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No Previous Sibling x On to: Capability Myths Demolished

Robust Composition:
Towards a Unified Approach to Access Control
and Concurrency Control

by Mark Samuel Miller


A dissertation submitted to Johns Hopkins University in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Baltimore, Maryland,
May, 2006

Copyright © 2006, Mark Samuel Miller. All rights reserved.
Permission is hereby granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document without royalty or fee. Permission is granted to quote excerpts from this documented provided the original source is properly cited.

 

PDF of current version (single spaced, formatted for double sided printing. Some typo fixes and wording improvements)
PDF of official dissertation (double spaced, formatted for single sided printing)

Powerpoint of oral defense talk
PDF from printing oral defense talk (most animation effects lost)

Abstract

When separately written programs are composed so that they may cooperate, they may instead destructively interfere in unanticipated ways. These hazards limit the scale and functionality of the software systems we can successfully compose. This dissertation presents a framework for enabling those interactions between components needed for the cooperation we intend, while minimizing the hazards of destructive interference.

Great progress on the composition problem has been made within the object paradigm, chiefly in the context of sequential, single-machine programming among benign components. We show how to extend this success to support robust composition of concurrent and potentially malicious components distributed over potentially malicious machines. We present E, a distributed, persistent, secure programming language, and CapDesk, a virus-safe desktop built in E, as embodiments of the techniques we explain.

Advisor: Jonathan S. Shapiro, Ph.D.
Readers: Scott Smith, Ph.D., Yair Amir, Ph.D.

@PhdThesis{RobustComposition,
    author  = {Mark Samuel Miller},
    title   = {Robust Composition: Towards a Unified Approach to 
               Access Control and Concurrency Control},
    year    = {2006},
    month   = {May},
    school  = {Johns Hopkins University},
    address = {Baltimore, Maryland, USA}
}
 
Unless stated otherwise, all text on this page which is either unattributed or by Mark S. Miller is hereby placed in the public domain.
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