The policy continuum – Policy authoring and conflict analysis
Newton, MA, USA
Policy-based management, Policy continuum, Conflict analysis
The policy continuum is a fundamental component of any policy based management implementation for autonomic networking, but as of yet has no formal operational semantics. We propose a policy continuum model and accompanying policy authoring process that demonstrates the key properties that set a continuum apart from a non hierarchical policy model. As part of the policy authoring process we present a policy conflict analysis algorithm that leverages the information model, making it applicable to arbitrary applications and continuum levels. The approach for policy conflict analysis entails analysing a candidate policy (either newly created or modified) on a pair-wise basis with already deployed policies and potential conflicts between the policies are fed back to the policy author. Central to the approach is a two-phase algorithm which firstly determines the relationships between the pair of policies and secondly applies an application-specific conflict pattern to determine if the policies should be flagged as potentially conflicting. In this paper we present the formal policy continuum and two phase conflict analysis algorithm as part of the policy authoring process, we describe an implementation where we demonstrate the detection of potential conflicts within a policy continuum.