Object Memory Modeling Incubator Group Charter

The mission of the Object Memory Modeling Incubator Group, part of the Incubator Activity, is as follows: To define an object memory format, which allows for modeling of events or other information about individual physical artifacts – ideally over their lifetime – and which is explicitly designed to support data storage of those logs on so-called "smart labels" attached to the physical artifact. Such labels range from barcodes, to RFID, to sensor nodes – miniaturized embedded systems capable of performing some processing, gathering sensory information and communicating with other nodes. The object memory format implemented on a "smart label" can provide an object memory, which may serve as a data collector for real world data concerning a physical artifact. Associating semantic definitions with the data stored using the object memory format, can help tie together the Semantic Web with the Internet of Things. Today, heterogeneous standards are already in use to describe a physical artifact’s individual characteristics in different application domains. The envisioned object memory format has to complement and embrace such standards dedicated to the description of physical items. In order to facilitate interoperability in scenarios comprising several application domains (e.g., business processes covering production and logistics) and open-loop scenarios (e.g., production lines with highly varying process steps), the object memory format should provide a standardized way to organize and access the selected data independent from the application domain. Furthermore, it should function as a technology-neutral layer for delivering content from physical artifacts to applications in business processes ranging from product lifecycle management to consumer support.

Join the Object Memory Modeling Incubator Group.

End date 26 September 2011
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Initial Chairs Alexander Kröner
Initiating Members
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Monthly
Face-to-face: Once Annually


General requirements for the object memory format include:

An object memory format will be created that addresses the organization, the description and the transformation of object-related information. Hence, the use of the following three components will play a prominent role:
The object memory format will further provide mechanisms to support: role-based data access; interpretation of data (e.g., via references to ontologies defining the data’s semantics); and data integrity for distributed information linked with an object (e.g., via checksums and certificates).

A possible sequence of work is as follows:
  1. Analysis of requirements for data storage and processing on the physical item and externally in the environment. Notes: This includes processing object memories on the physical item’s smart label.
  2. Definition of a structural description for object memories, which allows for defining content blocks and histories of events for an individual object. Notes: There are no agreed formal definitions for the structure of object memories at present. Creating agreed formal definitions will be a task of the incubator group. Furthermore, constraints imposed by physical aspects of smart label technology should be taken into account in order to enable a transfer of these structures from Web-based scenarios to smart labels. 
  3. Definition of structures that facilitate access to and description of content stored in object memories, such as keywords and index structures. Here, a particular objective is to define these structures in a way that permits quick direct access to data even after a transfer (and potential conversion) of such structures to arbitrary smart labels. Notes: An important requirement is to record product decomposition in an "open world", i.e., these structures should be ready for extensions. Notes: An important requirement is to record product decomposition in an "open world", i.e., these structures should be ready for extensions. 
  4. Definition of a description, which allows for the specification of associated remote data sources such as object-related sensors - sources which may feed the object memory with content. Notes: Following the related concept of smart labels, a particular focus will be on the description and treatment of information sources actually attached to the physical artifact. 
  5. Definition of structures supporting the conversion from XML-based representations to other, more compact (e.g. binary) formats appropriate for different kinds of smart label technology. Notes: This particular step will require a formal description of the mapping process; the approach should be open and thus allow content providers to define their own mapping schemes for their respective contents.
It is not expected that the incubator group would cover any more than items (1), (2) and (3) during its one year runtime. Regarding items (4) and (5), it is expected that an initial recommendation created from technical experiments can be expressed after one year.

Success Criteria

Definition of a (re)usable structure, which

  • Describes a physical artifact’s individual characteristics and technical capabilities.
  • Enables the representation and organization of individual event histories (and thus the evolution of properties of a single artifact).
  • Supports retrieval and access of changing owners and users along the product lifecycle.
  • Is ready for translation according to (memory) constraints imposed by smart label technology.

