Evidence-Based Trust: A Mathematical Model Geared for Multiagent Systems

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Executive Summary

An evidence-based account of trust is essential for an appropriate treatment of application-level interactions among autonomous and adaptive parties. Key examples include social networks and service-oriented computing. Existing approaches either ignore evidence or only partially address the twin challenges of mapping evidence to trustworthiness and combining trust reports from imperfectly trusted sources. This paper develops a mathematically well-formulated approach that naturally supports discounting and combining evidence-based trust reports. This paper understands an agent Alice's trust in an agent Bob in terms of Alice's certainty in her belief that Bob is trustworthy. Unlike previous approaches, this paper formulates certainty in terms of evidence based on a statistical measure defined over a probability distribution of the probability of positive outcomes.

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