Secure Distributed Information Management Based on Semantic Web Technologies

Multi-organizational collaboration, e.g., international industrial projects, requires the integration of distributed information systems. With increasing system integration, security risks affecting the fundamental security goals, confidentiality, integrity, and availability, as well as administrative challenges arise. The Semantic Web offers technologies for information representations universally processable by humans and machines. Therefore, Semantic Web technologies aid in system integration, but the security features required for multi-organizational collaboration are missing. This thesis fills this gap by presenting semDIM, the first semantic framework offering secure distributed management of semantic identities, groups, and roles. The message exchange protocol developed for semDIM features a novel pattern-based concurrency control mechanism for ensuring consistency in distributed pattern-based data stores managed by multiple organizations. The framework is developed according to the requirements of a real-life international industrial engineering and manufacturing project, but it is applicable to any other domain. This flexibility is ensured by using ontology patterns that provide a formal adaptable knowledge representation. Combining semDIM with the respective ontologies allows it to be aligned to different use cases. For the industrial scenario, this thesis presents CO-PLM, the first pattern-based product-data-related core ontology covering all lifecycle phases and integrating workflows as well as security policies. This thesis evaluates CO-PLM and semDIM against requirements derived from the collaboration scenario. In contrast to the state-of-the-art solutions, combined, CO-PLM and semDIM cover all requirements for secure semantic information exchange in industrial collaboration projects, and they can also be used independently for other use cases.


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