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WP3: ASSERT-O: Ontology based certificate

WP Leader: Engineering

The objective of this work package is to investigate the use of an ontology–based approach to support the description of certification properties for services. The key result of this activity will be the delivery of the ASSERT Ontology. This ontology will support the description of ASSERTs and will enable the interoperability and comparison of ASSERT–E and ASSERT–M certificates in the ASSERT4SOA framework. The ontology will model concepts related to security, such as security properties and verification techniques, and will be built whenever possible on existing work, by linking and extending concepts belonging to already defined ontologies.

Task 3.1: Requirements for an Ontology for Interoperability of Certificates (Leader: Eng, M1-M12):
In this task the requirements for an ontology supporting certificates interoperability will be analysed. The state of the art of semantic web services will be also investigated, focussing in particular on the certification aspect.

Task 3.2: Design and development of the ASSERT Ontology (Leader: Eng, M7-M32):
This task will focus on the design and definition of the ASSERT Ontology. In order to develop an ontology that appropriately reflects the concepts being used in ASSERTs, this task takes an iterative approach: the evolving ontology will be continuously revised and refined because the modelling process is rather complicated. Furthermore, since the ontology will represent a shared view of the domain under investigation, the group should agree on concepts and relationships introduced in the ontology model.
The ontology definition process will include the following steps:

  • Determine the scope of the ontology
  • Examine existing ontology and consider reusing them
  • Identify concepts and provide unambiguous definitions for them
  • Define relationships between concepts
  • Define properties of concepts
  • Define constraints
  • Representation of the above conceptualization in a formal language, such as OWL

The ASSERT Ontology will be released in two versions (the first version will be released at month 18 and the second version at month 32), also in order to benefit from feedback provided by the evaluation activity (Task 3.3)

Task 3.3: Evaluation and validation of the ASSERT Ontology (Leader: Eng, M13-M26):
This task is concerned with the evaluation of the ASSERT Ontology defined in Task 3.2 and focuses on assessing the ontology from the point of view of its integration in the ASSERT4SOA framework. The objective of the evaluation phase will be:

  • to evaluate the impact of the ontology on the ASSERT4SOA framework,
  • to check and improve the quality of the ontology with regard to the identified indicators.

Methods and tools for ontology evaluation proposed in literature can be involved at different stages in the ontology lifecycle; the ASSERT Ontology will be assessed from the beginning of the development, following methodologies applicable also during modelling stages. The work will be performed according to the following steps:

1. Definition of the evaluation plan
At this step the methodology to follow during the evaluation and validation will be defined. The indicators to be used to assess the ontology will be identified and unambiguously defined. In this phase also the tests that will be run during the evaluation phase, i.e. the assertions and the queries that will be used to assess the defined indicators, will be defined.

2. Evaluation
In this phase the tests will be executed. The evaluation will be performed for the first version of the ASSERT Ontology

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