Adding belief annotations to databases

community_databases_250Default Trust (Sigmod 2010)
In massively collaborative projects such as scientific or community databases, users often need to agree or disagree on the content of individual data items. On the other hand, trust relationships often exist between users, allowing them to accept or reject other users’ beliefs by default. As those trust relationships become complex, however, it becomes difficult to define and compute a consistent snapshot of the conflicting information. Previous solutions to a related problem, the update reconciliation problem, are dependent on the order in which the updates are processed and, therefore, do not guarantee a globally consistent snapshot.

This paper proposes the first principled solution to the automatic conflict resolution problem in a community database. Our semantics is based on the certain tuples of all stable models of a logic program. While evaluating stable models in general is well known to be hard, even for very simple logic programs, we show that the conflict resolution problem admits a PTIME solution. To the best of our knowledge, ours is the first PTIME algorithm that allows conflict resolution in a principled way. We further discuss extensions to negative beliefs and prove that some of these extensions are hard.