Managing Trust in Online Social Networks

Touhid Bhuiyan, Audun Josang, Yue Xu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In recent years, there is a dramatic growth in number and popularity of online social networks. There are many networks available with more than 100 million registered users such as Facebook, MySpace, QZone, Windows Live Spaces etc. People may connect, discover and share by using these online social networks. The exponential growth of online communities in the area of social networks attracts the attention of the researchers about the importance of managing trust in online environment. Users of the online social networks may share their experiences and opinions within the networks about an item which may be a product or service. The user faces the problem of evaluating trust in a service or service provider before making a choice. Recommendations may be received through a chain of friends network, so the problem for the user is to be able to evaluate various types of trust opinions and recommendations. This opinion or recommendation has a great influence to choose to use or enjoy the item by the other user of the community. Collaborative filtering system is the most popular method in recommender system. The task in collaborative filtering is to predict the utility of items to a particular user based on a database of user rates from a sample or population of other users. Because of the different taste of different people, they rate differently according to their subjective taste. If two people rate a set of items similarly, they share similar tastes. In the recommender system, this information is used to recommend items that one participant likes, to other persons in the same cluster. But the collaborative filtering system performs poor when there is insufficient previous common rating available between users; commonly known as cost start problem. To overcome the cold start problem and with the dramatic growth of online social networks, trust based approach to recommendation has emerged. This approach assumes a trust network among users and makes recommendations based on the ratings of the users that are directly or indirectly trusted by the target user.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Social Network Technologies and Applications
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameHandbook of Social Network Technologies and Applications


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