The vision of pervasive computing has introduced the notion of a vast, networked infrastructure of heterogeneous entities interact through collaborative applications, e.g., playing a multi-player online game on the way to work. This will require interactions between users who may be marginally known or completely unknown to each other, or in situations where complete information is unavailable. This introduces the problem of assigning access rights to such marginally known or unknown entities. Explicit trust management has emerged as a solution to the problem of dealing with partial information about other users and the context in which the interaction takes place. We have implemented an access control mechanism based on the human notion of trust, where recommendations or initial participation in low risk interactions will allow entities to slowly build trust in each other. As the trust between two entities grows, interactions that entail a higher degree of risk may be allowed to proceed. We have used this mechanism in a simple role-based access control mechanism that uses trust to assign roles to users in a distributed blackjack card game application. This application allows us to experiment with different policies for trust-based admission control and trust evolution. In this paper we present an evaluation of policies specifying trust dynamics, which shows that our prototype reacts appropriately to the behaviour of other users and that the system updates trust values and implements admission policies in a manner similar to what would be expected from human trust assessment. This indicates that trust evolution policies can replace explicit human intervention in application scenarios that are similar to the evaluated prototype.
Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, 2006, Vol 157, Issue 3, p. 95-111