Probabilistic reasoning with graphical security models

Barbara Kordy, Marc Pouly, Patrick Schweitzer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    This work provides a computational framework for meaningful probabilistic evaluation of attack–defense scenarios involving dependent actions. We combine the graphical security modeling technique of attack–defense trees with probabilistic information expressed in terms of Bayesian networks. In order to improve the efficiency of probability computations on attack–defense trees, we make use of inference algorithms and encoding techniques from constraint reasoning. The proposed approach is illustrated on a running example and the computations are automated with the help of suitable software tools. We show that the computational routines developed in this paper form a conservative generalization of the attack–defense tree formalism defined previously. We discuss the algebraic theory underlying our framework and point out several generalizations which are possible thanks to the use of semiring theory. Finally, our results apply directly to the analysis of the industrially recognized model of attack trees.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-131
    Number of pages21
    JournalInformation sciences
    Publication statusPublished - May 2016


    • Socio-technical security
    • Attack patterns
    • SysML activity diagrams
    • Systems attacks
    • Attack surfaces
    • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/318003
    • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/2007-2013


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