Towards Quantitative Analysis of Proofs of Authorization: Applications, Framework, and Techniques

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Executive Summary

Although policy compliance testing is generally treated as a binary decision problem, the evidence gathered during the trust management process can actually be used to examine these outcomes within a more continuous space. In this paper, the authors develop a formal model that allows them to quantitatively reason about the outcomes of the policy enforcement process in both absolute (i.e., user to ideal case) and relative (i.e., user to user) terms. Within this framework, it becomes possible to quantify, e.g., the robustness of a user's proof of authorization to possible perturbations in the system, how close an unauthorized user is to satisfying a particular policy, and relative "Top-k" style rankings of the best users to carry out a particular task.

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