A Formal Study of Collaborative Access Control in Distributed Datalog

Authors Serge Abiteboul, Pierre Bourhis, Victor Vianu

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Serge Abiteboul
Pierre Bourhis
Victor Vianu

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Serge Abiteboul, Pierre Bourhis, and Victor Vianu. A Formal Study of Collaborative Access Control in Distributed Datalog. In 19th International Conference on Database Theory (ICDT 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 48, pp. 10:1-10:17, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


We formalize and study a declaratively specified collaborative access control mechanism for data dissemination in a distributed environment. Data dissemination is specified using distributed datalog. Access control is also defined by datalog-style rules, at the relation level for extensional relations, and at the tuple level for intensional ones, based on the derivation of tuples. The model also includes a mechanism for "declassifying" data, that allows circumventing overly restrictive access control. We consider the complexity of determining whether a peer is allowed to access a given fact, and address the problem of achieving the goal of disseminating certain information under some access control policy. We also investigate the problem of information leakage, which occurs when a peer is able to infer facts to which the peer is not allowed access by the policy. Finally, we consider access control extended to facts equipped with provenance information, motivated by the many applications where such information is required. We provide semantics for access control with provenance, and establish the complexity of determining whether a peer may access a given fact together with its provenance. This work is motivated by the access control of the Webdamlog system, whose core features it formalizes.
  • Distributed datalog
  • access control
  • provenance


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