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Towards trust management for cloud-based ecosystems

Authors: Sini Ruohomaa, Lea Kutvonen

Category: research article

Keywords: trust management, cloud, reputation, inter-enterprise collaborations, open service ecosystems

Abstract: Inter-enterprise collaborations allow service providers to focus on their key competences while providing a composed service to end customers. The actors involved must determine whether the gains from participating outweigh the risks of depending on other autonomous collaboration participants, in order to make trust decisions on their willingness to collaborate. We define trust as the extent to which an actor is willing to participate in a given action with a given partner, considering the risks and incentives involved. In this paper, we present two high-level alternatives for trust management architectures for cloud-based service ecosystems: closed collaboration environments and open service ecosystems. Closed environments, such as traditional virtual organization breeding environments, are often built around a hub actor, centrally managed and apply pre-formed trust relationships in determining who is allowed into the breeding environment. Open service ecosystems, in contrast, allow service providers to enter the ecosystem by publishing a valid service offer, and trust relationships are formed and evolve within the ecosystem. We discuss the implications these choices have on further architecture refinement, and compare the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches, including their infrastructure needs, viability and ability to scale up in size.

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