Towards Trust-Based Acquisition of Unverifiable Information

  • Eugen Staab
  • Volker Fusenig
  • Thomas Engel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5180)


We present a trust-based mechanism for the acquisition of information from possibly unreliable sources. Our mechanism addresses the case where the acquired information cannot be verified. The idea is to intersperse questions (“challenges”) for which the correct answers are known. By evaluating the answers to these challenges, probabilistic conclusions about the correctness of the unverifiable information can be drawn. Less challenges need to be used if an information provider has shown to be trustworthy. This work focuses on three major issues of such a mechanism. First, how to estimate the correctness of the unverifiable information. Second, how to determine an optimal number of challenges. And finally, how to establish trust and use it to reduce the number of challenges. Our approach can resist collusion and shows great promise for various application areas such as distributed computing or peer-to-peer networks.


Information acquisition trust 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Sabater, J., Sierra, C.: Review on computational trust and reputation models. Artif. Intell. Rev. 24(1), 33–60 (2005)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ramchurn, S.D., Huynh, T.D., Jennings, N.R.: Trust in multi-agent systems. Knowl. Eng. Rev. 19(1), 1–25 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anderson, D.P., Cobb, J., Korpela, E., Lebofsky, M., Werthimer, D.: SETI@home: An experiment in public-resource computing. Commun. ACM 45(11), 56–61 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rehák, M., Pechoucek, M.: Trust modeling with context representation and generalized identities. In: Klusch, M., Hindriks, K.V., Papazoglou, M.P., Sterling, L. (eds.) CIA 2007. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 4676, pp. 298–312. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Berman, F., Fox, G., Hey, A.J.G.: Grid Computing: Making the Global Infrastructure a Reality. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York (2003)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Weiss, A.: Computing in the clouds. netWorker 11(4), 16–25 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Toh, C.K.: Ad Hoc Wireless Networks: Protocols and Systems. Prentice Hall PTR, Upper Saddle River (2001)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Christin, N., Weigend, A.S., Chuang, J.: Content availability, pollution and poisoning in file sharing peer-to-peer networks. In: EC 2005: Proc. of the 6th ACM Conf. on Electronic commerce, pp. 68–77. ACM Press, New York (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Abdul-Rahman, A., Hailes, S.: Supporting trust in virtual communities. In: HICSS 2000: Proc. of the 33rd Hawaii Int. Conf. on System Sciences. IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos (2000)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rohatgi, V.K.: Statistical Inference. Dover Publications, Incorporated, Mineola (2003)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kinateder, M., Baschny, E., Rothermel, K.: Towards a generic trust model - comparison of various trust update algorithms. In: Herrmann, P., Issarny, V., Shiu, S.C.K. (eds.) Trust 2005. LNCS, vol. 3477, pp. 177–192. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wang, Y., Singh, M.P.: Formal trust model for multiagent systems. In: IJCAI 2007: Proc. of the 20th Int. Joint Conf. on Artificial Intelligence, pp. 1551–1556 (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Teacy, W.T.L., Patel, J., Jennings, N.R., Luck, M.: Travos: Trust and reputation in the context of inaccurate information sources. Auton. Agents Multi-Agent Syst. 12(2), 183–198 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jaynes, E.T.: Probability Theory: The Logic of Science. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2003)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Montgomery, D.C.: Introduction to Statistical Quality Control, 5th edn. John Wiley, Chichester (2004)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Dumais, S.T., Furnas, G.W., Landauer, T.K., Deerwester, S., Harshman, R.: Using latent semantic analysis to improve access to textual information. In: CHI 1988: Proc. of the SIGCHI Conf. on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 281–285. ACM, New York (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hofmann, T.: Probabilistic latent semantic indexing. In: SIGIR 1999: Proc. of the 22nd annual Int. ACM SIGIR Conf. on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, pp. 50–57. ACM, New York (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Karypis, G., Han, E.: Concept indexing: A fast dimensionality reduction algorithm with applications to document retrieval and categorization. Technical Report TR-00-0016, University of Minnesota (2000)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dearden, R., Friedman, N., Andre, D.: Model based bayesian exploration. In: UAI 1999: Proc. of the 15th Conf. on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, pp. 150–159 (1999)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chalkiadakis, G., Boutilier, C.: Coordination in multiagent reinforcement learning: a bayesian approach. In: AAMAS 2003: Proc. of the 2nd Int. Joint Conf. on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, pp. 709–716. ACM Press, New York (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Buchegger, S., Boudec, J.Y.L.: A robust reputation system for mobile ad hoc networks. Technical Report IC/2003/50, EPFL-IC-LCA, CH-1015 Lausanne (July 2003)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Jøsang, A., Ismail, R.: The beta reputation system. In: Proc. of the 15th Bled Conf. on Electronic Commerce, pp. 324–337 (2002)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fullam, K.K., Park, J., Barber, K.S.: Trust-driven information acquisition for secure and quality decision-making. In: KIMAS 2005: Proc. of Int. Conf. on Integration of Knowledge Intensive Multi-Agent Systems, pp. 303–310 (2005)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Liau, C.J.: Belief, information acquisition, and trust in multi-agent systems: a modal logic formulation. Artif. Intell. 149(1), 31–60 (2003)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Otway, D., Rees, O.: Efficient and timely mutual authentication. SIGOPS Oper. Syst. Rev. 21(1), 8–10 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Steiner, J.G., Neuman, C., Schiller, J.I.: Kerberos: An authentication service for open network systems. In: Proc. of the Winter 1988 Usenix Conference, pp. 191–2024 (1988)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugen Staab
    • 1
  • Volker Fusenig
    • 1
  • Thomas Engel
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculté des Sciences, de la Technologie et de la CommunicationUniversité du Luxembourgrue R. Coudenhove-KalergiLuxembourg

Personalised recommendations