Harnessing Information Models and Ontologies for Policy Conflict Analysis

Steven Davy

    Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis


    Policies are meant to govern the behaviour of the communications network. Unfortunately, most policy-based management systems do not contain conflict analysis processes. Therefore, if policy conflicts occur between deployed policies, there is no guarantee that the intended behaviour will be realised by the communications network. In addition, most policy-based management systems are designed to be used by a single constituency, so do not address the needs of different stakeholders that use the system in different ways. This thesis presents an approach to policy authoring that incorporates policy conflict analysis for communications networks. This approach is based on harnessing knowledge embodied in information models and ontologies to represent relationships between policy components that could indicate potential conflicts between policies. Harnessing the application information embodied in knowledge bases makes the approach independent from the application or use of policies because the application specific concerns are separated and thus can be designed independently. A model of a policy continuum is presented, which is used to maintain the relationships between different levels of policies used by different stakeholders. A policy authoring process is then developed to formally describe the interaction between stakeholders concerned with creating and modifying policies and the detection of policy conflicts. An efficient method of selecting appropriate subsets of policies that may conflict is developed. Experimental results show that this process results in a significant reduction in the number of policies that needed to be analysed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Jennings, Brendan, Supervisor
    • Strassner, John, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2008


    • Information models, Policy conflict analysis


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