Hierarchical Access Control for Multi-Group Scenarios

Many group applications contain multiple related data streams and group members have different access privileges. These applications are prevalent in various scenarios.
  • Multimedia applications distributing data in a multi-layer coding format [114]. For example, in video broadcast, users with a normal TV receiver can receive the normal format, while others with HDTV receivers can receive the normal format and the extra information needed to achieve HDTV resolution.

  • Multicast programs containing several related services, such as weather, news, traffic and stock quote.

  • Communications in hierarchically managed organizations where participants have various access authorization.

In these scenarios, group members subscribe to different data steams, or possibly multiple of them. In other words, the access control mechanism needs to supports multi-level access privilege. This is referred to as the hierarchical group access control [115, 116].

Traditional key management schemes are not designed to handle key management issues associated with multiple services occurring concurrently that have correlated memberships. Although access control for individual data stream can be managed separately using existing key management schemes, this leads to inefficient use of keys and does not scale well when the number of data streams increases.

In this chapter, we formulate the hierarchical group access control problem and presents the solutions [115, 116] in both centralized and contributory environments.


Access Control Storage Overhead Multicast Session Access Class Rekeying Message 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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