Out of Scope

Generic modeling constructs already defined in base standards such as OWL1.0 and the upcoming OWL 2.0
Product classification models such as eCl@ss
Generic keyword sets not focused on the particular object memory structure such as Dublin Core
Activities concerning the definition of identifiers for the Internet of Things
Activities concerning the modeling and processing of complex events (CEP)
Activities concerning business process modeling (BPM)


Report on the actual OMM- Object Memory format defined

Dependencies and Liaisons

W3C Groups

Extensible Markup Language (XML)
XML itself is considered as candidate for the specification of object memories. The Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) Format suggests a way to create highly compressed binary data from XML. The approach will be reviewed concerning its appropriateness for storing object memories on smart labels. The Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) is another complementary technology, which might be of special interest for converting XML-based information into a smart label-friendly format.
Semantic Web Activity 
RDF and OWL are considered as basis for a semantic representation of the object memory structure.
Product Modeling XG
Results from this incubator group’s efforts comprise a specification that allows for setting up detailed and semantically meaningful product descriptions, which could be inserted into the object memory structure in order to describe properties shared by all artifacts of some kind.

External Groups

An alliance of the projects SemProM, ADiWa and Aletheia, all funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is researching different aspects of structure, contents, and applications of so-called digital product memories - a topic closely related to the more general concept of digital object memories. On the European level, the European project SmartProducts is researching how to use digital product memories for a better human product interaction.

These groups will provide input to the incubator group from practical experiments with preliminary results generated by the group. Furthermore, they will support the group with complementary activities such as market research concerning business models that could drive the transfer of a potential standard into practice.
The SemProM project
The SemProM project (Semantic Product Memory, see http://www.semprom.org/) researches how smart labels may give products a memory and thus support intelligent applications along the product's lifecycle. By the use of integrated sensors, relations in the production process become transparent and supply chains as well as environmental influences retraceable. The producer gets supported and the consumer better informed about the product.
The ADiWa project
The ADiWa project (Alliance Digital Product Flow, see http://www.adiwa.net/) makes the huge potential of information from the Internet of Things accessible for business-relevant workflows that can be strategically planned and manipulated. For the data-level connection of objects from the real world, results from available solutions and from the SemProM project shall be used. ADiWa focuses on business processes, which can be controlled and manipulated based on evaluated information from the real world. 
The Aletheia project
The Aletheia project (see http://www.aletheia-projekt.de/) is a leading innovation project, sponsored by the German Ministry of Education and Research that aims at obtaining comprehensive access to product information through the use of semantic technologies. The project follows an approach which does not only consult structured data from company-owned information sources, such as product databases, to respond to inquiries, it also looks at unstructured data from office documents and web 2.0 sources, such as wikis, blogs, and web forums, as well as sensor and RFID data.
The SmartProducts project
The SmartProducts project (see http://www.smartproducts-project.eu/) develops the scientific and technological basis for building "smart products" with embedded proactive knowledge. Smart products help customers, designers and workers to deal with the ever increasing complexity and variety of modern products. Such smart products leverage proactive knowledge to communicate and co-operate with humans, other products and the environment. The project thereby also focuses on small devices with limited storage capabilities and thus also requires efficient storage mechanisms. Moreover, the project aims to apply the results achieved by the incubator group for optimizing the data exchange between different smart products.


Monthly telcon's and yearly face-2-face meetings frequency.


This group primarily conducts its work on the public mailing list public-xg-omm@w3.org (archive) . The group's Member-only list is member-xg-omm@w3.org (archive)

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Object Memory Modeling Incubator Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

Patent Policy

This Incubator Group provides an opportunity to share perspectives on the topic addressed by this charter. W3C reminds Incubator Group participants of their obligation to comply with patent disclosure obligations as set out in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy. While the Incubator Group does not produce Recommendation-track documents, when Incubator Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from Working Groups, the patent disclosure obligations do apply.

Incubator Groups have as a goal to produce work that can be implemented on a Royalty Free basis, as defined in the W3C Patent Policy.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Object Memory Modeling Incubator Group has been created according to the Incubator Group Procedures documentation. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Alexander Kröner (DFKI GmbH, Germany)

$Date: 2010/09/27 13:26:18 $