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I've come across the "multilevel database" term whilst reading a textbook but it did not provide a proper definition with regards to what it is. Google didn't help either. Can anyone help define this concept to me and how it defers from a standard database implementaion?

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Hmm, unusual. Perhaps you could provide a short quote for context? –  Andy Jul 14 '09 at 14:13
    
Google has lots of results: google.com/search?q=multilevel+databases –  Dennis Williamson Jul 14 '09 at 15:42

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here is a link to pages that describe multilevel databases from Security in Computing By Shari Lawrence Pfleeger at Google Books.

Briefly, a multilevel database provides granular security for data depending on the sensitivity of the data field and clearance of the user for both writing and reading data.

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Anyone know of a commercial db product that supports this? –  Keith Jul 17 '09 at 18:59

A multilevel database as far as I understand it is a Column based table with different security and view layers. I found this which kinda confirms my thoughts.

The first layer corresponds to a model for a non-protected database. The second layer corresponds to a model for a multilevel database. In this second layer, we propose a list of theorems that must be respected in order to build a secure multilevel database. We also propose a new solution to manage cover stories without using the ambiguous technique of polyinstantiation. The third layer corresponds to a model for a MultiView database, that is, a database that provides at each security level a consistent view of the multilevel database.

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Would you care to give a source for your quote? –  sleske Jul 14 '09 at 14:55

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