Computer Science professor Sol Shatz has received a 3-year grant from NSF for research on trustworthy online auction systems. This project is a collaborative research project with alumnus Dr. Haiping Xu, who is currently a professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

A trustworthy online auction system requires a dynamic trust management system that can detect abnormal bidding activities in real-time, notify the involved users, and cancel the corresponding auction immediately. In this project, an agent-based trust management (ATM) model is proposed, which supports trustworthy computing in online auctions. In an ATM module, a security agent can dispatch monitoring agents to watch for real-time bidding activities of suspicious users; meanwhile, an analysis agent is responsible for analyzing users' bidding behaviors using real-time auction data captured by the monitoring agents, together with users' history information. Based on the analysis results, the security agent can make decisions on re-evaluating a user's trust values in order to degrade or upgrade a user's role as well as his access permissions. Since the agent-based trust management model supports real-time detection and prevention of shilling behaviors, it provides a strong and secure model for development of trustworthy online auction systems.

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