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Access control for agent‐based computing: a distributed approach

Nick Antonopoulos (Department of Computing, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)
Kyriakos Koukoumpetsos (Department of Computing, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)
Alex Shafarenko (Department of Computer Science, University of Herfordshire, Hatfield, UK)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 March 2001


The mobile software agent paradigm provides a generic, customisable foundation for the development of high performance distriubuted applications. An efficient, general‐purpose access control mechanism is required to support the development of a wide range of applications. This is achievable if the design of the access control system is based on the principles of simplicity, programmability (customisation) and reusability. However, existing mobile agent architectures either neglect this issue, or offer centralised schemes that do not support adaptive access control on a per‐agent basis and do not address the issues of secure knowledge sharing and reusing. In this paper a simple, distributed access control architecture is presented, based on the concept of distributed, active authorisation entities (lock cells), any combination of which can be referenced by an agent to provide input and/or output access control. It is demonstrated how these lock cells can be used to implement security domains and how they can be combined to create composite lock cells.



Antonopoulos, N., Koukoumpetsos, K. and Shafarenko, A. (2001), "Access control for agent‐based computing: a distributed approach", Internet Research, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 55-64.




Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited