IEEE Globecom 2007 Internet Protocol Symposium

Utilizing Semantic Tags for Policy Based Networking

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Policy based networks provide high levels of flexibility by allowing definition of packet handling rules within a network, resource allocation strategies, network management, access control etc. However, commonly used policy specification mechanisms are limited in their expressibility and rely mostly on packet headers that convey limited information about the semantics of the content. In this paper, we propose a new model for policy based networking that utilizes OWL tags carried in data packets that can provide detailed semantic information about the packet or stream. Using this model, a policy decision point can reason over these tags and infer the correct set of operations to invoke. Policies are expressed in SWRL using a common ontology and take into consideration the content of the streams, relevant contextual information and external domain constraints. Using this framework, fine grained, highly specialized services can be offered within the network that are context-aware, easy to manage, deploy and verify for consistency.

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