How Can We Trust Agents in Multi-Agent Environments? Techniques and Challenges

How Can We Trust Agents in Multi-Agent Environments? Techniques and Challenges

Kostas Kolomvatsos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) and Stathes Hadjiefthymiades (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-576-4.ch008
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The field of Multi-agent systems (MAS) has been an active area for many years due to the importance that agents have to many disciplines of research in computer science. MAS are open and dynamic systems where a number of autonomous software components, called agents, communicate and cooperate in order to achieve their goals. In such systems, trust plays an important role. There must be a way for an agent to make sure that it can trust another entity, which is a potential partner. Without trust, agents cannot cooperate effectively and without cooperation they cannot fulfill their goals. Many times, trust is based on reputation. It is an indication that we may trust someone. This important research area is investigated in this book chapter. We discuss main issues concerning reputation and trust in MAS. We present research efforts and give formalizations useful for understanding the two concepts.
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The technology of Multi-agent Systems (MAS) offers a lot of advantages in computer science and more specifically in the domain of cooperative problem solving. MAS are systems that host a number of autonomous software programs that are called agents. Agents act on behalf of their owners giving them access to information resources easily and efficiently. Users state their requirements and agents are responsible to fulfill them. Hence, MAS include many entities trying to solve their problems that are beyond of their capabilities. For this reason, in many cases, agents must cooperate with others in order to find the appropriate information and services to achieve their goals.

It is obvious that MAS are dynamic and distributed environments where agents may cooperate and communicate with others in order to complete their tasks. A key challenge arises from this nature of MAS. In such open systems, entities change their behavior dynamically. Thus, there is a requirement for trust between agents when they must exchange information Therefore, the basic question in such cases is: How and when can we trust an agent? Agents, in the majority of cases are selfish and their intentions and beliefs change continually.

We try to address this dilemma throughout this chapter. Specifically, we cover the fields of reputation and trust in MAS. This is an active research area, which is very important due to the fact that these two concepts are used in commercial applications. However, open issues exist in many cases, as it is difficult to characterize an agent as reliable or not.

In our work, we try to provide a detailed overview of reputation and trust models highlighting their importance to open environments. Due to the abundance of the relevant models, only the basic characteristics of models are discussed. We discuss basic concepts concerning MAS, reputation and trust. Accordingly, we present efforts, formalizations, and models related to the mentioned concepts. Finally, we discuss about trust engineering issues and we present future challenges and our conclusions.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Dariusz Król, Ngoc Thanh Nguyen
Chapter 1
Juliusz L. Kulikowski
In this chapter, a concept of using incomplete or fuzzy ontologies in decision making is presented. A definition of ontology and of ontological... Sample PDF
Logical Inference Based on Incomplete and/or Fuzzy Ontologies
Chapter 2
Amelia Badica, Costin Badica, Elvira Popescu
The Web is designed as a major information provider for the human consumer. However, information published on the Web is difficult to understand and... Sample PDF
Using Logic Programming and XML Technologies for Data Extraction from Web Pages
Chapter 3
Andreas Jacobsson, Paul Davidsson
This chapter introduces a formal model of virtual enterprises, as well as an analysis of their creation and operation. It is argued that virtual... Sample PDF
A Formal Analysis of Virtual Enterprise Creation and Operation
Chapter 4
Donat Orski
The chapter concerns a class of systems composed of operations performed with the use of resources allocated to them. In such operation systems... Sample PDF
Application of Uncertain Variables to Knowledge-Based Resource Distribution
Chapter 5
Clive Fencott
This chapter undertakes a methodological study of virtual environments (VEs), a specific subset of interactive systems. It takes as a central theme... Sample PDF
A Methodology of Design for Virtual Environments
Chapter 6
Salvador Sanchez-Alonso, Dirk Frosch-Wilke
In current organizations, the models of knowledge creation include specific processes and elements that drive the production of knowledge aimed at... Sample PDF
An Ontological Representation of Competencies as Codified Knowledge
Chapter 7
Marcos De Oliveira, Martin Purvis
In the distributed multi-agent systems discussed in this chapter, heterogeneous autonomous agents interoperate in order to achieve their goals. In... Sample PDF
Aspects of Openness in Multi-Agent Systems: Coordinating the Autonomy in Agent Societies
Chapter 8
Kostas Kolomvatsos, Stathes Hadjiefthymiades
The field of Multi-agent systems (MAS) has been an active area for many years due to the importance that agents have to many disciplines of research... Sample PDF
How Can We Trust Agents in Multi-Agent Environments? Techniques and Challenges
Chapter 9
Mariusz Nowostawski
The concept of autonomy is one of the central concepts in distributed computational systems, and in multi-agent systems in particular. With diverse... Sample PDF
The Concept of Autonomy in Distributed Computation and Multi-Agent Systems
Chapter 10
Maryam Purvis, Toktam Ebadi, Bastin Tony Roy Savarimuthu
The objective of this research is to describe a mechanism to provide an improved library management system using RFID and agent technologies. One of... Sample PDF
An Agent-Based Library Management System Using RFID Technology
Chapter 11
Sharmila Savarimuthu, Martin Purvis, Maryam Purvis, Mariusz Nowostawski
Societies are made of different kinds of agents, some cooperative and uncooperative. Uncooperative agents tend to reduce the overall performance of... Sample PDF
Mechanisms to Restrict Exploitation and Improve Societal Performance in Multi-Agent Systems
Chapter 12
Bastin Tony Roy Savarimuthu, Maryam Purvis, Stephen Cranefield
Norms are shared expectations of behaviours that exist in human societies. Norms help societies by increasing the predictability of individual... Sample PDF
Norm Emergence in Multi-Agent Societies
Chapter 13
Scott A. DeLoach, Madhukar Kumar
This chapter provides an overview of the Multi-agent Systems Engineering (MaSE) methodology for analyzing and designing multi-agent systems. MaSE... Sample PDF
Multi-Agent Systems Engineering: An Overview and Case Study
Chapter 14
František Capkovic
An alternative approach to modeling and analysis of agents’ behaviour is presented in this chapter. The agents and agent systems are understood here... Sample PDF
Modeling, Analysing, and Control of Agents Behaviour
Chapter 15
Martin Tabakov
This chapter presents a methodology for an image enhancement process of computed tomography perfusion images by means of partition generated with... Sample PDF
Using Fuzzy Segmentation for Colour Image Enhancement of Computed Tomography Perfusion Images
Chapter 16
Giovanni Vincenti, Goran Trajkovski
This chapter presents an innovative approach to the field of information fusion. Fuzzy mediation differentiates itself from other algorithms, as... Sample PDF
Fuzzy Mediation in Shared Control and Online Learning
Chapter 17
Adam Jatowt, Yukiko Kawai, Katsumi Tanaka
The Web is a useful data source for knowledge extraction, as it provides diverse content virtually on any possible topic. Hence, a lot of research... Sample PDF
Utilizing Past Web for Knowledge Discovery
Chapter 18
Dariusz Król
In this chapter, we propose a generic framework in C# to distribute and compute tasks defined by users. Unlike the more popular models such as... Sample PDF
Example-Based Framework for Propagation of Tasks in Distributed Environments
Chapter 19
Xia Xie, Jin Huang, Song Wu, Hai Jin, Melvin Koh, Jie Song, Simon See
In this chapter, we present a survey on some of the commercial players in the Grid industry, existing research done in the area of market-based Grid... Sample PDF
Survey on the Application of Economic and Market Theory for Grid Computing
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