Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 743–762 | Cite as

Subjective logic operators in trust assessment: an empirical study

  • Federico Cerutti
  • Lance M. Kaplan
  • Timothy J. Norman
  • Nir Oren
  • Alice Toniolo


Computational trust mechanisms aim to produce trust ratings from both direct and indirect information about agents’ behaviour. Subjective Logic (SL) has been widely adopted as the core of such systems via its fusion and discount operators. In recent research we revisited the semantics of these operators to explore an alternative, geometric interpretation. In this paper we present principled desiderata for discounting and fusion operators in SL. Building upon this we present operators that satisfy these desirable properties, including a family of discount operators. We then show, through a rigorous empirical study, that specific, geometrically interpreted, operators significantly outperform standard SL operators in estimating ground truth. These novel operators offer real advantages for computational models of trust and reputation, in which they may be employed without modifying other aspects of an existing system.


Trust and reputation Information fusion Uncertain reasoning 



The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Research was sponsored by US Army Research laboratory and the UK Ministry of Defence and was accomplished under Agreement Number W911NF-06-3-0001. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the US Army Research Laboratory, the U.S. Government, the UKMinistry of Defense, or the UK Government. The US and UK Governments are authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation hereon.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Cerutti
    • 1
  • Lance M. Kaplan
    • 2
  • Timothy J. Norman
    • 1
  • Nir Oren
    • 1
  • Alice Toniolo
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Natural and Computing Science King’s CollegeUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  2. 2.US Army Research LaboratoryAdelphiUSA

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