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Policy-based management provides the ability to (re-) configure differentiated services networks so that desired quality of service (QoS) goals are achieved. Relevant configuration involves implementing network provisioning decisions, performing admission control, and adapting bandwidth allocation dynamically according to emerging traffic demands. A policy-based approach facilitates flexibility and adaptability in that the policies can be changed without changing the implementation. However, as with any other complex system, conflicts and inconsistencies may arise in the policy specification. In this work, we concentrate on the policy conflicts that may occur for static resource management aspects of QoS provisioning, known as network dimensioning. The paper shows how conflict detection can be achieved using event calculus in conjunction with abductive reasoning techniques to detect the existence of potential conflicts in partial specification and generate explanations for the conditions under which the conflicts arise. We finally present some conflict detection examples from our initial implementation of a policy conflict analysis tool. Although we focus on network dimensioning, many of the types of conflicts we illustrate could arise in other applications.
Date of Conference: 6-8 June 2005