Modeling Human Behaviour with Higher Order Logic: Insider Threats

Jaap Boender, Marieta Georgieva Ivanova, Florian Kammuller, Giuseppe Primiero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we approach the problem of modeling the human component in technical systems with a view on the difference between the use of model and theory in sociology and computer science. One aim of this essay is to show that building of theories and models for sociology can be compared to and implemented in Higher Order Logic. We validate this working hypothesis by revisiting Weber’s understanding explanation. We focus on constructive realism in the context of logical explanation. We review Higher Order Logic (HOL) as a foundation for computer science and summarize its use of theories relating it to the sociological process of logical explanation. As a case study on modeling human behaviour, we present the modeling and analysis of insider threats as a Higher Order Logic theory in Isabelle/HOL. We show how each of the three step process of sociological explanation can be seen in our modeling of insider’s state, its context within an organisation and the effects on security as outcomes of a theorem proving analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th workshop on Socio-Technical Aspects of Security and Trust, STAST 2014
Number of pages8
Publication date2014
Pages31 - 39
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event4th Workshop on Socio-Technical Aspects of Security and Trust (STAST 2014) - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 18 Jul 2014 → …
Conference number: 4


Workshop4th Workshop on Socio-Technical Aspects of Security and Trust (STAST 2014)
Period18/07/2014 → …
OtherCo-located with the 27th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium (CSF)
Internet address


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