“At TP47, we made good progress on current issues, celebrated several colleagues for their contributions and, explored the impact of AI in IoT systems”

November 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 recent TP47.

Q: As we approach the year end, how did this final Technical Plenary of 2020 progress?

RH: TP#47 was the third meeting we held as a virtual meeting. It comprised sessions of the technical plenary and all working group meetings over a period running from Sep 28th to Oct 23rd.

Despite all the globally challenging circumstances and changes, member companies remain engaged and contribute to the work in oneM2M. However, although further progress was made at this meeting, we decided to postpone the finalization of Release-4 to Q1 2021 and allow ratification of the release in HY1 2021. Our members need time for further discussion to clarify a few details in aligning the changes and enhancements of all Technical Specifications defining the stage 2 (i.e. the functional architecture as well as the descriptions of service functions of the common service layer) and stage 3 (i.e. the protocol specific developments, like data formats, interfaces and message sequences and protocol bindings). The delay is an unfortunate consequence of only having virtual meetings.

In addition to developments in each of our working groups, TP#47 was an occasion to celebrate the results of our elections process and to recognize several delegates for their technical excellence in contributing to oneM2M activities.

Q: What were the main changes from the elections process?

First, let me briefly explain the election process in a nutshell. oneM2M is member driven. Elections of the oneM2M Technical Plenary leadership positions, including the working group chairs and vice chairs, have to be held biennially. The term for chairs and vice chairs are two years and individuals are allowed for two consecutive terms. oneM2M members, i.e. organizations admitted by the SDOs forming the oneM2M Partnership Project, thus facilitate all the technical work and are entitled to vote as well as nominate candidates for leadership positions.

Overall, the elections results reflect a balance of experience and new ideas. A couple of long-standing members - Dale Seed of Convida Wireless and JaeSeung Song of the Korea electronics Technology Institute (KETI) - were elected as Vice Chairs of the TP. They will join me as my election to a new term as Chair of the TP was also confirmed.

TaeHyun Kim of SyncTechno was elected as Vice Chair of the Requirements and Domain Model (RDM) working group. The System Design & Security (SDS) working group gained two Vice Chairs in Seung Myeong Jeong of KETI and Wei Zhou of (China Information Communication Technologies Group Corporation) CICT. And, finally, Andrew Min-gyu Han of Hansung University was elected to Chair the Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) working group.

Q: And what were the major developments in each of the three Working Groups?

RH: We have spoken in the past about the importance of public warning systems. A public warning service enables authorities in charge of public safety to send an emergency alert to connected things in order to make these things take a proper action. This can reduce unexpected damages from an emergency when receiving an emergency alert, for example. This was a topic of focus for the Requirements and Domain Model (RDM) working group which finalized and approved a new Technical specification, TS-0037 – Public warning Service Enablement. One of the benefits of standardization is to smooth the flow of information through a common framework for communicating public safety messages between devices and interconnected systems in cities and other public spaces. Public warning messages for things include information related to an emergency event such as: geographic targeting of an area where an emergency event occurs; detailed information on actions to take when receiving a public warning message with things; effective periods for a valid public warning message; relevant information that is useful for things to take best-effort options to reduce risks or avoid the emergency.

There were several other areas of work in the RDM working group. These involved making progress on work in the railway domain, ontologies for smart city services as well as to advance work of the smart lifts work item. Over the coming Technical Plenaries, the focus will shift more to the ongoing and new work items and features for release 5.

If we turn to activities in the System Design & Security (SDS) working group, most of their time was dedicated to Stage 3 activities for Rel-4 of the oneM2M standard. Some of these are on-going topics, as in the case of network monitoring, handling of service subscriber information and software campaigning. Newer topics deal with semantic reasoning, ontology management, end-to-end QoS sessions, geo query, network monitoring, time synchronization in distributed IoT systems, discovery-based operations. Since oneM2M standardization work is responsive to new requirements, we have a system to bring new topics into our working procedures. Some of the Stage 3 activities for pending Rel-4 features cover topics related to notification recording, access control limits, permission-based discovery, and resource mapping rules.

At the closing TP, participants concluded that at least one more meeting cycle is needed before we can freeze Stage 3 of Rel-4. To provide sufficient time, the new freeze milestone for stage 3 Release 4 is set to TP49 in Q1 2021.

The Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) working group progressed work on developing Rel-3 Testing specs in the form of a new baseline (v3.5.0) of the TS-0013 Interoperability Test specification. The TDE group also spent some time preparing for the 7th oneM2M Interop Event which is scheduled for the period from 16-27 November 2020. This is oneM2M’s first virtual testing event so you can imagine how much extra work is involved in preparing to host and coordinate multiple participants. As ever, we are grateful to the event organizers - TTA, ETSI and the Indico Project.

