Digital contract approach for consistent and predictable multimedia information delivery in electronic commerce

Prabhudev Konana, Alok Gupta, Andrew B. Whinston

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A pure "technological" solution to network quality problems is incomplete since any benefits from new technologies are offset by the demand from exponentially growing electronic commerce (e.g., multimedia services) and data-intensive applications. Since an economic paradigm is implicit in electronic commerce, we propose a "market-system" approach to improve quality of service. Quality of service for digital products takes on a different meaning since users view quality of service (e.g., price, delay, correctness, completeness) differently and value information differently. We propose a framework for electronic commerce that is based on an economic paradigm and mass-customization, and works as a wide-area distributed management system. In our framework, surrogate-servers act as intermediaries between information providers and end-users, and arrange for consistent and predictable information delivery through "digital contracts." These contracts are negotiated and priced based on economic principles. Surrogate servers pre-fetch, through replication, information from many different servers and consolidate based on demand expectations. In order to recognize users' requirements and process requests accordingly, real-time databases are central to our framework. We also propose that multimedia information be separated into slowly changing and rapidly changing data streams to improve response time requirements. Surrogate-servers perform the tasks of integration of these data streams that is transparent to end-users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 24 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventMultimedia Computing and Networking 1997 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Feb 8 1997Feb 14 1997

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1997 SPIE. All rights reserved.


  • Digital contracts
  • Economic paradigm
  • Electronic commerce
  • Multimedia
  • Real-time databases


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