STFs * STF HomePages * STF556

Specialist Task Force 556:
Consolidation of SAREF and its community of industrial users, based on the experience of the EUREKA ITEA 12004 SEAS project

Who we are:

   

See pictures from the left to the right:

Team leader:
Team Members:

 

What we do

ETSI SmartM2M tackles IoT, interoperability, and Semantic Interoperability challenges, contributing to the digital transformation of industry sectors in Europe. The SAREF standard ontology is a key flagship to reach semantic interoperability in IoT and Web-based applications where digitized assets play a central role. The first version of SAREF (now Smart Applications REFerence ontology) was published in November 2015 by ETSI TC SmartM2M, and subsequent extensions are being developed to describe digital assets for various domains including energy, environment, building, agriculture, smart city. The SAREF initiative has been welcomed by the Smart Appliance and IoT Industry which clearly indicated the intention to adopt the SAREF ontology and its related communication framework. As confirmed in the EC Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation 2016/2017, SAREF is a main ontology standard in the IoT ecosystem, and sets a template and a base for the development of similar standards for the other verticals to unlock the full potential of the IoT. Commercial products from industry already exist that use SAREF and SAREF4ENER, and oneM2M, as a way to interoperate with appliances from other vendors. The first proof-of-concept solution was demonstrated in a recent study funded by the Commission (SMART 2016/0082 study) as a follow up of the first SAREF study (SMART 2013/0077). This successful story in the Energy domain can be now used to provide guidelines to industry stakeholders in other IoT domains that want to create similar interoperability solutions based on SAREF.

The EUREKA ITEA 12004 SEAS (Smart Energy Aware Systems) project is a 35 partners and 13.5 M€ project that ran from Feb 2014 to Dec 2016 (https://itea3.org/project/seas.html), and received the ITEA Award of Excellence 2017. Its goal was to design and develop an eco-system of smart things and services, collectively capable of optimizing the energy efficiency within the future Smart Grid. 100 use cases were defined by 35 partners. From these use cases one identified gaps not yet covered by SAREF to be filled in the SEAS knowledge model. SAREF focuses on the notion of Device, while industry use cases often require some description of the physical systems and their connections, value association for their properties, and the activities by which such value association is done. The SEAS ontology development was initiated during a workshop that gathered 45 participants during 3 days and continued with close collaborations between ontology engineering experts, domain experts, and industry software architects. The result is a modular and versioned ontology with all the terms it defines having the same namespace (https://w3id.org/seas/). Ontology patterns are like design patterns in object oriented programming. They describe structural, logical, or naming, best practices that one can consider when building an ontology. The SEAS ontology contains a core of SEAS reference ontology patterns that can be instantiated to create the SEAS ontology itself with a homogeneous and predictable structure for the modelling and the description of any kind of engineering-related data/information/systems. This STF will consolidate the SAREF ontology adapting the SEAS strategy, and filling some of the representational gaps that were identified. 
One part of the effort of this STF is dedicated to support the inclusion of the SEAS ecosystem in the ETSI SAREF/oneM2M mainstream.
The remaining part of the work of this STF is attaching the general need of facilitating the inclusion and self-contribution of the actors form the different vertical business sectors (not only the energy one, but starting from the energy one) by creating tools (portals, feedbacks and bug reporting, etc) and procedures to enable these players to provide their feedbacks and proposals.


