When Trust Is Not Enough
Publication Type:Book Chapter
Source:EC-Web, Springer, Volume 85, p.246-257 (2011)
The degree of trust that an agent has for another is the strength of the agent’s belief that the other will enact its commitments without variation. A strong sense of trust may be sufficient justification for one agent to sign a contract with another when all that matters is the possibility of variation between commitment and enactment. In non-trivial contracts the agents’ information is typically asymmetric with each agent knowing more about its ability to vary its actions within its contractual constraints than the other. To enable an agent to deal with the asymmetry of information we propose two models. First, a relationship model that describes what one agent knows about another, including the belief that it has in the reliability of that information. Second an integrity model where integrity is the strength of an agent’s belief that the other will not take advantage of its information asymmetries when enacting its commitments.