Co-utility pp 17-32 | Cite as

Incentive-Based Co-utility: Co-utile Reputation Management

  • Josep Domingo-FerrerEmail author
  • Oriol Farràs
  • David Sánchez
Part of the Studies in Systems, Decision and Control book series (SSDC, volume 110)


Well-designed protocols should be self-enforcing, that is, be such that rational participating agents have no motivation to deviate from them. In addition, protocols can have other interesting properties, such as promoting collaboration between agents in a search for a better outcome. In [7, 8], we proposed the notion of co-utility, which characterizes a situation in which mutual help is the best rational option to take even for purely selfish agents; in particular, if a protocol is co-utile, it is self-enforcing. However, guaranteeing self-enforcement, let alone co-utility, for any type of agent behavior is not possible. To tackle this issue, in this chapter we detail how reputation mechanisms can be incorporated into existing protocols in order to make them self-enforcing (and optionally co-utile). Moreover, we show how to adapt and extend the well-known EigenTrust reputation calculation mechanism so that: (i) it can be applied to a variety of scenarios and heterogeneous reputation needs and, (ii) it is itself co-utile, and hence selfish agents are interested in following it. Obtaining a co-utile reputation mechanism creates a “virtuous circle” because: (i) the reputation management is self-enforcing and, (ii) as a result, it can be used to turn protocols that were not self-enforcing (resp. co-utile) per se into self-enforcing (resp. co-utile) ones.



Funding by the Templeton World Charity Foundation (grant TWCF0095/AB60 “CO-UTILITY”) is gratefully acknowledged. Also, partial support to this work has been received from the Government of Catalonia (ICREA Acadèmia Prize to J. Domingo-Ferrer and grant 2014 SGR 537), the Spanish Government (projects TIN2014-57364-C2-1-R “SmartGlacis”, TIN2015-70054-REDC and TIN2016-80250-R “Sec-MCloud”) and the European Commission (projects H2020-644024 “CLARUS” and H2020-700540 “CANVAS”). The authors are with the UNESCO Chair in Data Privacy, but the views in this work are the authors’ own and are not necessarily shared by UNESCO or any of the funding bodies.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josep Domingo-Ferrer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Oriol Farràs
    • 1
  • David Sánchez
    • 1
  1. 1.UNESCO Chair in Data Privacy, Department of Computer Science and MathematicsUniversitat Rovira i VirgiliTarragona, CataloniaSpain

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