We are in the age of networks and networked systems: communication, transportation, economic, biological, healthcare, educational, human, social, web-based, etc. This evolution and reality have created unprecedented advances and are impacting every aspect of life and work. However, many of these advances, and resulting expanding markets, are critically endangered by weaknesses in security, integrity and trust. We investigate the complex and polymorphic subject of trust in these distributed systems and describe a new framework using multiple partially ordered semirings for analyzing reputation and trust establishment, dynamics as well as “composite trust”. This framework is inspired by thinking of trust problems as “path problems” in networks. Next we describe our work based on constrained coalitional games towards understanding the role of trust in collaboration and social networks. We describe several specific applications of these methods in securing distributed inference systems, sensor networks for power grids, wireless network routing protocols, distributed control systems. We close by describing challenges and future research directions.
John Baras received his B.S. in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, 1970 and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University 1971, 1973. Since 1973 he has been with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and the Applied Mathematics Faculty, at the University of Maryland College Park. Since 2000 he has been a faculty member in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and since 2014 a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He was the Founding Director of the Institute for Systems Research (ISR) from 1985 to 1991. Since 1991, he has been the Director of the Maryland Center for Hybrid Networks (HYNET). Since 2013, he has been Guest Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden. Baras is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He received the 1980 George Axelby Prize from the IEEE Control Systems Society and the 2006 Leonard Abraham Prize from the IEEE Communications Society. Professor Baras’ research interests include control, communication and computing systems.