Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

4-2013

Abstract

Online social networks have provided the infrastructure for a number of emerging applications in recent years, e.g., for the recommendation of service providers or the recommendation of files as services. In these applications, trust is one of the most important factors in decision making by a service consumer, requiring the evaluation of the trustworthiness of a service provider along the social trust paths from a service consumer to the service provider. However, there are usually many social trust paths between two participants who are unknown to one another. In addition, some social information, such as social relationships between participants and the recommendation roles of participants, has significant influence on trust evaluation but has been neglected in existing studies of online social networks. Furthermore, it is a challenging problem to search the optimal social trust path that can yield the most trustworthy evaluation result and satisfy a service consumer’s trust evaluation criteria based on social information. In this paper, we first present a novel complex social network structure incorporating trust, social relationships and recommendation roles, and introduce a new concept, Quality of Trust (QoT), containing the above social information as attributes. We then model the optimal social trust path selection problem with multiple end-to-end QoT constraints as a Multiconstrained Optimal Path (MCOP) selection problem, which is shown to be NP-Complete. To deal with this challenging problem, we propose a novel Multiple Foreseen Path-Based Heuristic algorithm MFPB-HOSTP for the Optimal Social Trust Path selection, where multiple backward local social trust paths (BLPs) are identified and concatenated with one Forward Local Path (FLP), forming multiple foreseen paths. Our strategy could not only help avoid failed feasibility estimation in path selection in certain cases, but also increase the chances of delivering a near-optimal solution with high quality. The results of our experiments conducted on a real data set of online social networks illustrate that MFPB-HOSTP algorithm can efficiently identify the social trust paths with better quality than our previously proposed H_OSTP algorithm that outperforms prior algorithms for the MCOP selection problem.

Keywords

Trust, social networks, trust path selection, service selection

Discipline

Databases and Information Systems | Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing | Social Media

Research Areas

Data Management and Analytics

Publication

IEEE Transactions on Services Computing

Volume

6

Issue

2

First Page

152

Last Page

167

ISSN

1939-1374

Identifier

10.1109/TSC.2011.58

Publisher

IEEE

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TSC.2011.58