Using event calculus to formalise policy specification and analysis

Bandara, A. K.; Lupu, E. C. and Russo, A. (2003). Using event calculus to formalise policy specification and analysis. In: Proceedings POLICY 2003. IEEE 4th International Workshop on Policies for Distributed Systems and Networks, 4-6 Jun 2003, Lake Como, Italy, pp. 26–39.



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 issues of analysing specifications that combine authorisation and management policies; analysing policy specifications that contain constraints on the applicability of the policies; and performing a priori analysis of the specification that will both detect the presence of inconsistencies and explain the situations in which the conflict will occur. We present a method for transforming both policy and system behaviour specifications into a formal notation that is based on event calculus. Additionally it describes how this formalism can be used in conjunction with abductive reasoning techniques to perform a priori analysis of policy specifications for the various conflict types identified in the literature. Finally, it presents some initial thoughts on how this notation and analysis technique could be used to perform policy refinement.

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