Roles in information systems: A survey

Haibin Zhu, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Role-based approaches are emerging technologies in information system design and implementation. Roles have been acknowledged and applied in many fields for many years. Considering their increasing importance and applications in the development of various information systems, this paper intends to: 1) survey the literature relevant to role mechanisms and role-based systems in different fields and point out their motivations and contributions; 2) classify roles in such different contexts as modeling, designing, management, and collaboration; 3) identify the commonalities and differences among roles in different fields; and 4) point out the challenges, benefits, and future research areas of role-based systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-396
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Part C: Applications and Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Agent systems
  • Automated manufacturing system
  • Collaborative system
  • Computer-supported cooperative work
  • Information systems
  • Object-oriented design
  • Petri net
  • Role
  • Role-based access control


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