Trust Management for Pervasive Social Networking

Trust Management for Pervasive Social Networking

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4765-7.ch006


Self-organized networks based on mobile devices (e.g., Mobile Ad Hoc Networks [MANET]) are becoming a practical platform for pervasive social networking. People, either familiar or strangers, communicate with each other via such a network for instant social activities. How to help mobile users to build up trust in pervasive social networking is becoming an important and interesting issue. Trust concerns not only security, but also privacy, as well as quality of social networking experiences. It relates to many properties that are essential for establishing a trust relationship in ephemeral and dynamically changed pervasive social environments. This chapter reviews the literature with regard to how to build up trust in pervasive social networking. The authors explore whether pervasive social networking is demanded, considering many existing popular Internet social networking services. Based on a need assessment survey, they propose a trust management framework that supports context-aware trust/reputation generation, trustworthy content recommendations, secure communications, unwanted traffic control, user privacy recommendations, and secure face-to-face pervasive social communications. Simulations, prototype implementation, and user experiments further prove the effectiveness of the proposed solutions.
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1. Introduction

With the rapid growth of mobile computing and social networking technology, social network has extended its popularity from the Internet to mobile domain. Personal mobile devices (e.g., smart phones) could be self-organized and communicate with each other for social activities by forming a multi-hop radio network and maintaining connectivity in a decentralized manner. We call such kind of social networking based on mobile devices that supports instant and pervasive social activities as pervasive social networking (PSN). Nowadays, mobile ad hoc network (MANET) has become a practical platform for pervasive social networking and computing, playing as a valuable extension and complement of traditional Internet social networks. For example, a user could query people in vicinity using his/her mobile device about which shop is on sale, which movie is recommended to see, or which mobile application should be installed for tagging the locations of photos. The user neighbors can respond these queries by providing their recommendations via PSN. The user could also chat with people nearby via PSN with regard to sharing a taxi ride, or sharing the cost of a series of movie tickets. Moreover, they can seek services or aids from strangers in vicinity through PSN. People who are strangers but regularly in the same public places could want to make an instant appointment for a face-to-face meeting. This kind of social networking is very valuable for mobile users, especially when fixed networks (e.g., the Internet) or mobile networks are temporarily unavailable or costly to access.

Several research groups in academia have focused on social activities based on mobile ad hoc networks. Stanford MobiSocial Group has developed Junction, a mobile ad hoc and multiparty platform for MANET applications (retrieved from A familiar stranger is an individual who is recognized from regular activities, but with whom one does not interact. This concept was first identified by Stanley Milgram (Milgram, 1972). It has become an increasingly popular concept in research about social networks. Because group mobility is very common in modern life (Guo, Yan & Wang, 2010), PSN is becoming more and more valuable for mobile users, especially when they are familiar strangers and often appear in vicinity.

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