LIFPEAR: Light-weight Flexible Protocol to Exchange Accounting Records

State: completed by Alexander Filitz

Accounting relies on successful user authentication and authorization in a distributed system or federated environment. Once the access to a given resource is granted, resource usage has to be accounted in a reliable manner. The accounting process is composed by the exchange of "accounting information" between who monitor the resource usage and who store such information in a repository — possibly to start billing. The mentioned exchange of "accounting information" are accounting records that need to be built, exchanged between accounting clients/servers, and stored accordingly.

There are several Accounting Protocols, like RADIUS [4], Diameter [3], and TACACS [2]. However, since these protocols are robust protocols designed for Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) [5], employing such solutions in a fine-adjusted manner is technically and time-wise costly. Not mentioning that if users want to exchange accounting records in a reliable way, without high configuration efforts, these protocols are not considered to be slim and light-weight.

Therefore, focusing on the exchange of accounting records — being reliable at the same time — becomes the necessity. Thus, the respective design and implementation as well evaluation of such a protocol will be able to bridge this gap.

The work to be performed in this Bachelor Thesis will focus on the design, implementation, and evaluation of the LIFPEAR (Light-weight Flexible Protocol to Exchange Accounting Records). Such protocol was partially designed in the context of a project called Accounting and Monitoring of AAI Services (AMAAIS) [1].

The main goal of the LIFEPAR protocol is, as explicit in its name, to be light-weight and flexible at the same time, aiming to focus on the exchange accounting records in a reliable manner. These requirements are better described in the items below:


[1] Communication Systems Group, IFI, UZH: Accounting and Monitoring of AAI Services (AMAAIS). Available at : http://www.csg.uzh.ch/research/amaais. Last visit on Sept. 2010.   
[2] IETF RFC: An Access Control Protocol, Sometimes Called TACACS. Available at: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1492.txt. Last visit on Sept. 2010.
[3] IETF RFC: Diameter Base Protocol. Available at: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3588.txt. Last visit on Sept. 2010.
[4] IETF RFC: Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS). Available at: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2865.txt. Last visit on Sept. 2010.
[5] C. Metz: AAA protocols: authentication, authorization, and accounting for the Internet, IEEE Internet Computing, Nov/Dec 1999, Vol. 3, No.6, pp.75-79. doi:10.1109/4236.807015

Final Report

15% design, 75% implementation, 10% documentation
Java, AAA knowledge/interest

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Burkhard Stiller, Guilherme Sperb Machado

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