An Architecture for Secure Wide-Area Service Discovery

Todd D. Hodes
Steven E. Czerwinski
Ben Y. Zhao
Anthony D. Joseph
Randy H. Katz

Journal on Wireless Networks
March 2002, Vol. 8, No. 2-3, Pgs. 213-230.
Published by the ACM and Baltzer Publishers

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Paper Abstract

The widespread deployment of inexpensive communications technology, computational resources in the networking infrastructure, and network-enabled end devices poses a problem for end users: how to locate a particular network service or device out of those accessible. This paper presents the architecture and implementation of a secure wide-area Service Discovery Service (SDS). Service providers use the SDS to advertise descriptions of available or already running services, while clients use the SDS to compose complex queries for locating these services. Service descriptions and queries use the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to encode such factors as cost, performance, location, and device- or service-specific capabilities. The SDS provides a fault-tolerant, incrementally scalable service for locating services in the wide-area. Security is a core component of the SDS: communications are both encrypted and authenticated where necessary, and the system uses a hybrid access control list and capability system to control access to service information. Wide-area query routing is also a core component of the SDS: all information in the system is potentially reachable by all clients.