Paper 196 (Research track)

Modeling Smart Sensors on top of SOSA/SSN and WoT TD with the Semantic Smart Sensor Network (S3N) modular Ontology

Author(s): Samya Sagar, Maxime Lefrançois, Issam Rebai, Khemaja Maha, Serge Garlatti, Jamel Feki, Lionel Médini

Full text: submitted version

Abstract: The joint OGC and W3C standard SOSA/SSN ontology describes sensors, observations, sampling, and actuation. The W3C Thing Description ontology under development in the W3C WoT working group describes things and their interaction patterns. In this paper we are interested in combining these two ontologies for modeling Smart-Sensors. Along with basic sensors, a Smart-Sensor contains a micro-controller that can run different algorithms adapted to the context and a communicating system that exposes the Smart-Sensor on some network. For example, a smart accelerometer can be used to measure cycling cadence, step numbers or a variety of other things. The SOSA/SSN ontology is only able to model partially the adaptation capabilities of Smart-Sensors to different contexts. Thus, we design an SOSA/SSN extension, called the Semantic Smart Sensor Network (S3N) ontology. S3N answers several competency questions such as how to adapt the Smart-Sensor to the current context of use, that is to say selecting the algorithms to provide the right sensors outputs and the micro-controller capabilities.

Keywords: SSN Ontology; Smart Sensor; Ontology modeling; context adaptation

Decision: reject

Review 1 (by anonymous reviewer)

(RELEVANCE TO ESWC) The topic of this paper is quite relevant to the conference.  This paper designs an SOSA/SSN extension (called Semantic Smart Sensor Network ontology). It combines existing OGC and W3C standards for modeling IoT sensors.
(NOVELTY OF THE PROPOSED SOLUTION) The contribution of this paper is an ontology (called Semantic Smart Sensor Network). It id designed on top of the OGC and W3C SOSA/SSN ontology and W3C WoT ontology. 
The proposed ontology is characterized on the following:
-  Combines the new SOSA/SSN  and the TD ontology and formalizes an alignment between them; 
-  Adapts the pattern defined in the SSN System Capabilities module to model properties of
other things than Systems; 
-	 Reuses the SEAS innovative publication scheme so as to be published as three ontology modules each defining terms in the same namespace: http://w3id.org/s3n/.
(CORRECTNESS AND COMPLETENESS OF THE PROPOSED SOLUTION) The proposed solution is an extension of the existing ontologies. The proposal is publicly available to use and evaluate for the communities. However, I would suggest the authors to document their experiences(e.g., what problems thay have faced? What are the limitations they have found? Which scenarios this work is going to be failed?, etc.), while composing and extending.
(EVALUATION OF THE STATE-OF-THE-ART) To best of our knowledge, this paper surveyed the state of the art comprehensivly. However, I would suggested authors to draw a comparison table with respect to the proposal. This will give good readability to the readers.
(DEMONSTRATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE PROPERTIES OF THE PROPOSED APPROACH) The proposed ontology is characterized on the following:
-  Combines the new SOSA/SSN  and the TD ontology and formalizes an alignment between them; 
-  Adapts the pattern defined in the SSN System Capabilities module to model properties of
other things than Systems; 
-	 Reuses the SEAS innovative publication scheme so as to be published as three ontology modules each defining terms in the same namespace: http://w3id.org/s3n/.
- Comprehensive state of the art.
However, my suggestions would be on the usability of the ontologies (scenarios, where this is used and failed).
(REPRODUCIBILITY AND GENERALITY OF THE EXPERIMENTAL STUDY) This paper does not report any experiments.
(OVERALL SCORE) I believe that the topic of the paper is quite relevant and interesting. The paper is well-structured and easy to follow.  The proposal is publicly available to use and evaluate for the communities. the authors may consider to revise the paper on the usability  (how this ontologies will be useful to communities?, What things should be consider when using these otologies, limitations of existing work, scenarios where this ontologies won't work, etc.)


Review 2 (by anonymous reviewer)