The STF 556 will produce 2 Technical Reports and 1 Technical Specification.
The first Technical Report (DTR/SmartM2M-103549) describes high-level use cases and requirements covered by the SEAS reference ontology patterns that can bring additional value to SAREF and its extensions. Generic ontology patterns are valid for SAREF and could motivate some changes in SAREF. Some of these ontology patterns are instantiated for different verticals (e.g., types of electric power systems and topology of energy grids), and can therefore motivate some changes in some SAREF extensions (SAREF4ENER for example). The second Technical Report (DTR/SmartM2M-103608) specifies, in collaboration with the ETSI IT department, the SAREF publication framework: a uniform documentation website for SAREF and its extensions such that (1) the documentation is more designed for domain experts and software developers instead of ontology engineers, (2) industries can like or share the content, provide useful feedback to SAREF developers or suggest additions. As a beneficial side effect, SAREF developers would get to know more about the SAREF community and who is using the ontology.
In addition to that, the STF will produce 1 Technical Specification (DTS/SmartM2M-103548), with the scope to specify updates to SAREF for consolidating it with the experience of the SEAS project. In the context of the proposed STF, it may be the case that some of the new requirements will lead to proposals to produce other Technical Specifications, with the scope to specify updates to extensions of SAREF.

For more details, see our Terms of Reference

 

Why we do it

The value of SAREF is strongly correlated with the size of its community of users, and ontologies must be available on the Web. As such, SAREF users’ community and the industry actors need be attracted to SAREF with clear documentation and a clear indication about how to provide their input and the kind of input that they can provide.
The ETSI members that contribute to SAREF will be therefore able to get benefit from feedback coming from its open community of industrial users, to better plan new evolution of the current and future extensions, and reduce the costs of developing these extensions. That being said, the development of SAREF must remain in ETSI's hands to ensure high quality standards are met, and users that provide feedback must understand the implication in terms of IPR. The publication and/or use of such feedback must therefore be controlled by ETSI, but the possibility to provide feedback will be open to the world. This STF will specify, in collaboration with the ETSI IT department, the SAREF publication framework to reinforce the engagement of its community of users and enable them to implement solutions with SAREF faster.
The final vision is to make the business community able to provide their input to SAREF and to maintain SAREF without the need of a special support form ETSI, but just with a revision from the ETSI members, and in particular from SmartM2M.

From the 100 use cases defined by 35 partners in the ITEA2 SEAS project, one identified gaps not yet covered by SAREF to be filled in the SEAS ontology. SAREF focuses on the notion of Device, while industry use cases in SEAS all required some description of the physical systems and their connections, value association for their properties, and the activities by which such value association is done. The SEAS ontology patterns are applicable to multiple engineering-related verticals such as Smart Grids, Micro Grids, Smart Home, Smart Building, Electric Mobility, Industry of the Future/Industry 4.0, including all their field devices/processes/systems, measurements, environment, actors/players and their relations, as well as flexibility/trading/business related aspects.
Some industrial groups such as ENGIE expressed the interest to use the SEAS ontology for their domains and extend it for other projects where cross-domain semantic interoperability is of utmost importance. Incorporating SEAS reference ontology patterns in SAREF will help covering additional generic use cases and achieving greater interoperability. Instantiations of these patterns will specialize these use cases to multiple industry sectors, with similar ontological structures, making it easy for industrials to understand the overall structure of SAREF using analogy.
Also, the SEAS reference ontology patterns extend and are aligned to the core of the following ontologies: OGC and W3C joint Semantic Sensor Network ontology (SOSA/SSN), QUDT (Quantity, Unit, Dimension and Type), and SAREF. Therefore, the proposed STF contributes to the convergence of the different reference ontologies relevant for the IoT domain.
At the same time, strict requirements were adopted for the SEAS ontologies publication framework. These were defined in close collaborations between ontology engineering experts, domain experts, and industry software architects. The SEAS ontology is published as a modular ontology, versioned, with all the terms it defines having the same namespace. The two latter choices avoid existing implementations to break when new versions are released, or when new editorial choices are made. In addition to this, all the metadata and publication best practices should be met, and the documentation webpages should be harmonized and adapted to target SAREF users instead of ontology engineers. The proposed STF aims at translating these requirements to SAREF to make its adoption faster for software engineers and domain experts
The proposed work of this STF is therefore to extend the SAREF standard considering:
  • The relevant use cases defined by the ITEA2 SEAS project;
  • Other standard ontologies such as W3C&OGC SOSA/SSN, and QUDT;
  • Preservation of alignments with oneM2M base ontology, SAREF adoption with ISG CIM;
  • Recommendations from AIOTI and influencing them;
  • Semantic versioning, metadata, publication, and documentation, best practices for ontologies.

