Computer Laboratory Home Page Search A-Z Directory Help
University of Cambridge Home Computer Laboratory
2nd July 2004
Computer Laboratory > Research > Systems Research Group > NetOS > Seminars > 2nd July 2004

Talk 1

The Designer's Dilemma: Approaches to the Free-Rider Problem in Knowledge Sharing Systems

John McCarthy
Knowledge sharing systems pose a social dilemma, as users do not realise a gain from contribution but benefit from consumption of the non-rival good. We introduce several existing incentive schemes (e.g. token economies) that have been developed to overcome this dilemma and discuss their limitations. We propose 'identification' (i.e. authorship and personal visibility) and 'automation' (i.e. reducing the users' overhead for sharing through interface improvements) as important factors to increase cooperation between users. However, leveraging both can the lead to privacy concerns that need to be addressed by identity management or protection through pseudonymity.

Talk 2

The Mechanics of Trust: Signals and Incentives for Trustworthy Behaviour

Jens Riegelsberger
With an increasing number of technologies supporting transactions over distance and replacing traditional forms of interaction, user trust has become a core concern for researchers in both HCI and CMC. This research is often based on users' introspection and the resulting models are bound to specific domains. The trust signals identified can lose their significance once transferred to other contexts and are vulnerable to misuse. In our approach we aim to identify contextual and personal properties that give incentives for trustworthy behaviour. In a second step, we analyze how their presence can be signalled to allow the formation of well-placed trust. The key contextual properties that warrant trust are temporal, social, and institutional embeddedness.
To increase the level of well-placed trust, researchers and designers need to identify signals for the presence of such trust-warranting properties that are reliable and easy to interpret. At the same time, they must be cheap to emit for actors whose actions are governed by them but costly to mimic for untrustworthy actors.