TKO-laboratorio TKK


T-93.850 Seminar on Knowledge Engineering

Spring 2007: Internet of Things

General seminar information

Working methods: Bibliographic research on different subjects related to Internet of Things and presenting them to the other seminar participants at different sessions. A practical programming or software installation OR/AND a seminar report of 5-10 pages on the selected topic is also required.

Presentations and the report may be done individually or in groups of 2-3 people. Groups should meet up and discuss their work before the presentation, so that the group work helps all members in the group to understand the subject. Group presentations also have to be partitioned between the group members so that all members present different parts of the work.

Assessment: Accepted/Rejected.

First meeting: Thursday, 15 February 2007 at 10-12, Lecture Room T5 in Computer Science building.
This meeting starts with an introductory lecture about the Internet of Things and related technologies, including demonstrations.
Please send a message to the lecturer in advance about your intention to attend the course.
Also tell if this seminar time is not possible for you.

Extent: 3 cr. If extensive implementation (installation, programming, testing, ...) work is done, then up to 6 cr can be given.

What is the "Internet of Things"?

The Internet of Things has been proposed as an extension of the Internet to objects and locations in the real world. This means that information about physical items would be available from the Internet by using the item's globally unique product identifier (GUPI) as a search key. The globally unique product identifier fulfils the same purpose for products as URLs do for Internet-connected computers. A major difference is that products are not continuously connected to the Internet. Parts of the information about a product can also be stored locally on the product itself, while other parts of the information are stored somewhere (in one or several places) on the Internet. In order to access the information located on the Internet, it is necessary that the GUPI provides some information that links the product to one or more URLs where the information is located. At least three approaches have been proposed for possible GUPIs (see here), of which one was developed at HUT in 2001 (see

Product identification technologies have also evolved greatly in recent years. Current barcode technology has mainly been used for identifying the product type but the development of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and new barcode technology have made it feasible also to identify individual product items. Especially with RFID, it has even become possible to store information locally on the product itself and modify it later. This evolution has lead to numerous applications e.g. in product and shipment tracking and tracing, inventory management and supply chain management.

Physical products also have an increasing amount of embedded computing power that enables them to store and process information independently. They can also actively initiate communication with other computers. This means that the products become proactive, i.e. they can detect changes in themselves and in their environment and react on them.

Such machine-to-machine (M2M) communication imposes strict standards for communication. XML-based communication has become the dominant technology for M2M communication over the Internet. Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) have become the main approach for such communication. Especially Web Service technology is widely used. However, SOA can be implemented in many different ways and it still only offers a partial solution to M2M communication. The semantics for representing product information also has to be defined in such a way that all communicating parties understand it. Business messaging standards such as ebXML and RosettaNet attempt to address the semantic level but with an emphasis on inter-organisational business transactions rather than on product-centric information. The Semantic Web could also offer interesting technologies and solutions for representing product-centric information.

In the seminar, we will study the existing approaches to implementing the Internet of Things and how they have been used in practice for tracking, product lifecycle management etc. We will also try to assess the advantages and problems of different approaches. Programming projects can be performed in order to test and evaluate different approaches. Relevant technologies are e.g. SOA, Web Services, RDF, OWL, ebXML, RFID, multi-agent systems, peer-to-peer systems.

  • The DIALOG concept for implementing the Internet of Things: DIALOG.
  • The Trackway peer-to-peer-based concept for implementing the Internet of Things: Trackway Oy
  • EPCglobal concept for implementing the Internet of Things: EPC global
  • Open-source initiative for implementing EPCglobal specifications: Accada EPC Network Prototyping Platform
  • EU project on implementing "smart machines": PROMISE EU project
  • EU project on global tracking and tracing of shipments and products: TraSer EU project
  • IBM's Agent Building and Learning Environment (ABLE): ABLE


Seminar opening, introductory lecture

Thu 15.2.2007, 10-12, Lecture Room T5 The rest of the schedule will be defined depending on the number of participants. The intention is that all participants (individually or in groups of up to three people) make two presentations during the seminar. The topic of the first presentation will be presenting and analysing the contents of one of two introductory articles OR presenting initial plans if an implementation task has been selected. The second presentation will consist in reporting the results of a comparative study of different technologies and their applicability OR presenting the results and conclusions of an implementation task
Introductory lecture, slides available as PDF and browsable here.