How we do it

The STF 556 work consists of three main tasks:
  • Task T1: Project Management
Objectives: Coordination, communication, reporting and leading of the STF team activities, in collaboration with the ETSI secretariat and TC SmartM2M. The project will be organized in an Agile/Scrum way for the sake of efficiency and to foster the quick development of the new SAREF extensions.

  • Task T2: SAREF requirements gathering
Objectives: This task will gather requirements for consolidating the SAREF ontology with new reference ontology patterns, using the experience of the SEAS project. The experts will review the SEAS use cases, the 4 core SEAS modules, the 32 SEAS module (especially those related to verticals partly modelled in existing SAREF extensions), and the OGC&W3C SSN ontology, to gather a new set of requirements to update SAREF and its extensions.

  • Task T3: SAREF extension development
Objectives: The objective is to consolidate the SAREF ontology, and all the relevant SAREF extensions, adapting the SEAS reference ontology patterns, in order to achieve higher semantic interoperability.

  •  Task T4: Specification of the SAREF publication framework
Objectives: The objective is to initiate, in collaboration with the ETSI IT department, the specification of the SAREF ontology publication framework (gather requirements and develop the corresponding portal), reinforcing the engagement of its community of users. ETSI members will be able to better plan new evolution of the current and future extensions, and this publication framework will be reusable for reducing the costs of developing these extensions.

The STF 556 intends to work in close collaboration with (but not limited to):
  • oneM2M Partnership Project (including oneM2M TP WG5 MAS Management, Abstraction and Semantics)
  • ETSI Board (IoT Strategic Group)
  • ISG CIM
  • European Commission, DG CONNECT

 

Deliverables

List of deliverables to be produced by the STF 556:

 Deliv..          Work Item code                                                                                                           Title                                    
D1 DTR/SmartM2M-103549 (TR 103 549) Guidelines for consolidating SAREF with new reference ontology patterns, based on the experience from the EUREKA ITEA SEAS project
D2 DTS/SmartM2M-103548 (TS 103 548)   SAREF consolidation with new reference ontology patterns, based on the experience from the EUREKA ITEA SEAS project
D3 DTR/SmartM2M-103608 (TR 103 608) SAREF publication framework reinforcing the engagement of its community of users

 

Time plan

This is the expected time scale for the production of the deliverables:

    N    
         Task / Milestone / Deliverable                                                                                                            Target date                                     
M0 Start of work Jun 2018
T1 Project management Jun 2018 - Jun 2019
T2 SAREF requirements gathering Jun 2018 - Feb 2019
T3 SAREF extension development Nov 2018 - May 2019
T4 Development of the SAREF publication framework Jun 2018 - May 2019
M1 Early draft of TRs D1, D3(Task 2 and 4) and Progress report available for TB review 2 weeks before SmartM2M#47
Progress report approved by TC SmartM2M during SmartM2M#47
25 Sep 2018
M2
Final draft TR D1(Task 2) , early draft TS D2(Task 3) and Progress report available for TB review 2 weeks before SmartM2M#49
Progress report and Final draft TR D1 approved by TC SmartM2M during SmartM2M#49
Feb 2019
M3 Final draft TR D3(Task 4) and TS D2(Task 3) and Progress report available for TB review 2 weeks before SmartM2M#50
Final report and Final draft TR D3 and TS D2 approved by TC SmartM2M during SmartM2M#50
Jun 2019
M4 Deliverables published Jul 2019

How to contact us

For further details, or if you wish to be involved in the work of the STF, please contact the STF Leader: Maxime Lefrançois at maxime.lefrancois@emse.fr

This information is based upon STF working assumptions.

The views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of ETSI in this context.