A goal-based approach to policy refinement

Bandara, A. K.; Lupu, E. C.; Moffett, J. and Russo, A. (2004). A goal-based approach to policy refinement. In: Proceedings. Fifth IEEE International Workshop on Policies for Distributed Systems and Networks, 7-9 Jun 2004, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA, pp. 229–239.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/POLICY.2004.1309175


As the interest in using policy-based approaches for systems management grows, it is becoming increasingly important to develop methods for performing analysis and refinement of policy specifications. Although this is an area that researchers have devoted some attention to, none of the proposed solutions address the issue of deriving implementable policies from high-level goals. A key part of the solution to this problem is having the ability to identify the operations, available on the underlying system, which can achieve a given goal. This work presents an approach by which a formal representation of a system, based on the event calculus, can be used in conjunction with abductive reasoning techniques to derive the sequence of operations that will allow a given system to achieve a desired goal. Additionally it outlines how this technique might be used for providing tool support and partial automation for policy refinement. Building on previous work on using formal techniques for policy analysis, the approach presented here applies a transformation of both policy and system behaviour specifications into a formal notation that is based on event calculus. Finally, it shows how the overall process could be used in conjunction with UML modelling and illustrates this by means of an example.

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