Editor's Note: Welcome to Issue 3.2
This issue starts off with an article by Pier Luca Lanzi and Alessandro Strada in which they study the results of the second Trading Agent Competition (TAC-01). Through statistical analysis of the public data available about the competition, Lanzi and Strada are able to show that the TAC game qualitatively (but not quantitatively) succeeds at differentiating among agent strategies.
The second article, by Indrajit and Inkdrakshi Ray, provides a survey of results in the study of fair exchange models. Fair exchange mechanisms provide a means by which two parties involved in a transaction can be sure that (a) either both parties get their due, or neither do, or (b) evidence is collected to prove which party violated the contract.
The paper by Srinivasan Jagannathan and Kevin Almeroth presents an overview of some of the issues related to pricing digital content on the Internet. It is well known that building a business model based on the delivery of digital content is challenging because the marginal cost of delivering to one more customer tends to zero.
Finally, Kah-Sing Chan presents a study of the usability of electronic storefronts. The study is based on an analysis of the navigational organization of the web site and survey data collected from web site users. The findings suggest that retailers have a long way to go towards adopting proven, usable designs for their sites.
Peter Wurman, Editor-in-Chief