Four ISR faculty to research electronic markets for time-sensitive goods

Professor G. "Anand" Anandalingam (Robert H. Smith School of Business/ISR), Professor Michael Ball (Robert H. Smith School of Business/ISR), Professor V.S. Subrahmanian (CS/ISR) and ISR-affiliated Assistant Professor S. Raghavan (Robert H. Smith School of Business) are part of an eight-member University of Maryland team that has received a three-year, $2 million National Science Foundation grant to study electronic markets for "time-sensitive" goods. Professor Anandalingam is the principal investigator.

"Rapid Response Electronic Markets for Time-Sensitive Goods" will be conducted at the Center for Electronic Markets and Enterprises (CEME). Researchers will analyze a variety of e-markets with particular focus on those where buyers and sellers have little time to make decisions on finalizing the deal. Goods that fall into this "time-sensitive" category include tickets to sporting and entertainment events, airline tickets, hotel room reservations, and landing time slots at airports.

"Electronic markets are increasingly becoming an integral part of business, especially for the buying and selling of time-sensitive goods," said Anandalingam. "This research will significantly advance our understanding of these e-markets at a time when online sales post rapid gains, and as firms across the board work to develop strategies that will ensure their success in the electronic marketplace."

The NSF research project will include an investigation of e-marketplaces supported by the use of wireless technologies and will address the design of market structures and mechanisms for time-sensitive-goods, as well as the design of data delivery systems. Researchers alsowill study market software agents and conduct an empirical analysis of existing markets.

Online sales of consumer goods continue to increase at a significant pace, up 26 percent in July 2002 over the same month the previous year, according to comScore Networks Inc. The Internet research firm says total online sales (excluding auctions) totaled $6 billion in July, with sales of travel services up 32 percent and sales of computer hardware up 30 percent. Online business-to-business (B2B) activity is expected to surpass $6.3 trillion annually by 2005.

CEME provides scholars and business leaders with comprehensive insight on current and potential uses of electronic markets and enterprises. A key goal is to provide an understanding of why some of these enterprises succeed, while others fail.

Other University of Maryland faculty on the research team are Hank Lucas, Robert H. Smith Professor of Information Systems; Louiqa Raschid, professor of information systems, all members of the Robert H. Smith School of Business' Decision and Information Technologies department. The research team also includes Lawrence Ausubel and Peter Cramton from the University of Maryland's Department of Economics. Corporate collaborators include Avendra, GE Global Exchange, and IBM.

Published September 2, 2002