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Architectural support for trust models in decentralized applications

by Girish Suryanarayana, Mamadou H. Diallo, Justin R. Erenkrantz, Richard N. Taylor
Proceeding of the 28th international conference on Software engineering - ICSE '06 ()

Abstract

Decentralized applications are composed of distributed entities that directly interact with each other and make local autonomous decisions in the absence of a centralized coordinating authority. Such decentralized applications, where entities can join and leave the system at any time, are particularly susceptible to the attacks of malicious entities. Each entity therefore requires protective measures to safeguard itself against these entities. Trust management solutions serve to provide effective protective measures against such malicious attacks. Trust relationships help an entity model and evaluate its confidence in other entities towards securing itself. Trust management is, thus, both an essential and intrinsic ingredient of decentralized applications. However, research in trust management has not focused on how trust models can be composed into a decentralized architecture. The PACE architectural style, described previously 21, provides structured and detailed guidance on the assimilation of trust models into a decentralized entity's architecture. In this paper, we describe our experiments with incorporating four different reputation-based trust models into a decentralized application using the PACE architectural style. Our observations lead us to conclude that PACE not only provides an effective and easy way to integrate trust management into decentralized applications, but also facilitates reuse while supporting different types of trust models. Additionally, PACE serves as a suitable platform to aid the evaluation and comparison of trust models in a fixed setting towards providing a way to choose an appropriate model for the setting.

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