Decision support on demand: Emerging electronic markets for decision technologies
Bhargava, Hemant K.
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For the individual or organization wishing to employ a scientific approach in solving decision problems, there is a plethora of relevant concepts, methods, models, and software. Yet, relative to their potential or to peer software such as database technologies, decision technologies are little used in real-world decision making. We argue that at least some of the problems that restrict the use of decision technologies are rooted in the use of conventional market mechanisms to distribute them. We propose the development of electronic markets for decision technologies, and explain how features of modem information networks offer a solution to these problems. We present a framework for comparing alternative electronic markets for decision technologies, survey and analyze several such emerging markets, and present some details on our own research initiative - DecisionNet. A distinctive feature of DecisionNet is that it consists of software agents that perform - at the market level - functions (such as user accounting, billing and setting up the interface to a decision technology) that would otherwise need to be developed for each consumer, provider, or technology.
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