Security and Privacy Ontology

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This page is intended to provide a focal point for the Security and Privacy Ontology Project; a hub for connecting to its artifacts, discussions, status and links to related projects and work groups. Most of the technical content for this project will be contained within its artifacts which will be linked to on this page and stored on GForge or other wikis. This page will provide sufficient content for project and document organization.


The scope of the project was defined by the answers to a set of scoping questions.

Project Documentation

Approved Project Scope Statement

Ontology Development Methodology

This methodology has been derived from a guideused by the Protégé team and demonstrates a basic model development process that shares some steps with HL7 HDF. The draft was written from the standpoint of developing an ontology from scratch.

Use Cases

Access Control Based on Category of Action

Access Control Based on Category of Object

Access Control Based on Category of Structural Role

Access Control Based on Category of Functional Role

Access Control Based on Multiple Role Values

Enable Design of Access Control System

Facilitate an Automated Decision Function

Other Ontologies

Situation-Based Access Control


This project uses the Protégé-OWL Editor for ontology editing and the Ontology Browser for Web-based ontology review.

Protégé-OWL Editor

Description: Protégé-OWL Editor

We are using version 4.1, which can be downloaded from: Protégé 4.1

Ontology Browser

Description: Ontology Browser

Brief guide: Getting Started


An introduction to Description Language, OWL and Protege: OWL, Protege and Security-Privacy Ontology

Draft Ontology

Updates to the Security and Privacy ontology will be available here.


The Security and Privacy Ontology is distributed as a zip file containing an Ontologies directory, a set of OWL files representing the sub-ontologies, and an XML Catalog. Note that the catalog redirects ontology IRIs to the local file system. For example,, which does not yet exist on the Web, is redirected to the SecurityAndPrivacy.owl file.

Current published draft of the Security-Privacy Ontology for peer review: [TBD Posted - November 1, 2011]

Hosted Browsing

Apelon is voluntarily hosting the Ontology Browser to facilitate peer review of the Security and Privacy Ontology. Please respect that purpose.

To browse the current published draft ontology using a Web browser:

  1. Visit the hosted Ontology Browser: Ontology Browser
  2. Enter a suitable URL in the box labeled Specify the physical location of your ontology. For example, copy and paste one of the following URLs:
    • file://localhost/C:/Ontologies/SecurityAndPrivacy.owl
    • file://localhost/C:/Ontologies/SomewhereHospital.owl
  3. Click load.


  • An Ontologies directory is hosted on the same virtual server as the Ontology Browser. The preceding example URLs will direct the hosted Ontology Browser to OWL files on its local host (not your local host).
  • Eventually, HL7 ontologies may be hosted at a well known location such as (which doesn't currently exist). In anticipation, the IRIs for sub-ontologies and other elements of the Security and Privacy Ontology embody that location. Unlike Protégé, the current Ontology Browser software provides no way to redirect such IRIs. Therefore, we direct the Ontology Browser to the hosted files (having manually edited OWL imports within the hosted files accordingly).

Ontology Review Criteria

Suggested criteria for interim review of the Security-Privacy Ontology:

Related Projects

HL7 SOA Ontology WG


W3C OWL 2 Specification
OASIS Reference Ontology for Semantic Service Oriented Architectures