Secure agents

Piero A. Bonatti*, Sarit Kraus, V. S. Subrahmanian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


With the rapid proliferation of software agents, there comes an increased need for agents to ensure that they do not provide data and/or services to unauthorized users. We first develop an abstract definition of what it means for an agent to preserve data/action security. Most often, this requires an agent to have knowledge that is impossible to acquire - hence, we then develop approximate security checks that take into account, the fact that an agent usually has incomplete/approximate beliefs about other agents. We develop two types of security checks - static ones that can be checked prior to deploying the agent, and dynamic ones that are executed at run time. We prove that a number of these problems are undecidable, but under certain conditions, they are decidable and (our definition of) security can be guaranteed. Finally, we propose a language within which the developer of an agent can specify her security needs, and present provably correct algorithms for static/dynamic security verification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-235
Number of pages67
JournalAnnals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Secure agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this