As a practioning ECommerce Researcher, I was fascinated by some "formalism" that can be built around ecommerce systems. This paper provides a class of formal specifications on db states (and logs of actions therein) that can be used to support ecommerce systems. As an example, a system might want to ensure that the payment always precedes delivery, and more importantly, a third party might be interested in ensuring that the system did what it claimed to do (i.e. verify logs, and perform audit functions in general). As someone who has been focussed on ECommerce for some time now, I can assert that this is an important problem. I am not entirely convinced that the class of problems encountered in the real world (such as EBay) can be modeled simply, or whether we can derive any useful results for them. However, this paper is a step in the right direction, even for a non-theory person like me. (I skipped several proofs).
a service of Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz Center for Informatics