Semantic Web Policies: Where are we and What is still Missing?

A tutorial at ESWC'06


The term policy is often overloaded. A general definition might be "a statement that defines the behaviour of a system". However, such a general definition encompasses different notions, including security policies, trust management policies, business rules and quality of service specifications, just to name a few. Researchers have mainly focussed on one or more of such notions separately but not on a comprehensive view. Policies are pervasive in web applications and play crucial roles in enhancing security, privacy, and service usability as well. Interoperability and self-describing semantics become key requirements and here is where Semantic Web comes into play. There has been extensive research on policies, also in the Semantic Web community, but there still exist some issues that prevent policy frameworks from being widely adopted by users and real world applications.

This tutorial aims at providing an overall view of the state of the art (requirements for a policy framework, existing policy frameworks/languages, policy negotiation, context awareness, etc.) as well as open research issues in the area (policy understanding in a broad sense, integration of trust management, increase in system cooperation, userawareness, etc.) required to develop a successful Semantic Policy Framework.