). Her
research activities include non-linear multidimensional data analysis, fuzzy clustering,
non-symmetrical discriminant analysis, multidimentional approach to preference data,
factorial symbolic data analysis, symbolic data visualization, symbolic object and
relational databases. She has participated in the following EU projects: SODAS (Symbolic
Official Data Analysis System, 1996-1999), ALFA Laboratorio Analisis Multidimensional
de DAtos (1997-1999).
Vincenzo Esposito, holds a graduate degree in Economics and a Ph.D. in Computational
Statistics at The University of Naples. He is also an assistant researcher in DMS. He is a
member of the Italian Statistical Society (SIS), of the International Association for
Statistical Computing (IASC) and of the American Statistical Association (ASA). He
provides consultancy services and lectures to companies on Quality Control, Process
Monitoring, Statistics for Market Analysis and Statistics for Tourism Marketing .He has


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lectured at several International Conferences such as GADM '95 in Naples, COMPSTAT
'96 in Barcelona, ASMDA '97 in Capri, IASC '97 and ARS '98 in Manila. He is a member
of research units in European ESPRIT projects (SODAS, ISO-3D, TESS) regarding
symbolic data analysis, data visualisation and time series analysis.




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Liaison Systems SA
Liaison Systems SA, Research and Development of Information Systems, concentrates its
professional and research activities in the information life cycle management, analysis and
dissemination based on advanced methodology and technology tools. LSSA has acquired
considerable experience in the management and implementation of projects, as well as, in
the execution of studies, mainly in the framework of European Commission funded
Programmes. The company has an established network of strategic long-term partnerships
with numerous academic and research institutes as well as important European companies.
The company’s know-how is based on a permanent group of skilled scientists and
engineers, experienced in the management of complex science & technology projects, as
well as, an extended network of collaborating experts, who contribute to specific projects
and tasks. LSSA experts are working closely with Eurostat and NSSG (National Statistical
Service of Greece) in the framework of various projects and services developing skills in
handling statistical data and acquiring significant experience in official statistics
environments.
The company’s products and services are related to all the phases of the information life
cycle, laying upon the following fundamental axes:
 Design and implementation of sampling techniques
 Design and development of data bases - Management of VLDB (Production,
  management and analysis of multidimensional tables, Metadata), Data Quality
 Electronic transfer of data, data security and confidentiality
 Statistical data analysis and development of stochastic models
 Dissemination activities and Internet services
 Multimedia productions and electronic publishing
Among the projects in official Statistics LSSA has undertaken, are included:
 Data Quality. Identification and classification of the different validation rules applied
  at different points of a data transmission process between member states and Eurostat.
  Design and development of a prototype validation system applied to the early stages of
  data transmission. Eurostat/A2.
  E-Commerce & Statistics. A survey that focuses on the appearance of new
   commercial tools over the Internet, and their impact on the way of doing business
   among EU countries (Eurostat/D1). In particular, this study examines the role of e-
   commerce in the competitiveness of companies through the exploration of factors
   related to risk/decision making/technical/human. The focus of the project is the retail
   sector (business to consumer transactions), with major emphasis in aspects related to:
   e-commerce and business strategy; competitive advantages; investments in new
   technologies; facilities/infrastructure; job creation opportunities; Value added services
   offered. It is an initial step towards understanding basic principles in e-commerce,
   which will facilitate the development of meaningful indicators for the new economy.
 ADAPT – EMOS. The establishment of a European observatory for SMEs aiming at
  the annual data collection concerning the performance and the strategy of the
  enterprises. LSSA is responsible for Greece, by designing and evaluate a medium scale
  survey among the Greek large industrial companies.




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George Petrakos, born in Athens (1965), obtained his diploma in Mathematics, from the
University of Athens (1988). In 1990 he completed his Master of Science degree in
Applied Statistics and Information Systems in The George Washington University, Wash.
D.C., USA. In 1993 he was awarded with an honored Ph.D degree in Statistics from the
University of Wyoming, USA. Dr. Petrakos has an extensive teaching experience in basic
and advanced statistics courses. He has also made announcements in national and
international conferences and he is a member of several statistical societies. He has
established a close cooperation with Eurostat and NSSG providing high quality statistical
services in selected areas as Data Validation, Data Analysis, Electronic Data Transfer,
Metadata, Integration of data sources. Since the beginning of 1998, George Petrakos is
the General Director of Liaison Systems SA.
Gregory Farmakis born in 1968, obtained a Dipl.Eng. in Mechanical and Production
Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and worked as a researcher
at NTUA's Sector of Industrial Management and Operational Research in the area of
Object Oriented Analysis and Design of Production Monitoring Information Systems,
where he also participated in numerous research projects. He has collaborated with
consulting firms, mainly undertaking project design and management responsibilities of
several EU-funded projects mainly in the areas of Information Technology, Electronic
Commerce and Business Process re-engineering. From 1998 he is a Technology
Development Consultant and Project Manager at Liaison SA. and Researcher at the
Panteion University on Digital Economy Strategy and perspective analysis.
Dimitris Nikolakopoulos was born in Athens in 1970. He received his diploma in
Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. In 1997 he
completed his MBA studies at the Athens Laboratory of Business Administration (ALBA)
with honors. Mr. Nikolakopoulos has worked as a research assistant in the Department of
finance at ALBA, under the supervision of Prof. Nickolaos Travlos. He started his
professional experience as a consultant specialized in the area of Business Process
Reengineering (activity based costing and supply chain studies). He has also experience in
the area of Market Research. Currently he is working as a project manager in Liaison
Systems SA at research projects funded by Eurostat and the General Secretariat for
Research and Technology of Greece.




                                                                              Page 55 of 52

				
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