The scope of the interoperability test event covers Rel-2 and Rel-3 features. In addition to demonstrating the value of standardization, interoperability testing helps us to validate the oneM2M standards and eliminate ambiguities and potential issues. It also helps to test interoperability between implementations from different companies as well as to provide conformance testing to verify the existing TTCN-3 test scripts as well as to debug participants’ implementations.

Q: You spoke about recognizing the contributions from TP participants. What are the oneM2M Excellence Awards and who are the latest recipients?

RH: At this meeting four delegates received the oneM2M Excellence Award for their outstanding technical contributions and promotion of oneM2M.

Lee MinByeong, who is a research engineer at Hyundai Motors, received his award for his participation on issues such as data privacy regulation. As a delegate from the vehicle industry, his active involvement in oneM2M’s projects have helped increase its recognition as a common IoT platform for multiple verticals including the vehicle domain.

Poornima Shandilya, Team Lead at C-DOT, was presented with her award for her high-quality contributions to the oneM2M Technical Specifications – most recently to the oneM2M Release 4 service subscriber functionality. She played a pivotal role in representing oneM2M in various standards forums in India.

Laurent Velez, Technical Expert at ETSI was presented his award in recognition of his work on developer guides, developer tutorials and hackathons and as the Rapporteur for at least five deliverables and numerous Work Items. Laurent, often referred to as ‘Mr. oneM2M’, has travelled the world promoting oneM2M as a highly experienced and well recognized ambassador for the initiative.

Colin Blanchard, IT Security Consultant at BT was given an award for his complete body of work on security related contributions dating back to the early days of oneM2M. A particular highlight is his work in getting TS-0003 Release 2 transposed by the ITU-T Study Group 20.

Q: What can we look forward to in terms of future oneM2M activities?

RH: I would like to mention a couple of developments outside the bounds of oneM2M TPs which help our members to learn about new developments and to think about the roadmap for IoT standardization. There are two items worth mentioning. One deals with REST APIs which are central to the oneM2M standards framework and the other addresses the topic of AI for IoT systems.

During this TP, we received a presentation from an ETSI Special Task Force (STF 576) on their study into a Methodology for RESTful APIs specifications & testing. The goal of their work is to develop and produce a unified ETSI Guide on RESTful APIs to provide guidance to current and future ETSI groups that adopt the RESTful paradigm. The guide will take into consideration the whole lifecycle of standardization, from system design to testing and validation, compiling best practices and recommendations to enable an efficient and effective standardization process.

We also received a second presentation and a set of proof-of-concept demonstrations from ETSI STF 584 whose study topic is AI/ML for IoT and implications for enriching oneM2M with generic AI capabilities. The team’s work provided architectural insights into ways that IoT systems can make best use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for the management and interpretation of data from IoT devices through IoT service layer capabilities. One way to think about such arrangements is to picture IoT systems having access to an extensible toolkit of AI and ML capabilities “as-a-service”.

Members of the team illustrated key implementation concepts through use-case implementations using open source software. The French company Sensinov implemented two use cases. One used machine learning techniques to identify faults in the signals communicated by IoT field devices while the second applied pattern detection techniques to identify different forms of vandalism in video streams that would be available in a smart city context. Another team member, the Portuguese company Ubiwhere, developed their proof-of-concept to handle natural language data and illustrate the automation of data cleaning and pattern recognition techniques to identify emergency incidents in social media and crowdsourced data.

We look forward to discussing these contributions and their implications at the oneM2M service layer. For planning purposes, our next few TP meetings are scheduled as follows:

TP#48:   Nov 30 – Dec 18, 2020;

TP#49: Jan 18 – Feb 10, 2020.

TP#50: April 12.-16. 2021 – date might be changed

TP#51, June 28 - July 2, 2021 - date might be changed

TP#52, Aug. 30.- Sep. 3. 2021 – date might be changed

TP#53, Nov. 29.- Dec. 3. 2021 – date might be changed

About oneM2M

oneM2M is the global standards initiative that covers requirements, architecture, API specifications, security solutions and interoperability for Machine-to-Machine and IoT technologies. oneM2M was formed in 2012 and consists of eight of the world's preeminent standards development organizations: ARIB (Japan), ATIS (U.S.), CCSA (China), ETSI (Europe), TIA (U.S.), TSDSI (India), TTA (Korea), and TTC (Japan), together with industry fora and consortia (GlobalPlatform) and over 200 member organizations. oneM2M specifications provide a framework to support applications and services such as the smart grid, connected car, home automation, public safety, and health. oneM2M actively encourages industry associations and forums with specific application requirements to participate in oneM2M, in order to ensure that the solutions developed support their specific needs. For more information, including how to join and participate in oneM2M, see: www.onem2m.org