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Trust Modelling
The Internet is increasingly removing us from a familiar, face-to-face style of doing business. We may now be conducting business online with people or organisations we have never met, and perhaps never heard of before.

It can be difficult to assess whether the information received on the Internet is accurate and up-to-date, and to detect information that has been deliberately falsified. Organisations involved in e-commerce also face the challenge of building online systems and online customer relationships which engender trust.

Our trust management research focuses on two areas:
  • Investigating the factors which influence users’ trust in web sites and e-commerce and developing an understanding of the strategies that can be used to communicate trustworthiness.
  • Investigating ways to include company logos and trust measures in digital certificates.

Displaying certified company logos in the web browser allows web site authentication to be done at a glance without the extra mouse clicks needed to view certificates. The trust measure allows organisations to have their own web root certificate in which they put high trust in contrast to less trustworthy standard web certificates. This means that trust measures can be displayed to users and can be taken into account by applications for automatic decision making.

Specific areas of investigation are:
  • Develop a trust inference engine for automatic assessment of trust structures in computer networks. Investigate the factors which influence users trust in e-commerce web sites.
  • Investigate to what degree the human phenomenon of trust can be modelled by testing how well belief theoretic inference corresponds with human intuition.
  • Investigate to what degree trust can be considered transitive.
  • Develop guidelines for people and organisations to express trust in each other by using a mathematical trust metric.
  • Study system interfaces such as the web browser in order to determine which security relevant evidence is appropriate and how it can best be presented.

Because trust and belief are very general concepts, outcomes of this research should not only be beneficial to IT security but will be applicable in a multitude of areas such as Artificial Intelligence, web site development and e-commerce, reliability analysis, risk analysis and decision making.

Contact Point:
Dr Audun Josang
Phone 07 3864 1051

Dr Audun Josang - DSTC
Mr Simon Pope - DSTC