Accountability using flow-net: design, implementation, and performance evaluation


Yang Xiao, Department of Computer Science, The University of Alabama, 101 Houser Hall, PO Box 870290, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487–0290, U.S.A.



Accountability is a very important topic for computer and networking systems. It helps to answer questions such as, “What happened?” and, “Who did it?” These two questions are also related to forensics; however, forensics normally tries to answer these questions by adding some human factors (such as a guess or an instinct due to missing evidence, as well as human involvements) under the available system. Accountability, on the other hand, can only be achieved by significantly improving the current system with the result that forensics becomes trivial in an accountable system. Furthermore, each entity in the system must be held responsible for its activities. In order to provide accountability, a better logging system is necessary so that not only their activities but also their relationships may be captured. To this end, our previous work proposed a novel logging mechanism, flow-net methodology, for accountability. In this paper, we extend the flow-net methodology and present its design and implementation in wireless networks. We also evaluate the performance of flow-net and compare it with that of audit log files. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.