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Horst F. Wedde und Mario Lischka
Cooperative Role-Based Administration
Proceedings of the Eigth ACM Symposium on Access Control Models and Technologies (SACMAT), Hrsg.: Elena Ferrari und David Ferraiolo, S. 21-32, acmpress, Como, Italy, 2003-06-02


In large organizations the administration of access privileges (such as the assignment of an access right to a user in a particular role) is handled cooperatively through distributed administrators in various different capacities. A quorum may be necessary, or a veto may be possible for such a decision. In this paper we present two major contributions: We develop a Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) approach for specifying distributed administration requirements, and procedures between administrators, or administration teams, extending earlier work on distributed (modular) authorization. While a comprehensive specification in such a language is conceivable it would be quite tedious to evaluate, or analyze, their operational aspects and properties in practice. For this reason we create a new class of extended Petri Nets called Administration Nets such that any RBAC specification of (cooperative) administration requirements (given in terms of predicate logic formulas) can be embedded into an Administration Net. This net behaves within the constraints specified by the logical formulas, and at the same time, it explicitly exhibits all needed operational details such as to allow for an efficient and comprehensive formal analysis of administrative behavior. We introduce the new concepts and illustrate their use in several examples. While Administration Nets are much more refined and (behaviorally) explicit than work-flow systems our work provides for a constructive step towards novel work-flow management tools as well.


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