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Fred B. Schneider


PhD SUNY Stonybrook, 1978

My research focuses on techniques to support construction of concurrent and distributed systems for high-integrity, mission-critical settings.

The TACOMA project—a collaboration involving Cornell and the Univ. of Tromsoe (Norway)—is studying the use of mobile processes, or agents, for structuring distributed systems. Agents are a promising new paradigm for implementing services in large, open, distributed systems, like the Internet. Work at Cornell on Tacoma has emphasized fault-tolerance and security.

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This year, I succeeded in formulating a precise characterization of what security policies can be enforced by the broad class of enforcement mechanisms that work by monitoring system execution and halting it when the policy is about to be violated. This class of enforcement mechanisms includes all known operating system-based protection mechanisms (e.g. reference monitors, capability-based protection, access control lists). A notation, called SAL (security automata language), enables all such enforceable security policies to be specified. U. Erlingsson and I have been developing a tool that takes the SAL specification of a security policy and augments programs written in either x86 assembly language or JVM so that they are guaranteed to satisfy the specified security policy.

My interest in approaches for assertional reasoning about systems continues. D. Gries and I investigated different variants of substitution in first-order equational logics to better support the calculational-style of proof.

University Activities

  • Affirmative Action Committee, College of Engineering

  • Faculty Recruiting Committee, Computer Science

  • Computing Facilities Committee, Computer Science

Professional Activities

  • Editor-in-chief: Distributed Computing.

  • Editor: Information Processing Letters; IEEE Trans. Software Engineering; High Integrity Systems; Annals of Software Engineering; ACM Computing Surveys.

  • Co-managing Editor: Texts and Monographs in Computer Science, Springer-Verlag.

  • Chair: Steering Committee, Information Systems Trustworthiness, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences.

  • ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award Committee.

  • Co-organizer: Dagstuhl Seminar on Mobile Agents, Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany, Oct. 1997.

  • IFIP Working Group 2.3 (Programming Methodology).

  • Program Committee, Mobile Agents '98; IFIP Working Conference on Programming Concepts and Methods (PROCOMET '98); JavaSoft Security Advisory Committee. Dec. 1997-present.


Professor-at-Large, Univ. Tromsoe, Tromsoe, Norway (1996-2001).


  • Mobile Code Security Issues. DIMACS DREI'97 on Network Security. Rutgers, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Aug. 1997.

  • Fault-tolerant and secure agents. AFOSR Principal Investigator Meeting. Rome Air Development Center, Rome, NY, Sept. 1997.

  • Towards fault-tolerant and secure agentry. Keynote Lecture, 11th International Workshop WDAG '97. Saarbrucken, Germany, Sept. 1997.

  • Mobile code: What and where? Dagstuhl seminar on system support for mobile processes and software agents. Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany, Oct. 1997.

  • Mechanisms and policies for secure mobile code in Tacoma Too (T2). Dagstuhl seminar on system support for mobile processes and software agents. Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany, Oct. 1997.

  • Enforceable security polices and their enforcement. Workshop on Security and Languages. Digital Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, Oct. 1997.

  • Workshop summation. Workshop on Security and Languages. Digital Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, Oct. 1997.

  • Language-based security research. DARPA ITO. Washington, DC, Feb. 1998.

  • Enforceable security policies. Intel Research, Santa Clara, CA, March 1998.

  • Enforceable security policies. Computer Science, Univ. Tromso, Tromso, Norway, May 1998.

  • The non-technical take on computing system trustworthiness. Computer Science, Univ. Tromso, Tromso, Norway, May 1998.


  • Adding the everywhere operator to propositional logic. J. Logic and Computation 8, 1 (Feb. 1998), 119-129 (with D. Gries).

  • Towards fault-tolerant and secure agentry. Proc. 11th International Workshop WDAG '97 (Saar-brucken, Germany, Sept. 1997), LNCS 1320, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg (1997), 1-14.

  • Operating system support for mobile agents. Republished in: Readings in Agents. (M.N. Huhns and M.P. Singh, eds.) Morgan Kaufman Publishers, San Francisco, CA (1997), 263-266 (with D. Johansen and R. van Renesse).

  • On Concurrent Programming. Invited "Inside Risks" column. Comm. ACM 41, 4 (April 1998), 128.