Formalising trust as a computational concept
Trust is a judgement of unquestionable utility - as humans we use it every day of our lives. However, trust has suffered from an imperfect understanding, a plethora of definitions, and informal use in the literature and in everyday life. It is common to say "I trust you, " but what does that mean? This thesis provides a clarification of trust. We present a formalism for trust which provides us with a tool for precise discussion. The formalism is implementable: it can be embedded in an artificial agent, enabling the agent to make trust-based decisions. Its applicability in the domain of Distributed Artificial Intelligence (DAI) is raised. The thesis presents a testbed populated by simple trusting agents which substantiates the utility of the formalism. The formalism provides a step in the direction of a proper understanding and definition of human trust. A contribution of the thesis is its detailed exploration of the possibilities of future work in the area.