A Formal Definition for Trust in Distributed Systems

  • Daoxi Xiu
  • Zhaoyu Liu
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3650)


Trust is an important concept in distributed computing environments and plays a critical role in ensuring and enhancing system security. Although various trust models have been proposed for distributed or pervasive computing systems, little research has been conducted to describe trust in precise and formal way. In this paper, we present a formal definition to express the meaning of trust in distributed computing systems. With this definition, we rigorously analyze the important properties of trust relation, such as reflexivity and conditional transitivity, and describe the trust relations in Role-Based Access Control. Our definition is comprehensive in that the semantic meaning of the trust definition is feasible to describe trust relations in both traditional distributed systems and dynamic pervasive computing environments. This research provides a solid base for formal trust reasoning and effective trust management implementation in distributed systems and pervasive computing environments.


Trust Security Trust Management Distributed Systems Pervasive Computing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daoxi Xiu
    • 1
  • Zhaoyu Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Software and Information SystemsUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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