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Title: Provenance in distributed systems : a process algebraic study of provenance management and its role in establishing trust in data quality
Author: Souilah, Issam
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2013
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We aim to develop a formal framework to reason about provenance in distributed systems. We take as our starting point an extension of the asynchronous pi-calculus where processes are explicitly assigned principal identities. We enrich this basic setting with provenance annotated data, dynamic provenance tracking and dynamically checked trust policies. We give several examples to illustrate the use of the calculus in modelling systems where principals base their trust in the quality of data on the provenance information associated with it. We consider the role of provenance in the calculus by relating the provenance tracking semantics to a plain one in which no provenance tracking or checking takes place. We further substantiate this by studying bisimulation-based behavioural equivalences for the plain and annotated versions of the calculus and contrasting the discriminating power of the equivalences obtained in each case. We also give a more denotational take on the semantics of the provenance calculus and look at notions of well-formedness and soundness for the provenance tracking semantics. We consider two different extensions of the basic calculus. The first aims to alleviate the cost of run time provenance tracking and checking by defining a static type system which guarantees that in well-typed systems principals always receive data with provenance that matches their requirements. The second extension looks at the ramifications of provenance tracking on privacy and security policies and consists of extending the calculus with a notion we call filters. This gives principals the ability to assign different views of the provenance of a given value to different principals, thus allowing for the selective disclosure of provenance information. We study behavioural equivalences for this extension of the calculus, paying particular attention to the set of principals composing the observer and its role in discriminating between systems.
Supervisor: Sassone, Vladimiro Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery