A Probabilistic Approach for Maintaining Trust Based on Evidence

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Leading agent-based trust models address two important needs. First, they show how an agent may estimate the trustworthiness of another agent based on prior interactions. Second, they show how agents may share their knowledge in order to cooperatively assess the trustworthiness of others. However, in real-life settings, information relevant to trust is usually obtained piecemeal, not all at once. Unfortunately, the problem of maintaining trust has drawn little attention. Existing approaches handle trust updates in a heuristic, not a principled, manner.

This paper builds on a formal model that considers probability and certainty as two dimensions of trust. It proposes a mechanism using which an agent can update the amount of trust it places in other agents on an ongoing basis. This paper shows via simulation that the proposed approach (a) provides accurate estimates of the trustworthiness of agents that change behavior frequently; and (b) captures the dynamic behavior of the agents. This paper includes an evaluation based on a real dataset drawn from Amazon Marketplace, a leading e-commerce site.

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