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Federation in Support of Multi-Party Experiments

Multi-party experiments are a research activity undertaken by multiple experimenters or groups of experimenters that requires differing views of the environment. For example, a multi-party security experiment may pit an attack designer against a defense designer, each with limited visibility and control of the system. Such environments may also support collaboration.

Conceptually, multiple users come to DETER with experiment fragments and constraints on how those fragments are combined and DETER creates the composite environment that meets those constraints.


DETER's support for this is evolving. Our initial implementation uses the simple composition system to combine partial topologies automatically, subject to constraints, and the federation to construct the composite topologies in DETER as federated experiments with individual service configurations.

This page documents the proof of concept implementation. More work is ongoing in making this system more broadly usable and expressive.

Combining partial topologies

One aspect of combining multiple environments is building a single overall topology, even if no individual player will be able to see all of it. We use a simple label-matching constraint resolver to combine topology fragments. Each node in a fragment may be annotated with constraints that describe how it can be attached to nodes in other fragments. Currently these are simple labels. An experimenter can specify the labels this node requires on other nodes to which it is attached as well as the labels this node holds. The example below shows composition of three fragments to form a new fragment that can be further composed.

composition example

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