When a project involves several companies working in various countries and using different languages, it's not unusual that conflicts arise. But it's not always easy to find a wise arbitrator to solve such a conflict. In "Conflict resolution in cyberspace," IST Results tells us that the EU-funded electronic arbitration system called e-Dispute will be able to help. The current prototype provides online arbitration, mediation and conciliation services. The arguing parties can be located anywhere in the world and use a variety of languages to securely send their messages to an arbitrator through software agents. This system should be available soon.
Here are some short comments from the company which plans to sell this arbitration system.
"Robot agents digest all the information and make proposals to the parties," explains Jacques Gouimenou, managing director of Tiga Technologies. "Once the arbitrator is agreed upon, the robot agent finds a suitable 'meeting' date for everybody." Meetings are supported via video conference and chat room facilities. "Our system reduces delays and costs. It is also very secure," he adds.
Below is a diagram showing the e-Dispute application system (Credit: Tiga Technologies).
This company already has worked on similar projects before.
For E-Arbitration-T, Tiga Technologies and their project partners developed an Internet-based system to help resolve disputes between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). "We developed a platform and autonomous agents capable of reasoning based on experience and that could improve their arbitration behaviour incrementally," says Gouimenou.
In fact, the software developed for the PRONEL project is one of the basis of the eDispute project.
So when will this electronic arbitration be available? As soon as Tiga Technologies finds about 2 million euros to set up a company dedicated to its promotion.
Sources: IST Results, December 28, 2005; and various web sites
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