Tech Report CS-06-04

Towards Reasonability Properties for Access-Control Policy Languages with Extended XACML Analysis

Michael Carl Tschantz and Shriram Krishnamurthi

April 2006


The growing importance of access control has led to the definition of numerous languages for specifying policies. Since these languages are based on different foundations, language users and designers would benefit from formal means to compare them. We present a set of properties that examine the behavior of policies under enlarged requests, policy growth, and policy decomposition. They therefore suggest whether policies written in these languages are easier or harder to reason about under various circumstances. We then evaluate multiple policy languages, including XACML and Lithium, using these properties.

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