Dublin 2019: Proceedings - Open Platform 3.0 Forum

Open Platform 3.0™ Forum

Objective of Meeting

The Open Platform 3.0 Forum has been providing technical advice and standards support to the European bIoTope project since its inception in 2016. In fact, the Open Platform 3.0 Forum’s standards, the Open Messaging Interface (O-MI) and the Open Data Format (O-DF) have been adopted, developed, and validated through the bIoTope projects.

bIoTope has successfully delivered on its key objectives, which were to:

  • Provide standardized Open APIs to enable interoperability between vertical IoT silos
  • Enable new forms of co-creation of services; from simple data collection and processing, to intelligent, situation-aware and self-adaptive support of everyday work and life
  • Establish a robust IoT framework for security, privacy, and trust that facilitates the responsible access and ownership of data
  • Develop large-scale pilots in smart cities to provide proofs-of-concept of bIoTope-enabled system of systems ecosystems
  • Maintain, grow, and sustain the socio-technical and business models of bIoTope ecosystems by establishing a governance roadmap for ecosystem evolution

As this project comes to an end, we took the opportunity to bring together bIoTope experts from across Europe to present their findings, and to deliver a workshop showing how the O-MI and O-DF standards can be implemented.

We also enjoyed a full-day member meeting, where we covered a wide range of topics, from the relaunch of the Forum to the Open Platform Reference Architecture.

Summary

Plenary Presentations

The following sessions were recorded, and we hope to share the videos in the near future on the Open Platform 3.0 Community of Interest Group on Linkedin. (Refer to the Plenary Report.)

  • Enterprise Architecture Management for Smart Cities
    Keynote Speakers: Zohreh Pourzolfagher, Postdoctoral Researcher, The Irish Software Research Center, Dublin City University; and
    Markus Helfert, Director, Business Informatics Group, Dublin City University
    This presentation described a new Reference Model for developing and transforming public services in smart cities, comprising the standard BDAT stack, plus two additional architectural layers: a context layer and a service layer. Separating the concepts in this way enables strategic requirements to be directly mapped to the design process for smart services, and so ensures that these services will comply with smart city strategies, priorities, and concerns.
  • Smart Services for Smart Cities
    Keynote Speaker: Prof. Kary Främling, CEO ControlThings, Aalto University
    Kary is an active member of the Open Platform 3.0 Forum, and the lead author of the O-MI and O-DF standards, both of which will soon be updated to Version 2.0.
    O-MI and O-DF and the Open Data Element Framework (O-DEF™) can be used together to associate metadata with sensor data, giving it useful value. Once the data is in a standardized, open, machine-readable format, it becomes exploitable for analysis and machine learning purposes. This, in turn, can be used to deliver improved smart services that can be used by other systems, citizens, or decision-makers. These technologies have been used extensively in several European cities in the context of the bIoTope EU project. Kary presented the progress and findings of those implementations and described a generic roadmap for creating open and standardized smart services for smart cities.

Smart Cities Workshop

We held a special session all day on Wednesday, free and open to all, with presentations to publicize the work of the bIoTope project, and a workshop to show how the standards of the Open Platform 3.0 Forum can be implemented. (Refer to the Plenary Report.)

