Towards Trust-Based Acquisition of Unverifiable Information

Eugen Staab, Volker Fusenig, Thomas Engel, Cooperative Information Agents XII, Proceedings of the 12th International Workshop on Cooperative Information Agents (CIA ‘08), vol. 5180 of LNCS, Springer-Verlag.

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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.

author = {Eugen Staab and Volker Fusenig and Thomas Engel},
title = {Towards Trust-Based Acquisition of Unverifiable Information},
booktitle = {Cooperative Information Agents XII},
series = {{LNCS}},
volume = {5180},
year = {2008},
pages = {41–54},
publisher = {Springer Verlag},
editor = {Matthias Klusch and Michal Pechoucek and Axel Polleres},
isbn = {978-3-540-85833-1},