Google Research

Permission and Authority Revisited: towards a formalization

  • Sophia Drossopoulou
  • James Noble
  • Mark S. Miller
  • Toby Murray
Workshop on Formal Techniques for Java-like Programs, ACM (2016)


Miller’s notions of permissions and authority are foundational to the analysis of object-capability programming. Informal definitions of these concepts were given in Miller’s thesis. In this paper we propose definitions for permissions and authority, based on a small object-oriented calculus. We quantify their bounds (current, eventual, behavioral, topological), and delineate the relationships between these definitions.

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