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Last modified: January 25, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 25 January 2010

A Cover Pages Publication
Provided by OASIS and Sponsor Members
Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

RDA Vocabularies: Process, Outcome, Use
Diane Hillmann, Karen Coyle, Jon Phipps, Gordon Dunsire; D-Lib Magazine

"The Resource Description and Access (RDA) standard, due to be released this coming summer, has included since May 2007 a parallel effort to build Semantic Web enabled vocabularies. This article describes that effort and the decisions made to express the vocabularies for use within the library community and in addition as a bridge to the future of library data outside the current MARC-based systems. The authors also touch on the registration activities that have made the vocabularies usable independently of the RDA textual guidance. Designed for both human and machine users, the registered vocabularies describe the relationships between FRBR, the RDA classes and properties and the extensive value vocabularies developed for use within RDA.

RDA builds on the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules developed over the course of the 20th century and now in its second edition (AACR2), the development of the model of Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and the Statement of International Cataloguing Principles. RDA essentially standardizes how metadata content is identified, transcribed and generally structured, although it is independent of any specific metadata encoding. RDA also identifies a general set of metadata elements, and in many cases provides a controlled vocabulary for use as the content of an element. Although RDA is being developed primarily for use with resources curated in a library environment, consultations have been undertaken with other information management communities, including publishers and those operating in the digital world, to try to ensure effective alignment with the metadata standards used in those communities.

The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a group of specifications developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as a model for metadata description. It is a language for the representation of information about resources in the World Wide Web... RDF is a good choice for application to RDA vocabularies for several reasons. The RDF model is based on the simplest of metadata structures, a single statement about a single property of a single resource. Such statements can be aggregated in flexible ways to form higher-level descriptions, or metadata "records", of a specific resource. Modelling the RDA entity vocabulary in RDF helps to meet the RDA aim of providing instructions for recording metadata that can be applied independently of any particular structure or syntax for data storage or display. RDF assumes an open world where metadata storage and maintenance is distributed and metadata content is intended to be shared rather than organized in closed data silos. This openness is essential if RDA is to break out of the confines of traditional library practices. Expressing the RDA elements in a manner compliant with the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and the RDF Schema Language (RDFS) additionally supports the inferences so important in the RDF world, and allows RDA to benefit from the extensibility of the RDF model...

A significant aspect of RDA is its use of the entity-relation (ER) model of FRBR. The use of ER models is a key component of the semantic web, but is entirely new in library cataloging rules. Revisions of RDA issued by the JSC over time provide evidence that the integration of FRBR and RDA caused the committee to rethink certain traditional concepts. It was clearly important that the development of RDA elements reflect the JSC's commitment to FRBR principles, although RDA's interaction with FRBR was not always developed in such a way that would translate directly to the corresponding RDF relationships. The DCMI/RDA group working on vocabulary development and registration needed to bridge that gap..."

See also: The RDA (Resource Description and Access) Vocabularies

IETF Informational RFC: IEEE 802.21 Basic Schema Specification
Kenichi Taniuchi, Yoshihiro Ohba, Subir Das (eds), IETF Internet Draft

Abstract: "This document describes the basic schema for IEEE 802.21 Media-Independent Information Service, an RDF (Resource Description Framework) schema defined in IEEE 802.21. This document serves as the Specification required by the IANA to maintain a global registry for storing the RDF schema. Document section 2 presents the RDF Schema for IEEE 802.21 Basic Schema.

Details: "IEEE 802.21 is a standard that specifies 802 media access-independent mechanisms that optimize handovers between heterogeneous 802 systems and between 802 systems and cellular systems... The Media Independent Information Service (MIIS) provides the network elements with the information about neighboring networks, thus enabling making of more effective handover decisions across heterogeneous networks. The first two services are out of the scope of this document. The MIIS defines information models and query mechanisms where a query mechanism depends on the information model which it is based on.

There are two types of information models in the MIIS for representing the same set of pre-defined information elements in different ways. One information model is based on TLV (Type-Length- Value) in which information elements are identified by integer values. The other information model is based on RDF (Resource Description Framework) in which information elements are identified by URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers), per RFC 3986. The two information models have different characteristics in terms of namespace management as well as query capability. This document is intended for the latter type of information model.

