oneM2M’s roadmap for 2023-24 is taking shape and includes an interoperability test event in late-2022”


Roland Hechwartner summarizes the latest developments from oneM2M’s recent Technical Plenary #54 in this interview. In addition to representing Deutsche Telekom (DT), Roland is the Chair for oneM2M’s Technical Plenary (TP) and responsible for the coordination of the overall management of the technical work within the TP and its Working Groups.

TP#54 was organized as a hybrid event hosted by ETSI whose support is greatly appreciated.

Q: What were the main objectives for this TP?

RH: There were two main objectives for this TP. One was to progress Release 4 of the oneM2M standard and get all specification documents ready in preparation for their ratification. Ratification is the decision taken by the TP that all documents are in a stable and editorial clean version which allows their publication by the organizational partners of oneM2M. The second objective was to decide on the timetable for the Release 5 freeze of the requirements phase. That means no new requirements will be accepted for Release 5 beyond that date.

We also had a useful planning discussion to decide on the meeting schedules for 2023 and 2024.

There was a good cross section of attendees from several European countries, India, S. Korea, and the USA. Bindoo Srivastava from the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), who was recently appointed as the Chair of oneM2M’s MARCOMs Committee was able to join us in person. We managed to fit additional discussions on the status of oneM2M adoption, plans for future development as well as outreach to the different regions.

Q: We usually talk about activities in each of oneM2M’s three main work areas. Would you begin by telling us about the Requirements and Domain Modelling (RDM) group?

RH: As the RDM group focuses on the future roadmap, its current emphasis is on Release 5. Group members made progress on the Technical Report TR-0068 which deals with AI-enablement in oneM2M. Contributors agreed new requirements to the Technical Specifications TS-0002 Requirements.

The work on AI enablement to oneM2M began with an analysis of existing AI/ML technologies that can be resourced into oneM2M’s architecture. It is also investigating potential AI/ML service use cases that use data collected in the oneM2M system. The study on existing AI/ML technologies and use cases are further analyzed in this technical report to understand what features are supported and unsupported by the oneM2M system. Based on the result of this technical report, it will identify potential requirements and key features to enable AI/ML in the oneM2M system.

Likewise, there was progress on the “Study on ontologies for Smart City Services” (TR-0061). More specifically, the group reached agreement on additions to the definition and the elaboration of common ontologies for smart cities. The TR-0061 investigates and analyses different ontologies, which all together can be considered a potential set of ontologies for a smart city. Findings show that they cannot be used directly to represent smart city data semantically. Therefore, a common ontology is proposed in the TR. This covers the high-level concept definitions which are needed to support modularization as well as to cover the different sub-domains of a smart city.

The National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) of the Ministry of Power of India presented several new use cases on smart meter reading for the collection of use cases in the TR-0001 document. I expect that there will be further discussions on the suggested use cases in future meetings, including potential new requirements.

To allow new members to propose and incorporate their ideas, it was decided to keep Release 5 open for new use cases and requirements until the TP56 meeting, which is scheduled for September. The milestone plan for Release 5 was adjusted to the current development and looks as follows:

R5 Stage 1 Freeze at TP#56 in Q3 2022

R5 Stage 2 Freeze Date at TP#59 in Q2 2023

R5 Stage 3 Freeze Date at TP#62 in Q4 2023

The tentative date for the R5 ratification would be following the TP62 in Q2 2024.

Q: The next group to discuss is System Design and Security (SDS). What were their main accomplishments?

RH: The System Design and Security (SDS) working group completed the protocol related work, which corresponds to stage 3 activities, for all Rel-4 features. Various maintenance work related changes and corrections are needed before R4 is complete. There is also a requirement for a final review of TS-0004 “Service Layer Core Protocol Specification” against TS-0001 “Functional Architecture” specification to check that there are no further missing pieces. These tasks require some effort to avoid inherited errors, inconsistencies, and ambiguous procedures in Release 5. Once these are complete, we can expect ratification of Release 4 specifications in Q3 or Q4 this year.

The SDS WG progressed other work on release 5: One of these is the work item WI-101 on Advanced Semantic Discovery (ASD). The objective of ASD is twofold. One is to enable an automated, easy, and efficient discovery of information. The other is to enable interworking with external sources and consumers of information. This is applicable to distributed data bases in a smart city or in a firm, or to directly search information in aoneM2M system for big data purposes. This WI specifies the query and discovery mechanisms, taking account of the inherent complexity and the distributed nature of the features of the oneM2M system. It also deals with query-language features and issues related to search exhaustiveness.

In developing the ASD work item, our members build on solutions defined by ETSI STF 589 (Semantic Discovery and Query in oneM2M), to adapt the applicable components and to assure a smooth interworking with relevant non-oneM2M solutions. It is also worth noting that the SAREF ontology could also provide a relevant vocabulary for semantic queries. In addition to being integrated in oneM2M, SAREF is also complementary to W3C semantic web mechanisms.

Another is the work item WI-0109 IPE-based Device Management with FlexContainers. The background to this is that Device Management using flexContainers provides a unique, flexible, and extensible solution to manage IoT devices for services and device management. FlexContainer resources are based on an application named the Interworking Proxy Entity (IPE). The Container resource is used for sharing data instances between entities which might be an application on a sensor and an application linked to a dashboard. The flexContainer resource type is a customizable container for data instances. That means developers can create an abstract information model for diverse device types. An important benefit is that this solution provides flexibility when devices and device-attributes are not known in advance of specifying an IoT system.

Finally, TP members agreed to the timing suggestion from the SDS WG. We will hold back on creating Release 5 document baselines until the next meeting, which is TP 55. That also means the Release-2 maintenance work will remain open for one more meeting cycle.

Q: And lastly, what developments took place in the Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) working group?

RH: The Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) working group made progress on the test specifications document, TS-0019 “Abstract Test Suite & Implementation eXtra information for Test.” This applies to the Rel-4 and the Rel-3 versions.

These specifications contain the Abstract Test Suite (ATS) for oneM2M as defined in oneM2M TS-0001 and oneM2M TS-0004. They comply with the relevant requirements and guidance given in ISO/IEC 9646 7. The objective is to provide a basis for conformance tests for oneM2M products ensuring inter-operability between different manufacturers' equipment. The ISO standard for the methodology of conformance testing (ISO/IEC 9646 1 and ISO/IEC 9646 2) as well as oneM2M TS-0015 Testing Framework are used as a basis for the test methodology.

The TDE WG also introduced a new draft developer guide on Deploying Semantics. oneM2M resource repositories store digital representations of devices. Semantic descriptors and ontologies provide meaningful descriptions and context of the data contained in those digital representations. This developer guide describes how developers can quickly implement semantic functionalities as defined in Release 3. The intended work is built around a basic scenario. It describes the semantic annotation process using SAREF and oneM2M Base Ontologies. These rely on capabilities such as oneM2M semantic descriptor resources, semantic discovery and, semantic queries.

The TDE WG informed the TP about plans to hold an in-person, interoperability test event in December 2022. This will be in the week following the TP57. Stay tuned to get all the information as soon as it is available, and the event is settled.

Q: What plans are in place for the next TP?

RH: The next meeting, TP55, will be held as virtual meeting from July 11 to 15, 2022.