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Priority Model

Casbin supports loading policies with priority.

Load Policy with Implicit Priority​

It's quite simple: the order determines the priority; policies that appear earlier have higher priority.


e = priority(p.eft) || deny

Load Policy with Explicit Priority​

Also see: casbin#550

A smaller priority value indicates a higher priority. If there's a non-numerical character in the priority, it will be placed last instead of throwing an error.

Token name convention

The conventionally used priority token name in the policy definition is "priority". To use a custom one, you need to invoke e.SetFieldIndex() and reload the policies (see the full example on TestCustomizedFieldIndex).


p = customized_priority, sub, obj, act, eft

Golang code example:

e, _ := NewEnforcer("./example/priority_model_explicit_customized.conf",
// Due to the customized priority token, the enforcer fails to handle the priority.
ok, err := e.Enforce("bob", "data2", "read") // the result will be `true, nil`
// Set PriorityIndex and reload
e.SetFieldIndex("p", constant.PriorityIndex, 0)
err := e.LoadPolicy()
if err != nil {
log.Fatalf("LoadPolicy: %v", err)
ok, err := e.Enforce("bob", "data2", "read") // the result will be `false, nil`

Currently, explicit priority only supports AddPolicy & AddPolicies. If UpdatePolicy has been called, you shouldn't change the priority attribute.


r = sub, obj, act

p = priority, sub, obj, act, eft

g = _, _

e = priority(p.eft) || deny

m = g(r.sub, p.sub) && r.obj == p.obj && r.act == p.act


p, 10, data1_deny_group, data1, read, deny
p, 10, data1_deny_group, data1, write, deny
p, 10, data2_allow_group, data2, read, allow
p, 10, data2_allow_group, data2, write, allow

p, 1, alice, data1, write, allow
p, 1, alice, data1, read, allow
p, 1, bob, data2, read, deny

g, bob, data2_allow_group
g, alice, data1_deny_group


alice, data1, write --> true // because `p, 1, alice, data1, write, allow` has the highest priority
bob, data2, read --> false
bob, data2, write --> true // because bob has the role of `data2_allow_group` which has the right to write data2, and there's no deny policy with higher priority

Load Policy with Priority Based on Role and User Hierarchy​

The inherited structure of roles and users can only be multiple trees, not graphs. If a user has multiple roles, you have to make sure the user has the same level in different trees. If two roles have the same level, the policy (associated with the role) that appeared earlier has higher priority. For more details, also see casbin#833 and casbin#831.


r = sub, obj, act

p = sub, obj, act, eft

g = _, _

e = subjectPriority(p.eft) || deny

m = g(r.sub, p.sub) && r.obj == p.obj && r.act == p.act


p, root, data1, read, deny
p, admin, data1, read, deny

p, editor, data1, read, deny
p, subscriber, data1, read, deny

p, jane, data1, read, allow
p, alice, data1, read, allow

g, admin, root

g, editor, admin
g, subscriber, admin

g, jane, editor
g, alice, subscriber


jane, data1, read --> true // because jane is at the bottom, her priority is higher than that of editor, admin, and root
alice, data1, read --> true

The role hierarchy looks like this:

role: root
└─ role: admin
├─ role editor
│ └─ user: jane
└─ role: subscriber
└─ user: alice

The priority automatically looks like this:

role: root                 # auto priority: 30
└─ role: admin # auto priority: 20
├─ role: editor # auto priority: 10
└─ role: subscriber # auto priority: 10