SemSOS: an Architecture for Query, Insertion, and Discovery for Semantic Sensor Networks

TitleSemSOS: an Architecture for Query, Insertion, and Discovery for Semantic Sensor Networks
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJoshua Pschorr
Academic DepartmentDepartment of Computer Science & Engineering
Number of Pages124
Date Published05/2013
UniversityWright State University
KeywordsLinked Data, Semantic Sensor Web, Semantic Web, sensor data, Sensor Observation Service, Sensor Web, Sensor Web Enablement

With sensors, storage, and bandwidth becoming ever cheaper, there has been a drive recently to make sensor data accessible on the Web. However, because of the vast number of sensors collecting data about our environment, finding relevant sensors on the Web and then interpreting their observations is a non-trivial challenge. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) defines a web service specification known as the Sensor Observation Service (SOS) that is designed to standardize the way sensors and sensor data are discovered and accessed on the Web. Though this standard goes a long way in providing interoperability between sensor data producers and consumers, it is predicated on the idea that the consuming application is equipped to handle raw sensor data. Sensor data consuming end-points are generally interested in not just the raw data itself, but rather actionable information regarding their environment. The approaches for dealing with this are either to make each individual consuming application smarter or to make the data served to them smarter. This thesis presents an application of the latter approach, which is accomplished by providing a more meaningful representation of sensor data by leveraging semantic web technologies. Specifically, this thesis describes an approach to sensor data modeling, reasoning, discovery, and query over richer semantic data derived from raw sensor descriptions and observations. The artifacts resulting from this research include: - an implementation of an SOS service which hews to both Sensor Web and Semantic Web standards in order to bridge the gap between syntactic and semantic sensor data consumers and that has been proven by use in a number of research applications storing large amounts of data, which serves as - an example of an approach for designing applications which integrate syntactic services over semantic models and allow for interactions with external reasoning systems. As more sensors and observations move online and as the Internet of Things becomes a reality, issues of integration of sensor data into our everyday lives will become important for all of us. The research represented by this thesis explores this problem space and presents an approach to dealing with many of these issues. Going forward, this research may prove a useful elucidation of the design considerations and affordances which can allow low-level sensor and observation data to become the basis for machine processable knowledge of our environment.