A Case for IoT Interoperable Sensor Data and Meta-Data Formats

Previously published paper in ACM Ubiquity Symposium, synopsis

While much attention in the Internet of things/web of things (IoT/WoT) community has been focused on building sensing systems and backing cloud infrastructure, enabling third-party applications and services that can operate across domains and across devices has not been given much consideration.  The challenge for the community is to devise standards and practices that enable integration of data from sensors across devices, users, and domains to enable new types of applications and services that facilitate much more comprehensive understanding and quantitative insights into the world around us.

The target is to achieve semantic or, as IIC refers to it, conceptual interoperability [IIC IOT ref arch, p68], i.e. represent information in a form whose meaning is independent of the application generating or using it.  When supported, semantic interoperability achieves two important objectives (1) enables service-level integration of IoT end-to-end systems constructed using components from different vendors, such as a variety gateways running different middleware, with a third-party cloud for data storage, processed by analytics from independent vendors, and  (2) it allows aggregation of  data from different domains, such as disparate systems in smart cities, to allow for holistic management and – more importantly – to enable big data by virtue of creation of large data sets that are understandable, and thus usable, to analytics and other services.

Useful instantiations of multi-domain IoT systems can provide significant new business and innovation opportunities for new services. In order to fulfil that promise, IoT/WoT systems need to be designed to support some level of commonality by defining interoperable sensor data and meta-data formats, naming, taxonomy and possibly ontology.  This paper sketches some use cases that motivates this need and outlines a possible path to get there.

Full paper can be found at the link below

A Case for IoT Interoperable Sensor Data and Meta-Data Formats

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