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These are the main specifications upon which the openLiberty effort is based, as well as other work relevant to many of the participants and use cases.

Liberty ID-WSF
This set of specifications extends a message and processing framework around the other specfications it incorporates. This provides a consistent method for creating interoperable web services that are identity-aware, privacy-enhancing, and secure. The latest version, ID-WSF 2.0 builds upon a number of well-established specifications and standards.
SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) has been developed by the OASIS SAML TC. The current version, SAML 2.0, provides one of the cornerstones of the ID-WSF framework. It has been adopted as an OASIS Standard and also an ITU-T recommendation ITU-T X.1141
Web Services Security
WSS defines the basic framework for the message-oriented security mechanisms used in ID-WSF (including the profile for attaching SAML assertions to SOAP messages)
WS-Addressing is a W3C specification that defines a flexible way of identifying and manipulating web-service endpoints. ID-WSF 2.0 uses WS-Addressing constructions for referencing the services handled within the framework.

Profiles constrain an existing specification or standard in various ways to achieve interoperability in a particular deployment setting.

Shibboleth profiles SAML 1.1 and extends it in several ways. Current Shibboleth efforts based on SAML 2.0 are focused more on implementation and deployment, rather than extension, but the earlier profiles are proven and well-supported.
The Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) defines several profiles of specs used in ID-WSF. These profiles "provide implementation guidelines for how related Web services specifications should be used together for best interoperability."