The University of Southampton

ECS researcher's computerised negotiating agents go commercial

Published: 6 August 2009

Computerised agents developed by an ECS academic which will negotiate the best online deals for buyers and sellers will be fully operational by the end of the year.

Aroxo, a new and unique marketplace that helps buyers and sellers for products and services to negotiate with each other, has appointed Professor Nick Jennings, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), as its Chief Scientific Officer.

Professor Jennings is now working with the company to provide computerised agents capable of entering into automated negotiations for buyers and sellers who use Aroxo.

'I am really excited about this since I have been saying for a long time that software agents will have a real place in our lives and now it’s really going to happen,’ said Professor Jennings. ‘These are algorithms that we have been working on in abstract for 20 years or so and now they are actually going to be used in commercial business on a large scale.’

According to Matt Rogers, Co-founder of Aroxo, the new automated system currently under development will provide the first two-way negotiation between buyer and seller online. Matt said: ‘It’s going to be a Credit Crunch Christmas, so we’re working really hard to help families make the most of what they have. Buyers using Aroxo will be able to get a great deal and make their money go further, and our sellers get to grow their business when others are suffering.’

According to Aroxo, people are haggling more and more in shops; buyers show the shop the online price for an item and ask the retailer to beat it.

‘At the moment, online retailers can’t compete with this because they can’t negotiate with buyers to help them make a sale. Our system will enable sellers to use computerised agents to negotiate on their behalf while they get on with other things,’ said Matt. ‘All of Aroxo’s sellers are based in the UK, so this is really helping British buyers and sellers.’

The developers will make this service available initially online with plans to go on to offer it through mobile platforms.

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453

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