TrustNeighborhoods: Visualizing Trust in Distributed File Sharing Systems
Rapport, 2005

We present TrustNeighborhoods, a security trust visualization aimed at novice and intermediate users of a distributed file sharing system. Building on the idea of ``circles of relationships'' as a model for computer usage proposed by Shneiderman, the TrustNeighborhoods technique uses the metaphor of a city to intuitively represent trust as a simple geographic relation, starting from the safe confines of one's own home to our own street, neighborhood, and the whole city itself. This metaphor gives users an easy way to relate to the trust of a document assigned by themselves as well as other users in the system. The visualization uses a radial space-filling layout; there is a 2D mode for editing and configuration, as well as a 3D mode for exploration and overview. In addition, the 3D mode supports a simple animated ``fly to'' command which is intended to show the user the context and trust of a particular document by zooming in on the document and its immediate neighborhood in the 3D city. The visualization is intended for integration into an existing desktop environment, connecting to the distributed file sharing mechanisms of the environment and non-obtrusively displaying a 3D orientation animation in the background for any file being accessed over the network. Informal testing indicates that the technique is a useful and intuitive way of visualizing trust in distributed file sharing networks.

trust visualization

circles of relationship

security visualization


Niklas Elmqvist

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Datavetenskap

Philippas Tsigas

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Datavetenskap


Data- och informationsvetenskap

Technical report D - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology and Göteborg University: 2005-12

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