Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis proposes a formal framework for usage management in distributed systems. The principles of system design are applied in order to standardize certain features of the framework, such as the operational semantics, and leave free of standards areas that necessitate choice and innovation. The framework enables use of multiple policy languages, and dynamic interpretation of usage policies in different computing environments. In addition, the framework provides formal semantics to reason about interoperability of policies with respect to computing environments. The use of this framework in different usage management scenarios is demonstrated including multi-level security, cloud computing and digital rights management (DRM) systems. Furthermore, DRM is cast in a setting that allows the modeling of a number of current approaches within a game theoretic setting. Current strategies that attempt to influence the outcome of such games are analyzed, and a new type of architectural infrastructure that makes novel use of a trust authority is considered in order to create a suitable environment for constructing DRM games that may prove useful in the future.


Computer networks--Access control., Computer networks--Management., Data protection., Game theory.

Document Type




Degree Name

Computer Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Abdallah, Chaouki

Second Committee Member

Ghani, Nasir

Third Committee Member

Crandall, Jedidiah