Enabling global price comparison through semantic integration of web data

Hongwei Zhu, Stuart E. Madnick, Michael D. Siegel
2008 International Journal of Electronic Business  
Sell Globally" and "Shop Globally" have been seen as a potential benefit of web-enabled electronic business. One important step toward realizing this benefit is to know how things are selling in various parts of the world. A global price comparison service would address this need. But there have not been many such services. In this paper, we use a case study of global price dispersion to illustrate the need and the value of a global price comparison service. Then we identify and discuss several
more » ... and discuss several technology challenges, including semantic heterogeneity, in providing a global price comparison service. We propose a mediation architecture to address the semantic heterogeneity problem, and demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed architecture by implementing a prototype that enables global price comparison using data from web sources in several countries. Research. Dr. Madnick is the author or co-author of over 250 books, articles, or reports including the classic textbook, Operating Systems, and the book, The Dynamics of Software Development. His current research interests include connectivity among disparate distributed information systems, database technology, software project management, and the strategic use of information technology. He is presently co-Director of the PROductivity From Information Technology Initiative and co-Heads the Total Data Quality Management research program. He has been active in industry, as a key designer and developer of projects such as IBM's VM/370 operating system and Lockheed's DIALOG information retrieval system. He has served as a consultant to corporations, such as IBM, AT&T, and Citicorp. He has also been the founder or co-founder of high-tech firms, including Intercomp, Mitrol, and Cambridge Institute for Information Systems, iAggregate.com and currently operates a hotel in the 14th century Langley Castle in England. Dr. Madnick has degrees in Electrical Engineering (B.S. and M.S.), Management (M.S.), and Computer Science (Ph.D.) from MIT. He has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), University of Newcastle (England), Technion (Israel), and Victoria University (New Zealand). Michael Siegel is a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is currently the Director of the Financial Services Special Interest Group at the MIT Center For eBusiness. Dr. Siegel's research interests include the use of information technology in financial risk management and global financial systems, eBusiness and financial services, global ebusiness opportunities, financial account aggregation, ROI analysis for online financial applications, heterogeneous database systems, managing data semantics, query optimization, intelligent database systems, and learning in database systems. He has taught a range of courses including Database Systems and Information Technology for Financial Services. He currently leads a research team looking at issues in strategy, technology and application for eBusiness in Financial Services.
doi:10.1504/ijeb.2008.020672 fatcat:uwl6fhxurjez5go66375oxwfse