  • bIoTope – Exploring Boundaryless Information Flow™ for Smart Cities
    Prof. Kary Främling, CEO ControlThings, Aalto University
    An introduction to the bIoTope project, the specific information exchange problems that it has investigated, its standards framework for IoT Boundaryless Information Flow, and how it enables the deployment of smart services in smart cities.
  • Business Benefits for Smart Cities in bIoTope
    Lauri Paavola, CKIR
    A presentation describing a framework for companies’ choice for ecosystem strategies. Different companies engage with platforms with various levels of commitment and ownership, and this is reflected in their strategic approaches. Lauri described the roles and business models in an IoT ecosystem, and the seven bIoTope use-cases that have been running in Helsinki, Brussels, and Lyon. For each use-case, Lauri described the exploitation plans, showing how they create awareness of the existence of bIoTope technologies, make new technology available, and promote its standardization.
  • The bIoTope Helsinki Pilot (inc. Q&A Session)
    Dr. Natalia Reen, Technical Lead of IoT Projects, Forum Virium Helsinki; and
    Veli Airikkala, Project Planner, Forum Virium Helsinki
    Finland aims to add 250,000 electric vehicles to its roads by 2030. The Helsinki pilot aims to utilize bIoTope technologies to improve EV charging infrastructure, and provide an alternative open architectural solution to the existing proprietary charging services. The solution enables integration of professional charging service providers, parking and charging facilities, as well as residential parking assets, combining them in a mutually-accessible format and a user-friendly way.
  • bIoTope in Lyon: from Internet of Things to Smart Data and Urban Monitoring
    Emmanuel Gastaud, Project Manager, Development of Digital Services, Métropole de Lyon
    Emmanuel presented on two pilots applied to public policies conducted by the Métropole de Lyon. The first pilot concerns the optimization of glass collection, with the deployment of 300 connected glass containers. The bIoTope ecosystem allows all partners involved to share information, such as fill rates and routes and collection schedules, in real time. The solution uses the data to optimize the routes of the collection trucks, and provides analytics that make it possible to consider an evolution of contractual relations with collection companies. The second pilot is in the field of climate change adaptation, and aims to mitigate heat waves. The climate in Lyon has warmed by almost 2°C in the last 50 years. bIoTope has deployed an original solution for tree monitoring and irrigation based on different types of sensors and actuators in a street in Lyon. The bIoTope ecosystem has made it possible to create an intelligent watering service, which aims to strengthen the evapotranspiration of trees in hot weather, creating a natural air conditioning of the urban space.
    Emmanuel described how, in both cases, bIoTope's principles and technologies accelerated collaboration between partners in different fields of expertise, and offered a real opportunity to develop new digital services.
  • bIoTope in Brussels: How IoT Solutions Powered by O-DF can Serve and Improve Urban Mobility
    Lionel van Dongen, Project Manager, Centre d’Informatique pour la Région Bruxelloise
    Lionel described two pilot projects from Brussels. The first pilot “Smart Parking for Disabled People” was designed to provide disabled end users (car drivers) with the most accurate information about available parking slots in the selected area and aid use of the parking service. The second pilot “Safety around School” reduces the number of vehicles by organizing co-mobility or by diverting traffic, informs children and parents about the dangers around the school, and provides a safety rating for the journey to and from school. Both pilots are using bIoTope technologies to bring together disparate data coming from multiple sources and provide the capabilities to wrap the data in a way that makes it easy to retrieve for analysis.
  • The bIoTope Reference Architecture and its Use in Smart Cities
    Robert Hellbach, Master of Science/Research Scientist, BIBA Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbH
    To make device integration possible, bIoTope focused on an Everything-as-a-Service approach, where services can be easily orchestrated and make it possible to achieve and establish complex business processes. This promotes the effortless interconnection of smart objects and their services.
    Several core components have been developed in bIoTope, which define an interoperable cross-domain and cross-platform ecosystem enabling individual services, while maintaining an openness to further extend functionalities and services without limiting to a single platform. Those core components, for example, have been created to provide essential functionalities for service provisioning, consuming, and discovering via the IoT-standards O-MI and O-DF. Furthermore, the support of services beyond those fundamentals has been achieved to create better value to data/information and to, for example, create context out of smart connected objects.
    Robert’s presentation gave an overview of the bIoTope core components, how they have been used, and their interdependencies.
  • An Open Group Standard for Common Semantics About Things
    Ron Schuldt, O-DEF Project Chair
    The creator of the O-DEF and Semantic Interoperability Work Group Chair, Ron Schuldt, gave an excellent presentation on the O-DEF standard, describing its purpose and application. In particular, Ron focussed on the logistics use-case, which will form the basis of the Guide to the O-DEF Standard, which is currently in development.

Smart Cities Architecture and Implementation Workshop

This session addressed the practical aspects of using IoT technology to deliver smart city solutions. (Refer to the Plenary Report.)

Following a brief tutorial on the Open Messaging Interface (O-MI) and Open Data Format (O-DF) IoT standards, participants were guided in the creation of "hello world"-level applications to connect Raspberry Pi boards and sensing equipment, and to obtain readings from them.

In the second part of the session, participants were introduced to coding in O-MI and O-DF, and shown how they are used to build smart city solutions. The data used in the workshop was taken live from the bIoTope sensors deployed in Lyon, using directly the O-MI node hosted by the Métropole de Lyon.

Forum Member Meeting

We had a busy meeting, with many of our most active members in attendance in addition to researchers from the bIoTope project. We were also visited by three staff from The Open Group, who provided insight into the broader organizational approach and strategy.

This was a working meeting, incorporating a session of the bIoTope Advisory Board. We also discussed the development of standards and the future direction of the Forum. Full details can be found in the meeting minutes (see Links below).

Updates on Actions from the Previous Meeting (Scottsdale)

The Data Scientist Profession was launched in Scottsdale. Since then, we have been getting in touch with data scientists, and we met some from Lyon in the Smart Cities Workshop. We need their perspective, and we would like them to join this Forum.

We have been working on a Reference Architecture for the open platform. The open platform would enable organizations to absorb new technologies.

We have been looking at taking the O-DEF and making it into an executable standard.

We have also been developing O-DF V2 and O-MI V2.

We have been creating a guide for O-DEF, using logistics as a use-case.

Identity and Marketing for the Forum

The IoT has been threaded through a lot of the presentations we saw in the plenaries, and in the special session we saw that the issues in smart cities are the same as we see in other industry verticals. We are looking to redefine the Forum to position us better to take the opportunity to exploit these opportunities. We recently submitted a request to change the name of the Forum, to reflect better its aims to drive Digital Transformation and achieve benefits through interoperability. As a group, we discussed the approach and ideas we have to develop the Forum, with input from a Business Development Representative from The Open Group.

Discussion of the Reference Architecture

We introduced the Reference Architecture, and discussed the proposed Service Catalog. We walked through the conceptual architecture and the business benefits diagram, discussing the thought processes behind the work we have done so far. The open platform will make it easier for applications to exchange data, driving interoperability. The Reference Architecture is going to help us to bring our ideas and standards together, and we hope that as we develop the Reference Architecture, more people will want to participate.

