Security of Mobile Multi-Agent Systems Workshop, Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2002)
Developing Secure Agent Systems Using Delegation Based Trust Management
July 16, 2002
We present an approach to some security problems in multi-agent systems based on distributed trust and the delegation of permissions, and credibility. We assume an open environment in which agents must interact with other agents with which they are not familiar. In particular, an agent will receive requests and assertions from other agents and must decide how to act on the requests and assess the credibility of the assertions. In a closed environment, agents have well known and familiar transaction partners whose rights and credibility are known. The problem thus reduces to authentication – the reliable identification of agents’ true identity. In an open environment, however, agents must transact business even when knowing the true identities is un-informative. Decisions about who to believe and who to serve must be based on an agent’s properties. These properties are established by proving them from an agent’s credentials, delegation assertions, and the appropriate security policy. We begin by describing our approach and the concepts on which it is built. Then we present a design that provides security functions (authorization and credibility assessment) in a typical agent framework (FIPA) and describe initial work in its realization using the semantic web language DAML+OIL.
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