(RELEVANCE TO ESWC) The paper proposes the S3N ontology that extends SOSA/SSN to model smart sensors, i.e. devices with more than only sensing capabilities. A link to the Web of Things ontology is also present.
(NOVELTY OF THE PROPOSED SOLUTION) The novelty of the paper is marginal. It proposes a new ontology of which some of the classes already belong to an existing work (reference [17]). Small examples of the use of the ontology are given but a comparison of the same task without its use is not present.
(CORRECTNESS AND COMPLETENESS OF THE PROPOSED SOLUTION) The contribution is an ontology. The paper presented the methodology followed to devise such ontology. Competency questions seems to cover the main relevant issues. Regarding the methodology the authors do not explain what is the SEAS innovative publication scheme used.
(EVALUATION OF THE STATE-OF-THE-ART) The paper lists a few relevant ontologies and discusses which ones were used to derive the S3N ontology. The list is not extensive but it covers the main ontologies.
(DEMONSTRATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE PROPERTIES OF THE PROPOSED APPROACH) A few examples of the use of the ontology are given, but a comparison of how smart sensors can be modeled with the existing SSN and WoT is missing. This would have helped to better assess how beneficial the new ontology is in practice.
(REPRODUCIBILITY AND GENERALITY OF THE EXPERIMENTAL STUDY) The ontology is available for use. Authors mentioned an email thread that indicates that the ontology was suggested in one of the W3C working groups, but the outcome of this suggestion is unknown.
(OVERALL SCORE) The paper presents the S3N ontology which describes Smart Sensors and bridges the SSN and WoT ontologies. 
SP1: Methodology to derive ontology described.
SP2: Ontology available for use.
WP1: Proposed ontology overlaps with the SMS ontology from a previous work [17]
WP2: Comparison of using only existing ontologies to model smart sensors not given.
QA: Ontology was suggested in a W3C working group. Can authors comment on the outcome of that suggestion?
*** Comments to authors' response ****
I would like to thank the authors for their response. I understand now that the previous ontology from paper [17] was based on the old SSN and the current one in the new SSN. But how much different is that? This is still not clear. The authors provided a few arguments for the need of this ontology but their arguments need to be verified. In general, it might be an interesting paper but it needs some work to provide evidences for their claims and I dont think this can be done for the camera ready. Therefore I am keeping my score unchanged.


Review 3 (by anonymous reviewer)

(RELEVANCE TO ESWC) This paper describes a new ontology for describing the computational and communication capabilities and software algorithms on smart sunsets. The proposed ontology, called S3N, is based on SOSA/SSN ontology.
(NOVELTY OF THE PROPOSED SOLUTION) The proposed ontology is an interesting work in terms of modelling the software capabilities and the algorithms (and input and out) and methods that can operate on a sensor system; however, this can be any other software system description for any computation model. The use case scenarios are relevant but they do not seem to motivate a strong need for an ontology. 
An ontology is often proposed to improve the interoperability and/or usability; finding the algorithms and methods that can run on a sensor system will be beneficial; however, this could involve other entities such as web services that they are already several existing models for that;
(CORRECTNESS AND COMPLETENESS OF THE PROPOSED SOLUTION) While the ontology engineering work is valid and very well presented, it is still not clear while describing the capabilities on a smart sensor will require an ontology; the examples given all could be selected and chosen at the software level and a smart device does not seem to share this capabilities unless it work in a collaborative environment. It is not also clear why and how the algorithms will be embedded in micro controller and not a memory and a simple OS as most of the devices currently do.
(EVALUATION OF THE STATE-OF-THE-ART) The ontology is very well presented and documented but no implementation and/or evaluation is presented.
(DEMONSTRATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE PROPERTIES OF THE PROPOSED APPROACH) The ontology engineering work is well discussed and well presented.
(REPRODUCIBILITY AND GENERALITY OF THE EXPERIMENTAL STUDY) The ontology model and its documentation is made available online and is well presented. Developing some libraries and example sets would have increased the chance for the proposed ontology to be used.
(OVERALL SCORE) Overall this is an interesting ontology model but the need for it and actual problem that it tries to address it not very clear. The examples could be solved using a software model and it is not clear what an ontological model is suitable for those problems. There is no practical implementation or evaluation of the proposed model.


Review 4 (by Pieter Colpaert)

(RELEVANCE TO ESWC) Still, designing sensor networks using RDF is still an on-going research topic, relevant to ESWC.
(NOVELTY OF THE PROPOSED SOLUTION) It is said to be the first ontology to combine TD and SSN
(CORRECTNESS AND COMPLETENESS OF THE PROPOSED SOLUTION) The ontology is well documented at http://w3id.org/s3n
(EVALUATION OF THE STATE-OF-THE-ART) Extensive SOTA has been made. Interesting additions would be:
* Link to DCAT, cfr. vocals: http://w3id.org/rsp/vocals
* Link to ETSI ISG-CIM: https://portal.etsi.org/tb.aspx?tbid=854&SubTB=854
(DEMONSTRATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE PROPERTIES OF THE PROPOSED APPROACH) Ok
(REPRODUCIBILITY AND GENERALITY OF THE EXPERIMENTAL STUDY) It’s an ontology
(OVERALL SCORE) Ontology paper


Metareview by Christoph Lange

The reviewers agree that the topic is relevant; however, the following weaknesses justify rejection:
* The need for an ontology in the given application setting is not clearly justified.
* There is no evaluation other than making sure that the ontology meets its requirements (i.e., can answer competency questions).  It would be useful to know how useful this ontology is in what application scenarios.


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