Mining Hierarchical Temporal Roles with Multiple Metrics
Scott D. Stoller and Thang Bui

Role-based access control (RBAC) offers significant advantages over lower-level classic access control policy representations, such as access control lists (ACLs). Timed RBAC (TRBAC) extends RBAC to limit the times at which roles are enabled. This paper presents a new algorithm for mining high-quality TRBAC policies from timed ACLs (i.e., ACLs with time limits in the entries) and optionally user attribute information. Such algorithms have potential to significantly reduce the cost of migration from timed ACLs to TRBAC.

The algorithm is parameterized by the policy quality metric. We consider multiple quality metrics, including number of roles, weighted structural complexity (a generalization of policy size), and (when user attribute information is available) interpretability, i.e., how well role membership can be characterized in terms of user attributes. Ours is the first TRBAC policy mining algorithm that produces hierarchical policies, and the first that optimizes weighted structural complexity or interpretability. In experiments with datasets based on real-world ACL policies, our algorithm is more effective than previous algorithms at their goal of the minimizing number of roles.