July 2020 - In this interview, Roland Hechwartner of Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Chairman for oneM2M’s Technical Plenary (TP) describes the latest developments and lessons learned from oneM2M’s first ever virtual TP.In this interview, Roland Hechwartner of Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Chairman for oneM2M’s Technical Plenary (TP) describes the latest developments and lessons learned from oneM2M’s first ever virtual TP.
Q: Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 forced the scheduled TP45 into a virtual format. How did the new format work out?
RH: We usually organize in-person TP meetings over a one-week interval in different locations around the world where our members are based. Considering the pandemic, oneM2M organized TP45 as a fully virtual meeting, comprising several audio conference sessions. We held an opening TP session that began on April 20th and the closing TP session took place on May 20th. Taking time zone differences into account, we limited the time for the e-meeting sessions to a duration of 90 minutes with no more than two sessions per day. This gave participants time before and in between the sessions to discuss contributions via email and therefore keep the discussion during the e-meetings succinct.
As you can imagine, there were several pros and cons to this arrangement. Feedback from the working group chairs and delegates showed that the overall experience was much better than expected, the model worked well, and significant progress was made on standardization activities. There was also an impressive level of engagement in email discussions and offline reviews. Participants appreciated the one-month schedule which allowed for more time and better continuity of discussions, especially for more complex contributions.
As e-meetings don’t provide the same dynamic as face to face meetings, there were obvious drawbacks affecting the synergy of some discussions. The conference call format also makes it difficult for many folks to get their comments heard, and time zone differences only allow for a small window of meeting time.
The organizing committee has learned a lot from this event. Improvements under discussion include a revamping of the process to encourage even more efficient collaboration in e-meetings as well as for the overall working procedures. While oneM2M’s procedural rules permit e-voting on technical matters, we have recognized the need for a reliable tool to handle chair and vice-chair elections.
Q: What new developments took place in relation to ongoing activities?
RH: While oneM2M standards deal with the technical complexities lower down the technology stack, there is a growing trend to address new requirements associated with Internet of Things (IoT) data management higher up the stack. There were two examples of this at TP45. One deals with Advanced Semantic Discovery (ASD) and the other focuses on data licensing. Let me explain each of these in more detail.
A new work item, WI-101, was approved on the topic of ASD. The organizations  supporting this initiative are INRIA, KETI, SBS, TIM and UPM. There are three goals to this work item. One is to enable an easy and efficient discovery of information. The second is to enable a proper interworking with external sources or consumers of information such as a distributed database in a smart city. The third is to make it possible to search information directly in the oneM2M system for big data purposes. This work item will specify the query and discovery mechanisms to be standardized. It will take into consideration various technical complexities, the distributed nature of the feature in the oneM2M system, query-language features, and exhaustiveness of the search. The solution will build on earlier work from the ETSI STF 589 project on ‘Semantic Discovery and Query in oneM2M’ to reuse the applicable components and to assure a smooth interworking with relevant non-oneM2M solutions.
The other work item I want to describe, WI-0102, is titled ‘System enhancements to support Data License Management’. As oneM2M based IoT platforms are being used in various domains, including smart cities, there is a strong need to support many kinds of open data and a variety of different data policies. If data or a data set are protected by one or more rights, the use of data by an application developer or service provider requires a license from the data provider. This means that oneM2M systems need the capability to add various data licenses to oneM2M resources containing such data. There is also a need to guarantee proper usage of data licenses, acknowledgements, and lifetime management for expiration, revocation, and other similar policies. Besides Deutsche Telecom the other companies  supporting this work item are Hyundai Motors, KETI, TIM, Convida Wireless, BT, and Orange.
Q: How is work on oneM2M’s Release 4 progressing?
RH: The focus of activities during TP45 was to progress Release 4 and we achieved our milestone for a freeze of Stage 2 at this meeting. That means the technical content is stable and no more additional new functionality will be accepted. Only corrections of the technical content and editorial corrections are allowed after this milestone is reached. For those not familiar with our procedures, Stage 1 deals with use cases and requirements gathering and Stage 2 addresses architectural issues and, Stage 3 focuses on the protocol level of the standard.
There is other work going on in parallel to Release 4 activities of course. We made progress on Release 5 features, notably on use cases and requirements. A priority for upcoming meetings, in the System Design and Security (SDS) Working Group, will be to progress and complete Release 4 Stage 3 work. This progress shows that oneM2M’s procedures and member contributions continue to function as normal.
As a recap on Release 4, the features oneM2M is adding cover the following: SDT 4.0 and the Information Models for Multiple Domains, Geo Query, Process Management, Message Primitive Profiles, Semantic Reasoning, Time Management, Enhanced 3GPP Interworking, Session Quality of service (QoS), Congestion Monitoring, Fog/Edge Computing, Software Campaigning, Resource Synchronization, Service Subscriber Management, Security Enhancements, Group Anycast/Somecast, Modbus Interworking, Discovery Based Operations, and Semantic Ontology Mapping. As you can see, there are a lot of new capabilities and it would take time to describe each one in detail. Fortunately, several of our members hosted a webinar to share advance information about Release 4.
Q: Finally, what is next?
RH: Our next meeting, TP46, will be held as a virtual meeting from July 1st – 24th. Initially, the meeting was planned to be hosted by ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and we had scheduled a joint meeting with ITU-T Study Group 20 (SG20) to make further progress on our existing close collaboration. This joint sessions with ITU-T SG20 will now be held electronically.
Based on our remote working experience for TP45, we are looking at how we organize oneM2M’s 2020 Interoperability Testing and Hackathon event. This is scheduled for October and is likely to take place as a virtual event, as will TP47. In support of this, the Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) working group, made good progress in developing Release 3 Testing specifications.
 WI-0101 – Advanced Semantic Discovery
Rapporteur: SeungMyeong Jeong from KETI
Supporting Members: INRIA (National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology) – France, KETI (Korea Electronics Technology Institute) – Korea, SBS aisbl (Small Business Standards) – Belgium, TIM (Telecom Italia SpA) – Italy, UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’) – Spain
 WI-0102 – System enhancements to support Data License Management
Rapporteur: Minbyeong Lee from Hyundai Motors & JaeSeung Song from KETI
Supporting Members: Hyundai Motor Group – Korea, KETI (Korea Electronics Technology Institute) – Korea, Deutsche Telecom – Germany, TIM (Telecom Italia SpA) – Italy, Convida Wireless – USA, BT (British Telecom) – UK, Orange – France