Wednesday, October 12, 2016

CTSC-Wildbook Engagement Summary

In the first half of 2016, members of the Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure ( and Wildbook ( projects collaborated on the development of a role-based access control (RBAC) prototype for the next generation Wildbook platform. The goal of the collaboration was to establish an RBAC design to support the variety of image gathering, curation, and analysis workflows across multiple ecological communities (studying Grevy's Zebras, Sea Turtles, Geometric Tortoises, Whale Sharks, Humpback Whales, Dolphins, etc.) while maintaining animal privacy (e.g., protection from poaching/trafficking).

CTSC and Wildbook (formerly called IBEIS) implemented an RBAC prototype using the open source software, which implements the System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) and eXtensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) standards. This prototype defined multiple roles and access policies:

Media Asset Contributors
Annotation Contributors
Data Curators
Data Managers
Organization Members (Users)
Organization Administrators
Platform Administrators
media assets, annotations, encounters, etc.
Assign roles to users
Share org A data with org B
Access to APIs

The prototype demonstrated the ability to implement access policies using the XACML Subject-Resource-Action pattern. For example:

Subject (Role) Resource Action
Organization Member Media Asset Create/Read
Data Curator Annotations Create/Read/Update/Delete
Organization Administrator Organization Policy Create/Read/Update/Delete
Platform Administrator Organization Create/Read/Update/Delete

Tanya Berger-Wolf (Wildbook) and Jim Basney (CTSC) presented the results of the collaboration at the July 2016 International Conference on Computational Sustainability (

The next step will be to schedule a follow-on engagement to take the lessons learned from the prototyping exercise to deploy XACML-based RBAC in the online Wildbook system.

To learn more about Wildbook/IBEIS, watch the livestream at 8:45am EDT on Thursday, October 13 (or the recording to be published after) of Professor Tanya Berger-Wolf presenting at The White House Frontiers Conference:

To apply for a one-on-one engagement with CTSC, visit: