Towards Formal Semantics for ODRL Policies

  • Simon SteyskalEmail author
  • Axel Polleres
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9202)


Most policy-based access control frameworks explicitly model whether execution of certain actions (read, write, etc.) on certain assets should be permitted or denied and usually assume that such actions are disjoint from each other, i.e. there does not exist any explicit or implicit dependency between actions of the domain. This in turn means, that conflicts among rules or policies can only occur if those contradictory rules or policies constrain the same action. In the present paper - motivated by the example of ODRL 2.1 as policy expression language - we follow a different approach and shed light on possible dependencies among actions of access control policies. We propose an interpretation of the formal semantics of general ODRL policy expressions and motivate rule-based reasoning over such policy expressions taking both explicit and implicit dependencies among actions into account. Our main contributions are (i) an exploration of different kinds of ambiguities that might emerge based on explicit or implicit dependencies among actions, and (ii) a formal interpretation of the semantics of general ODRL policies based on a defined abstract syntax for ODRL which shall eventually enable to perform rule-based reasoning over a set of such policies.


Formal Semantic Abstract Syntax Access Control Policy Deontic Logic Boolean Formula 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vienna University of Economics and BusinessViennaAustria
  2. 2.Siemens AGViennaAustria

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