Tracing the man in the middle in monoidal categories


Pavlovic, Dusko (2012) Tracing the man in the middle in monoidal categories. In: 11th International Workshop on Coalgebraic Methods in Computer Science, CMCS 2012, 31 March - 1 April 2012, Tallinn, Estonia (pp. pp. 191-217).

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Abstract:Man-in-the-Middle (MM) is not only a ubiquitous attack pattern in security, but also an important paradigm of network computation and economics. Recognizing ongoing MM-attacks is an important security task; modeling MM-interactions is an interesting task for semantics of computation. Traced monoidal categories are a natural framework for MM-modelling, as the trace structure provides a tool to hide what happens in the middle. An effective analysis of what has been traced out seems to require an additional property of traces, called normality. We describe a modest model of network computation, based on partially ordered multisets (pomsets), where basic network interactions arise from the monoidal trace structure, and a normal trace structure arises from an iterative, i.e. coalgebraic structure over terms and messages used in computation and communication. The correspondence is established using a convenient monadic description of normally traced monoidal categories.
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Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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