Skip to main content

Mathematical Mesh 3.0 Part X: The Trust Mesh

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Expired & archived
Author Phillip Hallam-Baker
Last updated 2022-02-06 (Latest revision 2021-08-05)
RFC stream (None)
Intended RFC status (None)
Stream Stream state (No stream defined)
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state Expired
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft is available in these formats:


This paper extends Shannon's concept of a 'work factor' as applied to evaluation of cryptographic algorithms to provide an objective measure of the practical security offered by a protocol or infrastructure design. Considering the hypothetical work factor based on an informed estimate of the probable capabilities of an attacker with unknown resources provides a better indication of the relative strength of protocol designs than the computational work factor of the best-known attack. The social work factor is a measure of the trustworthiness of a credential issued in a PKI based on the cost of having obtained the credential through fraud at a certain point in time. Use of the social work factor allows evaluation of Certificate Authority based trust models and peer to peer (Web of Trust) models to be evaluated in the same framework. The analysis demonstrates that both approaches have limitations and that in certain applications, a blended model is superior to either by itself. The final section of the paper describes a proposal to realize this blended model using the Mathematical Mesh. [Note to Readers] Discussion of this draft takes place on the MATHMESH mailing list (, which is archived at This document is also available online at


Phillip Hallam-Baker

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)