Prototyping to explore MLS/DBMS design

D. J. Thomsen, W. T. Tsai, M. B. Thuraisingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines prototyping as a research tool for studying multilevel secure databases (MLS/DBMS). The paper proposes that an MLS/DBMS design can be quickly prototyped in Prolog. The prototype is then used as a research tool to experiment with the policies and models of the MLS/DBMS. To illustrate the principle, we built a Prolog prototype based on the Bell and LaPadula model. This prototype emphasizes a modular security policy to encourage reuse for other security mechanisms. The prototype also supports an interference control mechanism. It has proved to be a useful research tool for studying MLS/DBMS policies and models. Furthermore, since a prototype using Prolog can be built very quickly, we suggest that future MLS/DBMS models be prototyped and studied before costly mistakes are incurred in a full-scale implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-245
Number of pages17
JournalComputers and Security
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Law


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