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Social Knoledge for e-Governance

Final Report Summary - EREP (Social Knowledge for e-Governance)

EREP was an Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) project aimed at providing theory-driven and empirically backed-up guidelines for designing reputation technologies. An inter- and multi-disciplinary consortium provided the project with an innovative approach to be used for:
1. theory-building, namely formulating hypotheses concerning the generation, spreading and impact of reputation under given social and technological conditions;
2. testing these hypotheses on the grounds of cross-methodological experiments;
3. transferring knowledge thanks to both a computational proof-of-concept system and the guidelines specified in the final White Book.

The immediate impact of the project is to contribute to the governance of electronic institutions (e.g. auction sites, discussion forums, recommendation sites, social networks, etc.). Future scientific added value of the project is expected to consist in advances of reputation theory and technology for multi agent systems. The two main end results are the final conference (ICORE 2009) and the Reputation booklet, a lean, easily accessible presentation of the main project results that was distributed to stakeholders.

Recommendations to the Industry sector are summarised in the Reputation booklet. As planned in the project, the booklet presents the main project results in an accessible form, drawing from them a set of recommendations and instructions as to how to design reputation technology, based upon controlled cross-methodological experimental evidence. The booklet is destined to the scientific community at the European scale and beyond, to policymakers and stakeholders. With specific focus on the online communities and social networks and their distributed nature, the theory of reputation accounts for cognitive problems such as the problem that individuals might be lying when telling about the trustworthiness of others. Based on the knowledge derived in the project we are therefore able to offer theory-driven consultation for decision makers that are trying to regulate simulated societies as internet environments or collaboration platforms or telecommunication networks.

The impact of the project for the research sector is testified by the large number of papers; the full list is reported at the end of this report. In addition, the project managed to successfully organise the first ICORE conference, setting the first stone towards the recognition of reputation studies as an independent field of research, at the crossroad of several existing disciplines.

Three project websites are currently active and will be maintained after project completion. The public website (please see online) where the deliverables are available to the public, a private wiki for collaborative writing between partners, and the official website of the final conference of EREP project: from where the conference proceedings, published by the ISTC-CNR (ISBN 978-88-85059-27-6) can be downloaded.

The First International Conference on Reputation: Theory and Technology (ICORE09) was organised by ISTC- CNR with the support of all the EREP consortium partners with the aim of disseminating the EREP project results while stimulating the debate on the research achievements. During the conference also the booklet 'Social knowledge for eGovernance: theory and technology of reputation' was presented and spread among participants. The conference saw the participation of two invited speakers: Rosaria Conte, ISTC-CNR, cognitive and social scientist, with a special interest for the study of positive social action (altruism, cooperation and social norms), and reputation-based social regulation; Chris Dellarocas, Center for Complexity in Business at the Robert H. Smith, School of Business of the University of Maryland, whose research examines the implications of consumer-generated and social media for trade, marketing, operations and corporate strategy using a combination of game theoretic, econometric and simulation methods, participating to ICORE09 with the talk: 'The many faces of reputation: towards a science of reputation system design'.