Developing security-aware resource management strategies for workflows

Ligang He*, Nadeem Chaudhary, Stephen A. Jarvis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the resource allocation problem for a type of workflow in pervasive computing. These workflows are abstracted from the enterprise-level applications in the business or commerce area. The activities in these workflows require not only computing resources, but also human resources. Human involvement introduces additional security concerns. When we plan/allocate resource capacities, we often assume that when a task is allocated to a resource, the resource will accept the task and start the execution once the processor becomes available. However, the security policies impose further constraints on task executions, and therefore may affect both application- and system-oriented performance. Authorization is an important aspect in security. This paper investigates the issue of allocating resources for running workflows under the role-based authorization control, which is one of the most popular authorization mechanisms. By taking into account the authorization constraints, the resource allocation strategies are developed in this paper for both human resources and computing resources. In the allocation strategy for human resources, the optimization equation is constructed subject to the constraint of the budget available to hire human resources. Then the optimization equation is solved to obtain the number of human resources allocated to each authorization role. The allocation strategy for computing resources calculates not only the number of computing resources, but also the proportion of processing capacity in each resource allocated to serve the tasks assuming each role. The simulation experiments have been conducted to verify the effectiveness of the developed allocation strategies. The experimental results show that the allocation strategy developed in this paper outperforms the traditional allocation strategies, which do not consider authorization constraints, in terms of both average response time and resource utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the Leverhulme Trust (grant number RPG-101 ).


  • Authorization
  • Resource management
  • Security
  • Workflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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