Note from the IESG Secretary: IESG "has discussed 'IEEE 802.21 Basic Schema' [draft-ohba-802dot21-basic-schema-06.txt] as an Informational RFC. This document has been reviewed in the IETF but is not the product of an IETF Working Group. In discussions within the IESG and with the IEEE 802.21 group, it was decided that while extensive IETF review was useful for the document, the proper place to publish the document is within the IEEE. As a result, this draft will not be published as an RFC but will be taken up by the IEEE 802.21. The IESG contact person is Jari Arkko..."

Use Cases and Requirements for Ontology and API for Media Resource 1.0
W. Lee, T. Buerger, F. Sasaki, V Malaisé (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C Media Annotations Working Group have published a Working Draft specification Use Cases and Requirements for Ontology and API for Media Resource 1.0. This document specifies use cases and requirements as an input for the development of the "Ontology for Media Resource 1.0" and the "API for Media Resource 1.0". The ontology will be a simple ontology to support cross-community data integration of information related to media resources on the Web. The API will provide read access and potentially write access to media resources, relying on the definitions from the ontology.

The main scope of this document are videos. Metadata for other media resources like audio or images will be taken into account if it is applicable for videos as well. The "Ontology for Media Resource 1.0" will address the intercompatiblity problem by providing a common set of properties to define the basic metadata needed for media resources and the semantic links between their values in different existing vocabularies. It will help circumventing the current proliferation of video metadata formats by providing full or partial translation and mapping from properties in formats to a common set of properties in the ontology. The ontology will be accompanied by an API that provides uniform access to all elements defined by the ontology.

The W3C Media Annotations Working Group was chartered to provide a simple ontology to support cross-community data integration of information related to media objects on the Web, as well as an API to access the information... Anticipating the increase in online video and audio in the upcoming years, it will become progressively more difficult for viewers to find the content using current search tools. Unlike hypertext documents, it is more complex and sometimes impossible to deduce meta information about a medium, such as its title, author, or creation date. An ontology would provide a common set of terms to define the basic metadata needed for media objects. There has been a proliferation of media metadata formats. For example, an image could potentially contain EXIF, IPTC and XMP information. There are several metadata solutions for media related content, including MPEG-7, IPTC, iTunes XML, Yahoo! MediaRSS, Video sitemaps, CableLabs VOD Metadata Content, TV-ANytime (ETSI TS 102 822 series), EBU Core Metadata Set, and XMP... The Group will start by focusing on discrete/finite simple video objects and will then expand at a later stage into streamed video, image, and audio.

See also: the W3C Media Annotations Working Group

Creating a National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) IEPD
Priscilla Walmsley, IBM developerWorks

"The U.S. National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is rapidly becoming the most important XML exchange standard for the U.S. government and its information partners. This article, the first in a four-part series, provides an overview of the process for defining a NIEM information exchange. It then takes you through the first step—modeling your exchange using UML—with special considerations for NIEM modeling concepts. A simple case study is used to illustrate the process.

New XML initiatives within the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security, along with other sectors of the U.S. government, use NIEM as a common base data model and methodology to promote interoperability of data and software, reduce design and development time for information exchange applications, and allow the reuse of intellectual capital and skills across multiple projects. NIEM is described as a framework, because it is not just an XML vocabulary for information exchange. It has several components:

(1) A common XML-based data model called NIEM core that provides data components for describing universal objects such as people, locations, activities, and organizations; (2) More specialized XML data models for individual use cases, called domains—examples include Justice, Immigration, and Emergency Management; (3) A methodology for using and extending the building blocks that come from the common and domain-specific models to turn them into a complete information exchange, known as an information exchange package; (4) Tools to help develop, validate, document, and share the information exchange packages; (5) A governance organization that provides training and support and oversees NIEM's evolution over time...

