Polanco: Enforcing natural language network policies

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1 Scopus citations


Network policies govern the use of an institution's networks, and are usually written in a high-level human-readable natural language. Normally these policies are enforced by low-level, technically detailed network configurations. The translation from network policies into network configurations is a tedious, manual and error-prone process. To address this issue, we propose a new intermediate language called POlicy LANguage for Campus Operations (POLANCO), which is a human-readable network policy definition language intended to approximate natural language. Because POLANCO is a high-level language, the translation from natural language policies to POLANCO is straightforward. Despite being a high-level human readable language, POLANCO can be used to express network policies in a technically precise way so that policies written in POLANCO can be automatically translated into a set of software defined networking (SDN) rules and actions that enforce the policies. Moreover, POLANCO is capable of incorporating information about the current network state, reacting to changes in the network and adjusting SDN rules to ensure network policies continue to be enforced correctly. We present policy examples found on various public university websites and show how they can be written as simplified human-readable statements using POLANCO and how they can be automatically translated into SDN rules that correctly enforce these policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9209748
JournalProceedings - International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks, ICCCN
StatePublished - 2020
Event29th International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks, ICCCN 2020 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2020Aug 6 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grants ACI-1541380, ACI-1541426, and ACI-1642134.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE


  • Campus network
  • Network policy
  • Software defined networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software


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