Pervasive Application Rights Management Architecture
Item Type:Masters (Research)
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
TCD-CS-2005-53.pdf (PDF) 1.626Mb
This dissertation describes an application rights management architecture that combines license management with digital rights management to provide an integrated platform for the specification, generation, delivery and management of application usage rights for pervasive computing environments. A new rights expression language is developed, extended from the existing language, ODRL, which allows the expression of mobile application usage rights and supports fine-grained usage models. An audit-based usage rights model is introduced to support application usage without requiring immediate network availability. Rights are designed to be enforced on the device itself, without the need for communication with a server for every validation, realising the goal of reduced wide-area communications by mobile devices. The addition of the rights enforcement source code to the original application is facilitated using aspect-oriented programming and is performed at the license management server rather than by the developer. Back-end license management services, hosted by the application vendor, and/or enterprise customer, are based on web services so they can deliver applications and licenses to any client device that supports SOAP and/or HTTP(S) protocols and provide an integrated platform for management of licenses on both desktop and mobile devices. The thesis was motivated by the lack of suitable usage right management systems for the emerging pervasive environments. Pervasive computing devices include handheld computers, personal digital assistants, mobile phones, pagers, and others, and are generally characterised by mobility, occasional network connectivity, constrained resources, and, in the case of mobile phones, unique hardware identification by an IMEI number. Communication via wide-area network is available in the mobile environment but is still costly when compared to fixed networks. However, mobile devices can communicate using a variety of free short-range protocols, such as Bluetooth, Infrared, and 802.11. Software applications running on pervasive computing devices are generally licensed using software License Management Systems (LMS), distributed software architectures that manage software licenses throughout their life-cycle, or Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems, systems that specify and enforce usage rights on copyrighted information. Both these types of systems are originally developed for desktop devices in the fixed network environment. Existing LMS assume constant network connectivity present in LANs and require network connections for license validation and enforcement. This assumption can not be made in pervasive environments because network connectivity is only occasional and often costly.
Existing LMS assume constant network connectivity present in LANs and require network connections for license validation and enforcement. This assumption can not be made in pervasive environments because network connectivity is only occasional and often costly. Existing LMS also require the addition of calls to a licensing API in the licensed application?s source code. This increases the application development time, as it is performed by the application developer, and it requires knowledge of licensing APIs. DRM systems that are used to manage usage rights on applications do not require a network connection or knowledge of proprietary APIs, however they are primarily designed for management of usage rights on content. As DRM systems treat applications and content in the same manner, they fail to support fine-grained usage models for applications. License validation and enforcement for an application is performed only once, on application loading, but license enforcement needs to be performed throughout the application execution to support flexible usage models such as feature-based, audit-based, and metered usage models. A pervasive license management system should overcome the limitations of the existing DRM and desktop LMS when deployed in pervasive computing environments. It should minimize the amount of wide area network traffic to reduce overhead costs introduced by the licensing system. It also requires usage rights models that do not make the assumption of an immediate network connection, to account for the occasional connectivity of mobile devices. A variety of application usage models should be supported so users can choose the best value model. Also, this system should provide a central point for managing all of the licensed software to support enterprise customers, whether it runs on mobile or desktop devices, and integrate easily within other enterprise services, such as payment or asset management. The architecture described in the thesis is designed to meet all of these requirements. This thesis is a part of the PARMA project that provides a full usage rights architecture. A rights expression language, usage rights servers and a means of integration of usage rights in applications are provided in this thesis, while a client usage right enforcement architecture is provided by the remaining parts of the project.
Author: Dusparic, Ivana
Type of material:Masters (Research)
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Availability:Full text available