Activity report 2018-2019

Industry Specification Group (ISG) cross-cutting Context Information Management (CIM)

Chairman: Lindsay Frost, NEC Europe

Developing specifications for applications to publish, discover, update and access context information for smart cities and other areas.

From the digitizing of industrial processes to creating smart services for citizens, it is essential to accurately record data together with its context information, the so-called metadata, and to transfer these without misinterpretation to other systems. Single-purpose solutions (such as measuring temperature at a weather station) work well within a known/preset context, but transfer of the data to another system (e.g. personal travel planner) or another country (e.g. from UK to France) requires pre-agreed standards. A century of international collaborations has achieved thousands of such agreements, but technologies such as Big Data, semantic web, Linked Data, autonomous decision making and eGovernment are enormously forcing the pace.

ETSI’s Industry Specification Group on cross-cutting Context Information Management (ISG CIM) is developing Group Specifications (GSs) for applications to publish, discover, update and access context information, initially for a broad range of smart city applications and later for other areas such as Smart Agriculture and Smart Manufacturing.

ISG CIM had an active second year of existence in 2018 (five plenaries, one workshop, forty-one weekly teleconferences and twenty-one rapporteur group teleconferences on work items), and co-operations with H2020 IoT/Smart Cities Projects, ETSI SmartM2M, oneM2M, GSMA, OGC, W3C and TM Forum.

A challenge for the group in 2018 was to publish its core development of Use Cases, a preliminary API and a first comprehensive version of the API named NGSI-LD (to build a final draft for publication in early 2019). These objectives were accomplished while furthering ambitious developments such as security and privacy guides for NGSI-LD developers, stimulation of early software implementations for validation, ISG CIM dissemination activities, development of an NGSI-LD ETSI White Paper, attraction of new ISG CIM members and cooperation plans towards TC SmartM2M/SAREF and oneM2M.

In 2018 ETSI ISG CIM published a number of documents:

  • ETSI GS CIM 004 V1.1.1 (2018-04) ‘Context Information Management (CIM); Application Programming Interface (API)’. GS CIM 004 was the preliminary API development that paved the way for the final version DGS/CIM-009-NGSI-LD-API (published in early 2019).
  • ETSI GR CIM 002 V1.1.1 (2018-09) ‘Context Information Management (CIM); Use Cases (UC)’, which was immediately opened again for revision to include smart agriculture use cases to be published as GR CIM 002 V1.1.2 in 2019.

The ISG CIM Work Item DGR/CIM-003-GAP (GR CIM 003) ‘Architecture and Standardization Gaps’ was stopped and the work was integrated into GR CIM 002. The work item DGS/CIM-005-DPP (GS CIM 005) ‘Data Publication Platforms’ was stopped after it was realized that the API would be sufficient to facilitate flexible publishing and no additional platform definition would be needed.

Development of the following ETSI ISG CIM deliverables progressed well in 2018, with publication scheduled in 2019:

  • DGS/CIM-006-MOD0 (GS CIM 006) ‘Information Model’
  • DGR/CIM-007-SEC (GR CIM 007) ‘Security and Privacy’
  • DGR/CIM-008-NGSI-LD-Primer (GR CIM 008) ‘NGSI-LD Primer’

After feedback from partners and users, ISG CIM discussed in 2018 the need for an extension of its ISG life beyond two years and agreed that the following aspects need to be addressed (in 2019 and 2020):

  1. eliciting and answering critique and suggestions from the many relevant standards bodies, alliances and software communities, which will almost certainly require updating of the API specification;
  2. consolidate and encourage re-use of a cross-domain ontology (collaborating with SAREF in cooperation with SmartM2M, or also e.g. schema.org, or W3C etc) which will provide for re-use of identical concepts and preclude misinterpretation of exchanged information;
  3. analysing security/privacy requirements for the API based on (new) EU requirements and writing normative improvements of the API as required;
  4. encouraging development of standards-compliant implementations and encouraging testing of interworking;
  5. collaborate with oneM2M concerning means to interwork with oneM2M systems and consider feasibility of including NGSI-LD functionality via the Mca Reference Point.

All of the above work necessitates close collaboration within the ETSI community (especially SmartM2M, CYBER, ATTM SDMC, SmartBAN, oneM2M) as well as with external organisations such as W3C as noted in the revised Terms of Reference).

Look out for in 2019 – ISG CIM work in progress:

  • Group Report (GR) on Context Information Management (CIM) - Recommendations for NGSI-LD Interworking
  • Revision to Group Specification (GS) on NGSI-LD API
  • GS on cross-domain data model compatible with CIM API
  • GR on Security and Privacy
  • GR ‘NGSI-LD Primer’ with usage examples of information model and API
  • Revision to GR on CIM Use Cases