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Subject: Illogical Structure?

Folks -

I'm concerned that we might be constructing next-generation  
stovepipes into our subcommittee/working-group structure.

Basically, I think, all info systems comprise only five basic types  
of nodes:

* Sensors, in the broad sense, observe the real world and represents  
events and conditions there by outputting data according to some more- 
or-less specified model.  (In this sense a human input tool... a  
keyboard or a mouse, for example... can be viewed as a class of sensor.)

* Actuators ingest data inputs and effect some change in the "real"  
environment.  These can include displays, alarms, switches, valves...  
anything that transforms data into a physical manifestation.

* Gateways perform rule-based transformations between data formats.

* Processors are akin to gateways, in that they have data inputs and  
data outputs, but the transformations they perform are more complex,  
involving additional factors such as other concurrent data inputs,  
cumulative calculations of state,  historical/statistical  
representations of patterns and trends in various dimensions  
(temporal and geospatial being the most common in emergency  
applications) as well as simple input-triggered rules.

* Registers (aka databases) accumulate and retain data in some  
persistent form, either by factoring new data into an ongoing  
calculation of system state or by journaling individual data arrivals  
in some form of list, or sometimes both.

Every application and function involves many if not all of these  
components, and most of those components will be either pre-existing  
or otherwise invariant.  Our work in data standards has more to do  
with the conversations between these nodes than with the nodes  
themselves, so organizing ourselves by node-type seems maybe a bit  
out of tune with our mission.

I'd like to suggest that we define our basic working groups around  
particular projects, with additional ad-hoc teams to address  
particular technical or operational questions that require in-depth  
research or special expertise.  That would leave it up to the TC as a  
whole to look after issues of consistency and coherence in our work  
products, which seems appropriate to me.

Concrete examples of this sort of structure would be an EDXL DE  
working group for the project-oriented team, and our existing GIS  
group as a particularly durable example of the special-issue type.

If there are, in fact, issues specific to sensor systems in some  
narrow definition, that could certainly be addressed by a temporary,  
goal-oriented workgroup.  But I don't think we want to conflate  
sensor issues with workflow issues... lots of applications have their  
own inherent workflows and there's no guarantee that a sensor- 
oriented team could achieve a global view of that very broad topic.

(From a bench in front of SFO, loving the low humidity...)

- Art

On Jul 15, 2005, at 12:47 PM, Elysa Jones wrote:

> Most of what we do with our EM standards work involves the movement  
> of information in response to a detected event - be that a visual  
> or otherwise "sensed" event.  Much of the discussion about  
> "systems" was actually more about work flow and dissemination of  
> information during an incident.  We may should revisit the terms we  
> use so as not to be misunderstood - say sensors and work flow?  We  
> deemed it important to designate sensors separately due to the work  
> that is developing in the labs and elsewhere that EM standards are  
> needed.  These groups are looking to the TC for guidance and having  
> a special place they can discuss their specific needs would be  
> helpful.  Comments?  Elysa
> At 11:06 AM 7/15/2005, Kon Wilms wrote:
>> I guess that proves my point.
>> Cheers
>> Kon
>> On Fri, 2005-07-15 at 06:58 -0400, Vandame, Richard wrote:
>> > Non-sensers, perhaps.
>> >
>> > Rich
>> >
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: Kon Wilms [mailto:kon@datacast.biz]
>> > Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2005 5:20 PM
>> > To: Rex Brooks; emergency@lists.oasis-open.org
>> > Subject: [emergency] Illogical Naming was: Re: [emergency]  
>> Sensors and
>> > Systems Charter Starting Point
>> >
>> > I have to say that I still do not see the logic behind the  
>> naming of
>> > these focus groups.
>> >
>> > A sensor network is a system (and may comprise multiple  
>> systems), for
>> > example. What category do systems that do not make use of  
>> sensors fall
>> > under?
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