Discussion of Collaborative Tools

The Digital Practitioners Work Group (DPWG) is using Gitlab to create its new book, the DPBoK™. Gitlab is a cloud-based repository. All of the code and presentations used at the workshop were published to Gitlab. Other standards activities have lived on Git; the Microsoft® dotnet project exists on GitHub, and the standard, along with supporting documentation are hosted there. Potentially, Gitlab or Github is a place where we could develop our standards and invite public input.

Publications and Standards Update

O-DF and O-MI: O-DF V2 is now in review, and O-MI V2 is going to go through the review process soon.

Safety in Autonomous Vehicles White Paper: We are putting together a White Paper for thought leadership. We recognize the importance of The Open Group in bringing ideas about safety to the public.

Microservices for DevOps White Paper: The ballot is now complete, and we are heading to VP review.

The SOA4BT Guide: Has had some issues, due to changes that happened in the wider world during the time it has taken to write the document. Michelle will work with the team to make corrections and get it to publication.

O-DEF: A new version of O-DEF (V2) will be prepared soon, incorporating the existing Snapshots and Extensions, and including the progress made recently. The O-DEF Guide is also in development, and will be published together with O-DEF V2.

O-DEF Website: This is now hosted at www.opengroup.org/odef. The website gives the complete story of O-DEF, acknowledging the history of UDEF. The website provides access to all documents and standards.

O-DEF Web App: Michael Flores, Chair of the Open Platform 3.0 Forum, has produced the first version, with an interactive index for O-DEF, and a Json version of the O-DEF repository, and this will be published to the website soon.

The bIoTope Advisory Board

The plenary sessions and the workshop (described above) have showcased the success and achievements of the bIoTope Project.

The benefits of having the Biotope Advisory Board as part of the project have been clear: the project has been able to use the expertise within The Open Group, and used its guidance on standardization and technical capabilities. It has also been able, through exposure at The Open Group events, to connect with consultants and technologists around the world, and to present research and findings to a global audience.

Looking back, what went well in the interaction between bIoTope, the Open Platform 3.0 Forum, and The Open Group?

The workshop was the biggest exposure at an event hosted by The Open Group for the project to date, being a joint event with the bIoTope Advisory Board and with technologists. Kary’s participation has been made possible through The Open Group collaboration tools, regular events, and the funding from bIoTope.

Scott Hansen and Don Brancato have been promoting O-MI and O-DF, and that has also been helpful.

The Advisory Boards were influenced by the people and material presented at The Open Group events; it is always good to get feedback on what the project has been doing from a larger audience. There is great value to The Open Group to have people participating in the bIoTope project; this is an easy way to obtain the skills we need in the Forum, and a direct path to adoption and implementation of the standards we create. Having an existing standard upon which to base bIoTope was helpful in getting the funding in the first place.

When the team presents at the final review in June, the fact that we have an existing Forum, processes, and a way to gather input and comments on the standards, will give confidence to the Commission.

The Project has also gained credence from input from real-world industry and use-cases.

There has been some engagement with Ed Harrington and the Archi toolset. Ed Roberts worked with the team, and adjusted the ArchiMate language to more closely fit the needs of the bIoTope product, and also improved the ArchiMate schemas for the O-MI and O-DF. Ron Schuldt has also been very active in the IoT Work Group, and in the development of the O-MI, O-DF, and O-DEF standards.

Looking back, the interaction between bIoTope, the Open Platform 3.0 Forum, and The Open Group would have been even better if …?

It would have been better to have more contact between the project team and Open Platform 3.0 Forum. The project team in Aalto passively engaged, through reading minutes, but didn’t engage fully by attending meetings and events. It was wonderful to see them in Dublin!

There are several reasons why the project team were not able to participate. Personal costs are high for travel and accommodation, and while funding is hard to come by, it would be helpful if scientific articles could be published through the events, demo sessions given more often, and research posters exhibited; this would encourage and justify greater academic participation.

What is next for bIoTope and its message? How do we get it to be adopted in other cities?

This is a question asked by all of the city pilots. It would be good to put together a touring presentation of the results and findings, and take this to conferences around the world.

Outputs

  • Advances on the Reference Architecture for the Open Platform
  • Minutes of the meeting (see Links below)
  • Recordings of the presentations, to be made available on the LinkedIn Group as soon as possible

Next Steps

Agreements to:

  • Progress the development of the Reference Architecture, O-DEF Guide, O-MI Version 2, and O-DF Version 2, and the White Paper on Safety in Autonomous Vehicles
  • Change the name of the Forum and relaunch as soon as possible
  • Work with the data scientist community and see how we can serve them as a Forum
  • Continue developing the O-DEF as an executable standard, to keep developing the translation app and website, and to complete the new O-DEF Guide
  • Look at Gitlab as a collaboration tool for the Forum to use
  • Talk to Scott Hansen about promoting and advertising the results of the bIoTope project

Links

The Open Group Platinum Members
dxc
fujitsu
HCL_Technologies
huawei
ibm
microfocus
oracle
philips