Information System Frontiers 7 (4-5)
December 2005, Springer-Verlag

Propagation Models for Trust and Distrust in Social Networks

Cai-Nicolas Ziegler


Semantic Web endeavors have mainly focused on issues pertaining to knowledge representation and ontology design. However, besides understanding information metadata stated by subjects, knowing about their credibility becomes equally crucial. Hence, trust and trust metrics, conceived as computational means to evaluate trust relationships between individuals, come into play.

Our major contribution to Semantic Web trust management through this work is twofold. First, we introduce a classification scheme for trust metrics along various axes and discuss advantages and drawbacks of existing approaches for Semantic Web scenarios. Hereby, we devise an advocacy for local group trust metrics, guiding us to the second part which presents Appleseed, our novel proposal for local group trust computation. Compelling in its simplicity, Appleseed borrows many ideas from spreading activation models in psychology and relates their concepts to trust evaluation in an intuitive fashion. Moreover, we provide extensions for the Appleseed nucleus that make our trust metric handle distrust statements.