posted in Semantics
Wednesday, March 06 2013, 09:44 PM

Thoughts on if this takes place on the device level (If it's powerful enough), in middleware, etc?

Konstantinos Kotis in an interview on gives a little background info:

Kotis: An ontology for the Internet of Things provides all the necessary semantics for the specification of IoT devices as well as the specifications of the IoT solution (input, output, control logic) that is deployed using these devices. These semantics include terminology related to sensors and observations, reusing the one already provided by the SSN ontology (by W3C Semantic Sensor Network Incubator Group), and extended to capture also the semantics of devices beyond sensors — i.e. actuators, identity devices (tags), embedded devices, and of course the semantics of the devices and things that are observed by sensors, that change their status by actuators, that are attached to identity tags, etc.

Furthermore, and more importantly for our work, the ontology includes semantics for the description of the registered IoT solutions — i.e. input, output, control logic — in terms of aligning and matching their requirements with the specifications and services of the registered devices."

Semantic Web Blog: What is the risk of moving into the Internet of things world without an ontology to ground it?

Kotis: The lack of explicit and formal representation of the IoT knowledge could cause ambiguity in terminology, hinder interoperability and mostly semantic interoperability of entities in the IoT world. Furthermore, lack of shared and agreed semantics for this domain (and for any domain) may easily result to semantic heterogeneity — i.e. to the need to align and merge a vast number of different modeling efforts to semantically describe IoT entities, efforts conducted by many different ontology engineers and IoT vendors (domain experts). Although there are tools nowadays to overcome such a problem, it is not a fully automated and precise process and it would be much easier to do so if there is at least a partial agreement between the related stakeholders — i.e. a commonly agreed IoT ontology. - Full Interview

Responses (4)
  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, March 06 2013, 09:50 PM - #permalink
    Here's a link to WC3's Semantic Sensor Network Ontology

    "This ontology describes sensors and observations, and related concepts. It does not describe domain concepts, time, locations, etc. these are intended to be included from other ontologies via OWL imports.

    This ontology is developed by the W3C Semantic Sensor Networks Incubator Group (SSN-XG). For more information on the group's activities see:";
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, March 06 2013, 10:07 PM - #permalink
    In the paper Semantics for the Internet of Things: early progress and back to the future (PDF) by Payam Barnaghi, Wei Wang, Cory Henson And Kerry Taylor they provide a “Knowledge Hierarchy” in the context of the IoT.


    "The “big data” solutions and cloud platforms can provide infrastructure and tools for handling, processing and analyzing deluge of the IoT data. However, we still need efficient methods and solutions that can structure, annotate, share and make sense of the IoT data and facilitate transforming it to actionable knowledge and intelligence in different application domains. Since many of the devices and resources in IoT are highly distributed, heterogeneous, and resource constrained (e.g. battery powered devices, nodes with limited processing and memory capabilities), the requirements for designing services and applications in IoT are different from those currently used on the Internet and the Web (specifically in terms of interoperability, scalability, reliability, autonomy, security and privacy).


    Full paper can be found here.(PDF)


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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, March 06 2013, 10:38 PM - #permalink
    Some additional initiatives:
    Internet-of-Things Architecture

    "IoT-A’s overall technical objective is to create the architectural foundations of the Future Internet of Things, allowing seamless integration of heterogeneous IoT technologies into a coherent architecture and their federation with other systems of the Future Internet."

    Sensor Model Language (SensorML)

    "The OpenGIS® Sensor Model Language Encoding Standard (SensorML) specifies models and XML encoding that provide a framework within which the geometric, dynamic, and observational characteristics of sensors and sensor systems can be defined. There are many different sensor types, from simple visual thermometers to complex electron microscopes and earth observing satellites. These can all be supported through the definition of atomic process models and process chains. Within SensorML, all processes and components are encoded as application schema of the Feature model in the Geographic Markup Language (GML) Version "

    The Internet of Things (IoT) Ontology

    "The aim of the ontology is to support the automated deployment of applications in heterogeneous IoT environments. It mainly serves as a semantic registry for the registration of associations of sensing/actuating/identity/embedded with features of interest, as well as for the registration of applications that utilize the services provided by these associations."


    "Datasets for sensors and sensor observations, created at Kno.e.sis Center, and converted from weather data at Mesowest. Contains descriptions of 20 thousand weather stations and 160 million observations."

    Semantic Web for Earth and Environmental Terminology (SWEET) 

    "SWEET ontologies are written in the OWL ontology language and are publicly available. SWEET 2.2 is highly modular with 6000 concepts in 200 separate ontologies"

    SENSEI (Integrating the Physical with the Digital World of the Network of the Future)

    OWL-S: Semantic Markup for Web Services

    SPARQL 1.1 Query Language
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, March 06 2013, 10:55 PM - #permalink
    Additional Resources
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