It is not sufficient to merely check the syntax of new policies before they are deployed in a system; policies need to be analyzed for their interactions with each other and with their local environment. That is, policies need to go through a ratification process. We believe policy ratification becomes an essential part of system management as the number of policies in the system increases and as the system administration becomes more decentralized.

In this paper, we focus on the basic tasks involved in policy ratification. To a large degree, these basic tasks can be performed independent of policy model and language and require little domain-specific knowledge. We present algorithms from constraint, linear, and logic programming disciplines to help perform ratification tasks. We provide an algorithm to efficiently assign priorities to the policies based on relative policy preferences indicated by policy administrators. Finally, with an example, we show how these algorithms have been integrated with our policy system to provide feedback to a policy administrator regarding potential interactions of policies with each other and with their deployment environment.

By: Dakshi Agrawal; James Giles; Kang-Won Lee; Jorge Lobo

Published in: Proceedings of 6th IEEE International Workshop on Policies for Distributed Systems and Networks. Los Alamitos, CA, , IEEE Computer Society. , p.223-32 in 2005

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