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Discovery of Sensors

Descriptions and Discovery of Sensors, Services and Actuators


In order to be discoverable, the functional and non-functional properties  of sensors, services, and actuators will need to be described in a machine-interpretable manner and appropriate matching algorithms will need to be implemented.  Recently, the W3C Incubator Working Group on Semantic Sensors has developed ontologies for describing sensors. These ontologies allow classification and reasoning on the capabilities and measurements of sensors, provenance of measurements allow reasoning about individual sensors as well as reasoning about the connection of a number of sensors as a macroinstrument. An example for the usage is the Semantic Sensor Web [SHS08]. It is an approach to annotating sensor data with spatial, temporal, and thematic semantic metadata. While this standardization effort provides an excellent basis, it does not yet completely solve the problem of scalability (i.e., at what level of granularity to describe sensors and how to deal with potentially huge amounts of these sensors). Scalability will be a major issue when it comes to discoverability of sensors as the existing heavy-wight matchmaking algorithms developed in the context of semantic web services will not scalre to this amount of devices. Another question is where sensor descriptions will come from, a first attempt at crowdsourcing this task is  Sensorpedia, a Web service for social networking. But, instead of connecting between people, it connects sensors with users and applications. It permits users to publish, subscribe to, search for, connect to, and view all types of sensor information [GR10]. A Sensorpedia-like interface extended by machine-interpretable descriptions in the background could be a part of the user interface of MERCURY.



[SHS08] Amit Sheth, Cory Henson, and Satya Sahoo. Semantic Sensor Web. In IEEE Internet Computing,  pages 78–83, 2008.

[GR10]   Bryan Gorman and David Resseguie. Final Report: Sensorpedia Phases 1 and 2. Technical report, 2010.