To actually use NIEM, you need to build an IEPD (Information Exchange Package Documentation)... For example, there is an IEPD that defines the information content and structure for an Amber Alert, a bulletin or message sent by law enforcement agencies to announce the suspected abduction of a child... The IEPD pulls the necessary components from the NIEM core and domain models and extends them to create an information exchange. An IEPD contains several artifacts: [i] XML schemas that define the subset of the NIEM model used in this exchange, known as the subset schema; []ii A schema that defines the root element of the exchange, known as the exchange schema; [iii] A schema that defines extensions to the NIEM model, known as the extension schema; [iv] Documentation of the exchange, such as UML diagrams, narrative descriptions, and samples..."

See also: the NIEM Tools Shared IEPDs

NIST Publication on XTS-AES Mode for Confidentiality on Storage Devices
Pat O'Reilly, NIST Computer Security Division Announcement

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced the release of NIST Special Publication 800-38E: Recommendation for Block Cipher Modes of Operation: The XTS-AES Mode for Confidentiality on Storage Devices, edited by Morris Dworkin. This publication is the fifth Part in a series of Recommendations regarding modes of operation of symmetric key block ciphers.

This publication approves the XTS-AES mode of the AES algorithm by reference to IEEE Std 1619-2007, subject to one additional requirement, as an option for protecting the confidentiality of data on storage devices. The mode does not provide authentication of the data or its source.

Details: "The XTS-AES algorithm is a mode of operation of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm. The Security in Storage Working Group (SISWG) of the P1619 Task Group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc (IEEE) developed and specified XTS-AES in IEEE Std. 1619-2007... The XTS-AES mode provides confidentiality for the protected data. Authentication is not provided, because the P1619 Task Group designed XTS-AES to provide encryption without data expansion, so alternative cryptographic methods that incorporate an authentication tag are precluded. In the absence of authentication or access control, XTS-AES provides more protection than the other approved confidentiality-only modes against unauthorized manipulation of the encrypted data. Annex D of The XTS-AES Tweakable Block Cipher discusses in detail the design choices for XTS, including the resistance to manipulation of the encrypted data, and their ramifications for the incorporation of XTS-AES into an information system. Prospective implementers of XTS-AES should consider this information carefully to ensure that XTS-AES is an appropriate solution for a given threat model..."

See also: IEEE P1619.3 Security in Storage Working Group (SISWG), Key Management

The Use of Metadata for Educational Resources in Digital Repositories
D. A. Koutsomitropoulos, A. D. Alexopoulos (et al.), D-Lib Magazine

An implied requirement of today's World Wide Web is to provide mechanisms that store, manage and discover resources in an efficient way. This becomes a necessity for all kinds of electronically available resources, the number of which is increasing at an extremely rapid rate. Digital repositories are mechanisms that fulfill this requirement, provided that they utilize appropriate metadata schemata for the characterization of their content...

A popular system that operates as a digital repository for educational purposes is DSpace. DSpace uses the qualified Dublin Core (DC) element set as its base metadata schema. However, because the DC schema is sometimes proven to be inadequate for the efficient characterization of educational material, we attempt the development of an application profile, extended with the LOM metadata standard, and we tailor it to the needs of an educational repository. At the same time, we propose an ontology using these LOM elements that helps to better capture the semantic notions of the underlying concepts and forms the basis for the deployment of digital repositories with advanced services...

The incorporation of the LOM schema required a careful process through which we investigated exactly which LOM concepts were missing from the system's metadata registry. Those concepts were imported into the repository's inherent metadata schema and were mapped to the appropriate DC-Terms properties. In addition, we extended the DSpace OAI harvesting facility to make it possible to expose these newly adopted LOM metadata. This idea can be similarly applied in any other OAI-compliant repository, resulting in the interoperable export and reuse of its educational metadata.

As a means to better capture the semantics of the relation between LOM and DC, we have also proposed the basis for an LOM ontology. This ontology explicitly represents LOM filler-values and vocabularies as proper entities, while allowing their classification and association with DC-Terms notions under well-defined relations. Therefore, it can be further utilized to enable semantic-aware services and suggests a means for providing semantic interoperability..."

See also: IEEE P1484.12.4, LOM Using the Dublin Core Abstract Model


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