Infoscience

Thesis

High Quality P2P Service Provisioning via Decentralized Trust Management

Trust management is essential to fostering cooperation and high quality service provisioning in several peer-to-peer (P2P) applications. Among those applications are customer-to-customer (C2C) trading sites and markets of services implemented on top of centralized infrastructures, P2P systems, or online social networks. Under these application contexts, existing work does not adequately address the heterogeneity of the problem settings in practice. This heterogeneity includes the different approaches employed by the participants to evaluate trustworthiness of their partners, the diversity in contextual factors that influence service provisioning quality, as well as the variety of possible behavioral patterns of the participants. This thesis presents the design and usage of appropriate computational trust models to enforce cooperation and ensure high quality P2P service provisioning, considering the above heterogeneity issues. In this thesis, first I will propose a graphical probabilistic framework for peers to model and evaluate trustworthiness of the others in a highly heterogeneous setting. The framework targets many important issues in trust research literature: the multi-dimensionality of trust, the reliability of different rating sources, and the personalized modeling and computation of trust in a participant based on the quality of services it provides. Next, an analysis on the effective usage of computational trust models in environments where participants exhibit various behaviors, e.g., honest, rational, and malicious, will be presented. I provide theoretical results showing the conditions under which cooperation emerges when using trust learning models with a given detecting accuracy and how cooperation can still be sustained while reducing the cost and accuracy of those models. As another contribution, I also design and implement a general prototyping and simulation framework for reputation-based trust systems. The developed simulator can be used for many purposes, such as to discover new trust-related phenomena or to evaluate performance of a trust learning algorithm in complex settings. Two potential applications of computational trust models are then discussed: (1) the selection and ranking of (Web) services based on quality ratings from reputable users, and (2) the use of a trust model to choose reliable delegates in a key recovery scenario in a distributed online social network. Finally, I will identify a number of various issues in building next-generation, open reputation-based trust management systems as well as propose several future research directions starting from the work in this thesis.

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