Supporting Accepted Business Practices
on the Network (SABER)

Global Operating System Technology Group
High Performance Computing and Communications Division
Information Sciences Institute
University of Southern California


The objectives of the SABER project are to establish a framework for network applications and protocols that support automatic adherence to accepted business practices. Making such practices automatic means that conscious effort is needed to circumvent the practice and allows social mechanisms to be applied when such actions are discovered. The framework will support intellectual property and privacy protection. It will support the selection of information and service providers based on class of content and confidence in the service provider (e.g. accreditation). It will also support prioritization and filtering of service requests according to declared class of service.


Meta-data containing copyright clearance information, price, confidence, ratings, and purpose are encoded as attributes to data objects, and fields to pass the declared class of service, ratings, and desired restraints on the retention of transaction information are added to transport protocol messages. Endorsements for services are signed certificates that are stored as attributes of the service in directory service entries. Attributes on data objects are preserved when data are cached or otherwise copied.

Applications use the meta-data to initiate payments for intellectual property (possibly prompting the user for approval first), and to prioritize or hide from view inappropriate information, services of unknown quality, and objectionable material. Servers receiving requests with limits on collection and retention of summary information act within the constraints imposed by the user or they reject the request.