Buyer Decision Support Systems and Search Agents for Online Shopping: Research Results To Date

Project Sponsor:, General Motors Corporation

Barry G. Silverman, Principal Investigator
Univeristy of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Basil    @

The goal of this research is to study consumer decision making models, to analyze logfiles to determine obstacles to better shopping experiences,  to derive principles of design of shopping sites so they enhance rather than hinder the shopping experience, and to develop new classes of search technology that are consistent with the cognitive needs of consumers (need pull rather than tech push). One contribution of this research to date lies in its synthesis of the buyer decision theory literature and analysis of its shopping site design implications. Another contribution lies in the discovery and development of a dynamic programming solution to the natural language query problem such that the result is scalable and outperforms conceptual query technology currently available from commercial vendors. Both results have been fielded successfully in an actual market exchange website, and are examples of the importance of collaboration between behavioral and engineering disciplines.

Selected papers (see CV and publications for citations to these papers):