Interactive exploration of large filesystems

Joshua Foster, Kalpathi Subramanian, Gail-Joon Ahn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Secure management of file systems of large organizations can present significant challenges to system administrators, in terms of the number of users, shared access to parts of the file system for supporting large software projects, and securing and monitoring critical parts of the file system from intruders. We present interactive visualization tools for monitoring and viewing the complex access control relationships within large file systems. This tool is targeted as an aid to system administrators to manage users, software applications and shared access. We tested our tool on UNC Charlotte's Andrew File System (AFS), which contains 7043 users, 560 user groups, and about 2.1 million directories. Our system displays summary information about the file system, and two types of visualizations to explore access control relationships among classes of users. In addition, drill-down features are provided to explore the user file system structure and manage access control information of any directory within the system. All of the views are linked to permit easy navigation and features are provided that make the system scalable to larger filesystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsR.F. Erbacher, J.C. Roberts, M.T. Grohn, K. Borner
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Visualization and Data Analysis 2005 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 17 2005Jan 18 2005


OtherProceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Visualization and Data Analysis 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • AFS
  • Drill-down
  • Filesystem
  • Monitoring
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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