CONGRESS: A Hybrid Reputation System for Coping with Rating Subjectivity

Yuan Liu, Jie Zhang, Quanyan Zhu, Xingwei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In electronic commerce, buyers and sellers conduct transactions without physical interactions. In reputation systems, the trustworthiness of sellers is achieved by aggregating the ratings shared by other buyers with whom the sellers have ever conducted transactions. However, the ratings provided by buyers for evaluating the same seller could be diverse due to their different judgment criteria, which is referred as the subjectivity problem of reputation systems. It indicates that the ratings shared by some buyers may mislead other buyers with different personalities, making it challenging to aggregate the ratings properly in reputation systems. In this paper, in order to cope with the subjectivity problem, a hybrid architecture of reputation systems is proposed, which is based on coalition formation game theory. In the proposed module, buyers with the same subjectivity will automatically form a club, and share their ratings so as to build seller reputation within their club. The utility of a club is the profit created by the reputation system, which is further divided among the buyers of the club. Two utility allocation algorithms have been investigated, i.e., the proportional and Shapley allocations, respectively. Theoretical analysis and experimental results have shown that buyers with the same personality have the incentive to form a separate pure club if specific conditions are satisfied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8008850
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Coalition formation game (CFG)
  • e-marketplaces
  • reputation system
  • subjectivity problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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