Titleu-Help: supporting helpful communities with information technology
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKoster A, Madrenas J, Osman N, Schorlemmer M, Sabater-Mir J., Sierra C, de Jonge D, Fabregues A, Puyol-Gruart J, García P
Conference NameProceedings of the First International Conference on Agreement Technologies (AT 2012)
Conference LocationDubrovnik, Croatia
Date Published15/10/2012
Keywordsagreement technologies applications, p2p technologies

When people need help with day-to-day tasks they turn to family, friends or neighbours to help them out. Finding someone to help out can be a stressful waste of time. Despite an increasingly networked world, technology falls short in supporting such daily irritations. u-Help provides a platform for building a community of helpful people and supports them in ?nding help for day-to-day tasks. It relies on a trio of techniques that allow a requester and volunteer to ?nd one another easily, and build up a community around such provision of services. First, we use an ontology to distinguish between the various tasks that u-Help allows people to provide. Second, a computational trust model is used to aggregate feedback from community members and allows people to discover who are good or bad at performing the various tasks. Last, a ?ooding algorithm, similar to the popular Gnutella algorithm, quickly disseminates requests for help through the community. This paper describes these three techniques in detail. This work is implemented as an iPhone application that we also describe in this paper.