The Policy RuleML Technical Group

RuleML-powered Policy specification and interchange

The RuleML Initiative, March 2004

This version:
http://policy.ruleml.org/
Latest version:
http://policy.ruleml.org/

Introduction

Today, business rules are the focus of various efforts in industry and academia. The recent work on e-business, web services, the Semantic Web, rights description and management, privacy, security and trust, is reinforcing the idea of a global approach to deal with the management, interchange and sharing of policies, regulations and business rules between various systems on the Web and in distributed environments.

The RuleML Initiative is proposing the formation of a Policy RuleML Technical Committee and the use of RuleML as a way to interoperate between different Policy systems.

Please send any comments you may have to Said Tabet and Bruce Spencer. The discussion should take place on the RuleML Mailing List.


Table of contents


1. Introduction

Today, business rules are the focus of various efforts in industry and academia. The recent work on e-business, web services, the Semantic Web, rights description and management, privacy, security and trust, is reinforcing the idea of a global approach to deal with the management, interchange and sharing of policies, regulations and business rules between various systems on the Web and in distributed environments.

The RuleML Initiative is proposing the formation of a Policy RuleML Technical Committee and the use of RuleML as a way to interoperate between different Policy systems.


2. Proposed Focus for Policy RuleML

The Policy RuleML TC will need to define a comprehensive prioritized list of focus areas.

2.1. The Concept: RuleML-based Policy Interchange

The overall motivation for the proposed TC is that to employ RuleML as a semantic interoperation vehicle for heterogeneous policy languages, standards, protocols, and mechanisms, both currently existing and those developed in the near future. RuleML will provide intermediate markup syntax, with associated deep knowledge representation semantics, for interchange between those languages, standards and mechanisms. The RuleML TC will also develop translation and implementation tools for interchange between policy languages/standards/protocols/mechanisms that are already XML-based. This can, for instance, be achieved using XSL transformations (XSLT), e.g., to translate into and then out of RuleML.


2.2. Initial Application Focus

The RuleML Initiative has been approached by a number of major players in the financial services area. We will discuss the relevance of financial services as an initial focus. As another application, we will look into manufacturing (supply chain and policies).


2.3. Goals of the Policy RuleML TC

The initial goal of the TC is to investigate scenarios of usage of RuleML as an interchange vehicle for policy languages, and to develop standards for such interchange suitable for a useful set of such scenario areas. Industry Vertical: Financial Services Financial services represent a very good initial prospect. Other industry-vertical areas will also be explored to some extent in parallel, e.g., electronics/computer or automotive manufacturing supply chain. Financial services give us a unique opportunity to explore many areas and domain scenarios where policies are used. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) defines and produces many rules and regulations for trading and compliance. These can be of various complexities and usually implemented in many different policy systems. The results of the RuleML Policy TC can be directly applied to encode such policies from SEC and other government and regulation agencies. Furthermore, the RuleML Policy language will offer ways to translate and integrate between disparate Policy systems. The RuleML Policy TC is anticipated to work and collaborate with other policy and regulations efforts on this specific domain as well as with other standards committees. The RuleML Policy TC will deliver an interoperation vehicle between other standards' policy specifications.


2.4. Technical Focus: Deontic Logic

Initially, we plan to use the current RuleML 0.85, with it's Object Oriented capabilities, to capture policies that can be encoded as derivation, constrained or reaction rules. For the long-term, we plan to extend RuleML towards incorporating deontic expressive features such as logics to capture rights, obligations and empowerments as aspects of policy rules. With this new concept, we will define a new category or class of rules in the RuleML hierarchy. Here are some examples of deontic rules:


3. Use Case Scenarios

We propose, as a starting point, the following set of usage scenario as candidates for investigation. We give these below in roughly descending order of priority to investigate:


References

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[2]
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[3]
An Agent Infrastructure based on Semantic Web Standards, Workshop on Business Agents and the Semantic Web. Andreas Eberhart. Invited Talk at the AI 2002, Calgary, Canada.
[4]
Towards Universal Web Service Clients. Andreas Eberhart. EuroWeb 2002 Conference, St Anne's College Oxford, UK, December 17 and 18th 2002.
[5]
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[9]
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[12]
Agent-Oriented Business Rules - Deontic Assignments. Taveter, K.; Wagner, G. In D'Atri, A.; Slvberg, A.; Willcocks, L. (eds.): Proceedings of International Workshop on Open Enterprise Solutions - Systems, Experiences, and Organizations (OES-SEO2001), 14-15 Sep 2001, Rome, Italy. Luiss Edizioni, Rome, 2001, pp. 72-81.
[13]
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