Evaluating trustworthiness from past performances: Interval-based approaches

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Journal Article
Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 2012, 64 (2-3), pp. 247 - 268
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In many multi-agent systems, especially in the field of e-commerce, the users have to decide whether they sufficiently trust an agent to achieve a certain goal. To help users to make such decisions, an increasing number of trust systems have been developed. By trust system, we mean a system that gathers information about an agent and evaluates its trustworthiness on the basis of this information. The aim of the present paper is to develop, and analyze from an axiomatic point of view, new trust systems based on intervals. More precisely, we assume that a set of grades describing the past performances of an agent is given. Then, the goal is to construct an interval that summarizes these grades. In our opinion, such an interval gives a good account of the trustworthiness of the agent. In addition, this kind of representation format overcomes certain limitations (at a certain cost) of the approaches that represent trustworthiness by a single number. We establish seven axioms that should be satisfied by a summarizing method. Next, we develop two new methods. The first one is based on the idea that certain concentrations of grades are strong enough to pull the bounds of the summarizing interval towards themselves. The second one represents data in the setting of possibility theory, and then computes lower and upper expected values. Finally, we check that our methods satisfy the axioms introduced before, which provide theoretical justifications for them. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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