Industry Specification Group (ISG) cross-cutting Context Information Management (CIM) Activity Report 2019

Chair: 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 specifications 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.

The primary responsibilities of ISG CIM are as follows:

  • to develop technical specifications and reports to enable development of interoperable software implementations of a cross-cutting Context Information Management (CIM) Layer using the NGSI-LD API. It is about bridging the gap between abstract standards and concrete implementations
  • to define and maintain a standard API (called NGSI-LD) for cross-cutting Context Information Management enabling close to real-time update/access to information from many different sources (not only IoT)
  • to enable applications to register context providers, update context, get actual and historic context information, to subscribe for notifications on context changes
  • to identify appropriate ontologies & data publishing platforms
  • to promote the NGSI-LD API as a tool and engage with the ETSI, oneM2M, IoT and Open Data communities to improve interoperability at the semantic and context layers

ISG CIM had an active third year of existence in 2019. Four plenary meetings were supplemented by weekly calls, Rapporteur Group meetings and also attendance at external workshops to maintain awareness of ISG CIM and promote cooperation with related initiatives.

In January 2019, ISG CIM published its ETSI White Paper “NGSI-LD API: for Context Information Management” that explains the main concepts behind the NGSI-LD data exchange protocol which aims to make it easier to find and exchange information with open databases, mobile Apps and IoT platforms.

During the year the group also:

  • published GS CIM 009 (NGSI-LD API) V1.1.1 and issued a related press release (January’19); this API has been named using the text string “NGSI-LD” with the formal agreement of OMA which originally defined NGSI. This greatly helps in avoiding confusion with the IEC CIM/Common Information Model specifications.
  • published a new release GS CIM 009 (NGSI-LD API) V1.2.1 (October ’19).
  • created a new Work Item on CIM Recommendations for NGSI-LD Interworking (April ’19);
  • published GS CIM 006 V1.1.1 (CIM Information Model) (July ’19);

At the close of 2019, further Work Items were under development, addressing Use Cases, Security and Privacy, NGSI-LD Interworking and an NGSI-LD Primer.

Work on the above items saw the continuation of close collaboration within the ETSI community (notably SmartM2M, CYBER, ATTM SDMC, SmartBAN and oneM2M). Interaction was also maintained with external organizations including H2020 IoT/Smart Cities Projects, GSMA, OGC, W3C, ITU-T and TM Forum.

In February 2019 the group was granted approval by ETSI DG (in consultation with ETSI Board) to extend its first period by two years with the approved updated terms of reference. This extension was agreed after noting that any overlap issue that might arise shall be addressed by ISG CIM in collaboration with SmartM2M and oneM2M with an active ETSI Secretariat monitoring and supporting to help to conduct the discussions, to identify if there are any overlaps and to actively facilitate commonly agreed corrective actions all along the two-year period of extension of ISG CIM.

At the end of 2019, ETSI ISG CIM Membership stood at 31 organizations: 22 Members, 8 Participants and 1 Counsellor (EC).

Look out for in 2020 – ISG CIM work in progress

  • Group Specification “NGSI-LD Testing Framework D1”
  • Group Specification “NGSI-LD Test Suite Structure D2”
  • Group Specification “NGSI-LD Test Purposes Descriptions D3”
  • Group Specification “NGSI-LD Test Suite D4”
  • Revision to Group Specification "NGSI-LD API v1.3.1"
  • Group Report “Security and Privacy”
  • Group Report “NGSI-LD Interworking”
  • Group Report “NGSI-LD Testing Environment Validation D5”
  • Revision to Group Report “Use Cases”