‘Trust’ is used in a variety of ways in computing literature, and social trust is emerging as an important computational problem. In open, distributed systems, like the web, people and organizations can be anonymous and trust and reputation become important. Researchers from many subfields of computer science have produced results in this space, with applications such as security, recommender systems, and knowledge management. However, this wide interest also means that research is published in diverse venues, and thus results published in one area can go unnoticed by researchers in a different area. For scientists beginning to work in the area, discovering the relevant literature and developing a comprehensive understanding of the state of the art is difficult for similar reasons.
The goal of this book is to bring together a collection of important work in computing social trust from computer science and related disciplines, and give readers a full view of the subject. It will be divided into three major sections. The first will address theory, behaviour, and trust management. This will cover social analyses of how people develop trust, the dynamics of trust relationships, and systems for trust management. The second section will describe algorithms and methods for computing trust in social contexts. Social networks, profile similarity, and participation in online communities are all potential sources from which trust can be computed. The final section will contain applications that use trust, such as recommender systems, website access control, and email filtering.