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Trusted content-based publish/subscribe trees

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posted on 2023-06-08, 11:18 authored by Stephen Murugapa Naicken
Publish/Subscribe systems hold strong assumptions of the expected behaviour of clients and routers, as it is assumed they all abide by the matching and routing protocols. Assumptions of implicit trust between the components of the publish/subscribe infrastructure are acceptable where the underlying event distribution service is under the control of a single or multiple co-operating administrative entities and contracts between clients and these authorities exist, however there are application contexts where these presumptions do not hold. In such environments, such as ad hoc networks, there is the possibility of selfish and malicious behaviour that can lead to disruption of the routing and matching algorithms. The most commonly researched approach to security in publish/subscribe systems is role-based access control (RBAC). RBAC is suitable for ensuring confidentiality, but due to the assumption of strong identities associated with well defined roles and the absence of monitoring systems to allow for adaptable policies in response to the changing behaviour of clients, it is not appropriate for environments where: identities can not be assigned to roles in the absence of a trusted administrative entity; long-lived identities of entities do not exist; and where the threat model consists of highly adaptable malicious and selfish entities. Motivated by recent work in the application of trust and reputation to Peer-to-Peer networks, where past behaviour is used to generate trust opinions that inform future transactions, we propose an approach where the publish/subscribe infrastructure is constructed and re-configured with respect to the trust preferences of clients and routers. In this thesis, we show how Publish/Subscribe trees (PSTs) can be constructed with respect to the trust preferences of publishers and subscribers, and the overhead costs of event dissemination. Using social welfare theory, it is shown that individual trust preferences over clients and routers, which are informed by a variety of trust sources, can be aggregated to give a social preference over the set of feasible PSTs. By combining this and the existing work on PST overheads, the Maximum Trust PST with Overhead Budget problem is defined and is shown to be in NP-complete. An exhaustive search algorithm is proposed that is shown to be suitable only for very small problem sizes. To improve scalability, a faster tabu search algorithm is presented, which is shown to scale to larger problem instances and gives good approximations of the optimal solutions. The research contributions of this work are: the use of social welfare theory to provide a mechanism to establish the trustworthiness of PSTs; the finding that individual trust is not interpersonal comparable as is considered to be the case in much of the trust literature; the Maximum Trust PST with Overhead Budget problem; and algorithms to solve this problem.


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