Efficient and flexible access control via Jones-optimal logic program specialisation


DOI: 10.1007/s10990-008-9030-8

Cite this article as:
Barker, S., Leuschel, M. & Varea, M. Higher-Order Symb Comput (2008) 21: 5. doi:10.1007/s10990-008-9030-8


We describe the use of a flexible meta-interpreter for performing access control checks on deductive databases. The meta-program is implemented in Prolog and takes as input a database and an access policy specification. For processing access control requests we specialise the meta-program for a given access policy and database by using the logen partial evaluation system. The resulting specialised control checking program is dependent solely upon dynamic information that can only be known at the time of actual access request evaluation. In addition to describing our approach, we give a number of performance measures for our implementation of an access control checker. In particular, we show that by using our approach we get flexible access control with virtually no overhead, satisfying the Jones optimality criterion. The paper also shows how to satisfy the Jones optimality criterion more generally for interpreters written in the non-ground representation.


Access controlDeductive databasesPartial evaluationProgram transformationMeta-programming

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Barker
    • 1
  • Michael Leuschel
    • 2
  • Mauricio Varea
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceKing’s CollegeLondonUK
  2. 2.Institut für InformatikHeinrich-Heine-Universität DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  3. 3.School of Electronics and Computer ScienceUniversity of SouthamptonHighfieldUK