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An Ownership-base Message Admission Control Mechanism for Curbing Spam

by Geng, Hongxing

Abstract (Summary)
Unsolicited e-mail has brought much annoyance to users, thus, making e-mail less reliable as a communication tool. This has happened because current email architecture has key limitations. For instance, while it allows senders to send as many messages as they want, it does not provide adequate capability to recipients to prevent unrestricted access to their mailbox. This research develops a new approach to equip recipients with ability to control access to their mailbox.

This thesis builds an ownership-based approach to control mailbox usage employing the CyberOrgs model. CyberOrgs is a model that provides facilities to control resources in multi-agent systems. We consider a mailbox to be a precious resource of its owner. Any access to the resource requires its owner's permission. Thus, we give recipients a capability to manage their valuable resource - mailbox. In our approach, message senders obtain a permission to send messages through negotiation. In this negotiation, a sender makes a proposal and the intended recipient evaluates the proposal according to their own policies. A sender's desired outcome of a negotiation is a contract, which conducts the subsequent communication between the sender and the recipient. Contracts help senders and recipients construct a long-term relationship.

Besides allowing individuals to control their mailbox, we consider groups, which represent organizations in human society, in order to allow organizations to manage their resources including mailboxes, message sending allowances, and contracts.

A prototype based on our approach is implemented. In the prototype, policies are separated from the mechanisms. Examples of policies are presented and a public policy interface is exposed to allow programmers to develop custom policies. Experimental results demonstrate that the system performance is policy-dependent. In other words, as long as policies are carefully designed, communication involving negotiation has minimal overhead compared to communication in which senders deliver messages to recipients directly.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Saadat Mehr, Aryan; Ludwig, Simone; Keil, J. Mark; Jamali, Nadeem

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:agent resource control distributed system email spam

ISBN:

Date of Publication:09/04/2007

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