Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Computer Science


This paper introduces a variation to the Role Based Access Control (RBAC) model called Impediment Sensitive RBAC (IS-RBAC) to be used for implantable and closely-worn medical devices. The IS-RBAC represents impediments including instrument failures, user failures, and environmental situations. IS-RBAC accommodates the impacts that the three types of impediments convey on two foundation set definitions, namely, the data set and the set of user role assignments. With these new definitions, IS-RBAC model strengthens the weaknesses caused to the protection of data from user and instrument failures and environmental situations, mitigates threats from users with elevated user role privileges, and ultimately helps prevent potential harm to data owners. Implantable and closely worn medical devices (instruments) offer substantial examples to illustrate applicability of the IS-RBAC model. This paper presents instrument and user failures and environmental situations associated with instrument Socio-Technical Systems including a modern heart pacemaker, insulin pump, hearing aid, and several smartphone sensory applications.