While our technical specifications continue to absorb new requirements, oneM2M is also working on market collaborations


In this interview, Roland Hechwartner summarizes the latest developments from oneM2M’s recent Technical Plenary #59. In addition to representing Deutsche Telekom (DT), Roland is the Chairman 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.

Q: What were the key features of this TP?

RH: Before I come on to the activities of the TP’s three working groups (WGs), I want to talk about a wider set of activities that are important to the running of oneM2M and our members’ efforts to broaden oneM2M’s footprint in the IoT sector. Specifically, I want to summarize key developments related to TP elections, externally facing collaborations and new work items that show how oneM2M’s technical specifications are absorbing new requirements.

Q: Let us begin with TP elections. What happened on that front during TP59?

RH: Well firstly, I want to congratulate Bob Flynn, Exacta, who was unanimously elected by acclamation as Vice Chair of the TDE WG and Massimo Vanetti, of the EU’s Small Business Standards (SBS) initiative. Massimo was unanimously elected by acclamation as Chair of the RDM WG.

I would also like to thank the outgoing RDM Chair Shane He from Nokia for her dedication and for her excellent work and leadership over the past years. Readers might remember her role in oneM2M’s work on data management and governance in support of interoperability.

Q: In terms of collaborations, what initiatives do you want to highlight?

RH: Most standards bodies formalize liaisons to share knowledge amongst each other. We have our fair share of these liaisons given that oneM2M is a horizontal standard that is applicable in many industry verticals. In order to go further, we are working on other types of collaborations. At this TP, we discussed two in particular. The first involves ETSI’s ISG on Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC). Good progress was reported from the joint drafting of an ETSI whitepaper on MEC Edge Computing and IoT. Based on current plans, the team of writers expect to publish the whitepaper in June, right before ETSI’s IoT Conference that will take place from July 4-6.

The second initiative builds on earlier discussions to work in a more structured way with academic and student communities. During this TP, members formally approved the Terms of Reference for oneM2M’s Academia Relationship (ACR) adHoc group. This group focuses on fostering the relationship with universities and educational collaboration. It is an open discussion and exchange platform that is also open to non-members.

Q: You also mentioned new work items. What do you have to report in that area?

RH: One new item that was proposed and approved is on the topic of “oneM2M Enhanced Filter and Queries”. Here is why there is a need for this work item. Searching for resources with certain characteristics in a Common Service Entity’s (CSE) resource tree is currently done by providing a Filter Criteria in a RETRIEVE or DISCOVERY request. This is defined in TS-0001, 10.2.6 “Discovery-related Procedures”. The new work aims to improve the current method of providing filters for queries in RETRIEVE and DISCOVERY operations. This improvement will also be applicable to other parts of the oneM2M specifications where similar attribute-based filters and queries are used. The next step is to study the topic with findings and conclusions to be reported in a Technical Report. The target data to approve this is by the end of 2023. The companies supporting this initiative are Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Sejong University, and Exacta.

A second new work item that received approval aims to specify an Enhanced Public Warning Service Enabler. Public Warning Services allow public authorities to send warning alerts to individuals and things in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake or tsunami.

Some features to enable Public Warning Services for IoT were developed as part of oneM2M’s Release 4 technical specifications work. The primary emphasis of Release 4 work was establishing defined Smart Device Template (SDT) data models based on Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), which is a standard message format for warning messages.  However, the data models that were defined are not sufficient to enable fully interoperable service for the delivery of warning information to IoT devices. Therefore, enhancements in oneM2M specifications are needed. The work item is supported by SyncTechno Inc., Sejong University, KETI, Telcom Italia, and SBS.

Q: Returning to the TP’s usual activities, what were the highlights from oneM2M’s other working groups?

RH: Starting with the Requirements & Domain Models (RDM), there was a discussion on what next steps to follow the finalization of TR-0068, which deals with AI enablement, at the next TP meeting (TP #60). This work item aims to enable oneM2M to utilize Artificial Intelligence models and data management for AI services. Based on this TR, future work is expected to focus on defining resources to manage AI/ML data in terms of annotation, labelling, and pre-processing among other activities. This will help the process of managing AI/ML models as well as a set of APIs for applications to use and enable definable AI/ML features. There was agreement on a follow up TR to study the architectural impact of AI enablement features on the oneM2M system. This would then lead to drafting a technical specification and changes to existing specifications (TS-0001 Functional Architecture and TS-0004 Service Layer Core Protocol) as required.

Within RDM, there was also progress on the TR-0059 - Services and Platforms Discovery. This technical report analyses various protocols and technologies, such as UPnP, DNS, and Zeroconf, that can support the discovery of IoT services and devices. As a result of the analysis, this report identifies the discovery of oneM2M service platforms and the discovery of oneM2M CSE and local service provisioning as two key issues. It also presents ideas that can be used to address these key issues. We expect that if these ideas are applied to the oneM2M system, it will be easier to search for services utilizing oneM2M, oneM2M type devices, and available oneM2M service platforms. As a consequence, there is a need for further investigation under a new work item to facilitate the normative work that will result in oneM2M technical specifications.

Other ongoing activities in RDM include a continuation of the work on Smart Lifts (WI-0098), steps to advance the SDT based Information Model and Mapping for Vertical Industries (Release 5), as well as activities to progress the work item on MetaIoT (WI-0110).

Q: And what developments occurred in the other two working groups?

RH: In the System Design & Security (SDS) working group, the work focus remains on release 5, where TR-0065 “Study of SensorThings API Interworking” has progressed. There is a new baseline document of the TS-0001 “Functional Architecture” 5.1.0. Likewise, members have agreed updates to the release 5 versions to other TSs- for instance: TS-0004 “Service Layer Core Protocol”, TS-0022 “Field Device Configuration”, TS-0026 “3GPP Interworking”, TS-0033 “Interworking Framework”, and TS-0034 “Semantics Support”.

Turning to the Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) working group, there are new baseline specifications of the “Abstract Test Suite & implementation eXtra Information for Test” in TS-0019. This covers approvals for Release 2 and Release 3 versions. The objective of these specifications is to provide a basis for conformance tests for oneM2M products which gives a high probability of inter-operability between different manufacturers' equipment.

Q: To close, what are the plans for the next TP?

RH: The next TP meeting, TP60, is scheduled for 26-30 June. This will be hosted by ETSI in France and will be structured for hybrid participation. I should mention that TP60 precedes ETSI’s annual IoT Week activities where we can expect to see a lot of discussion and demonstrations using oneM2M.

Looking further out in time, we are planning a hybrid event – TP61 - in North America. This is scheduled for 14-18 August, to be hosted at Pennsylvania State University. Finally, there is another hybrid TP – TP62 - planned in Tokyo between 4 to 8 December.