Meeting for presenting first article

Count about 30 minutes for the presentation, including time for questions and discussion. For this first presentation, the emphasis is on getting an overview of the signification of the "Internet of Things". There is nearly always some "major message(s)" that the author tries to express in the article. Try to identify it/them as well as possible. Finally express your own opinion on the work, i.e. how understandable is the article, does it make you want to search further, what are the open issues etc.

For group presentations, count 30-45 minutes for 2 persons and 30-60 minutes for 3 persons. The goal of team work is not just to split up the article in pieces that are presented separately. The goal is rather to discuss and analyze the article in advance and give a more refined analysis of the article than would be possible in an individual presentation.

All seminar participants are expected to attend all meetings. If you have to be absent, please contact the lecturer. Also signal any problems with the schedule below as soon as possible.

Thursday 1.3.2007, 10-14, Room A232 (Computer Science building) Främling et al. (2006). Agent-based Model for Managing Composite Product Information.
Timo Aterma.
Kärkkäinen et al. (2003). The product centric approach: a solution to supply network information management problems?
Jan Nyman.
RFID ja semanttinen web - haasteita ja mahdollisuuksia . Project plan presentation.
Tuukka Ruotsalo.
Kärkkäinen et al. (2003). Intelligent products - a step towards a more effective project delivery chain.
Jing Lei.

Meeting for presenting project work

Count about 45 minutes for presentation, including time for questions and discussion. If you have already finished your report, the presentation can follow the same outline as the report (see below for suggestions).

Wednesday 30.5.2007, 10-15, Room A211 (Computer Science building) World of WWAI.
Jing Lei.
Smart products in the internet of things: a case study.
Jan Nyman.
Using Semantic Web Technologies in Internet of Things: Implementation and A Case Study.
Tuukka Ruotsalo.


Choose one of the articles for the first seminar presentation from the list below. You may also propose an article of your own choice if you find that more appropriate.

FIELDING, Roy T. (2000). Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures. PhD thesis, University of California, Irvine.

FRÄMLING, Kary, KÄRKKÄINEN, Mikko, ALA-RISKU, Timo, HOLMSTRÖM, Jan. Agent-based Model for Managing Composite Product Information. Computers in Industry , Vol. 57, No. 1, 2006. pp. 72-81. Download as PDF.

KÄRKKÄINEN, Mikko, HOLMSTRÖM, Jan, FRÄMLING, Kary, ARTTO, Karlos. Intelligent products - a step towards a more effective project delivery chain. Computers in Industry, Volume 50, Issue 2 February 2003. pp. 141-151. Download as PDF.

KÄRKKÄINEN, Mikko, ALA-RISKU, Timo, FRÄMLING, Kary. The product centric approach: a solution to supply network information management problems? Computers in Industry, Vol. 52, No. 2, 2003. pp. 147-159. Download as PDF.

KÄRKKÄINEN, Mikko, ALA-RISKU, Timo, FRÄMLING, Kary. Efficient Tracking for Short-Term Multi-Company Networks. Int. J. of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management , Vol. 34, No. 7, 2004. pp. 545-564 Download as PDF.

The two following are to be read together:

  • FRÄMLING, Kary, HOLMSTRÖM, Jan. How to create evolving information models by a layered information architecture. In: Proceedings of The Modern Information Technology in the Innovation Processes of the Industrial Enterprises (MITIP'2006) , 11-12 September 2006, Budapest, Hungary. pp.173-178. Download as PDF.
  • FRÄMLING, Kary, HARRISON, Mark, BRUSEY, James. Globally unique product identifiers - requirements and solutions to product lifecycle management. In: Dolgui, A, Morel, G., Pereira, C.E. (eds.), Proceedings of 12th IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing (INCOM) , 17-19 May 2006, Saint-Etienne, France. pp. 855-860. Download as PDF.

The two following are to be read together:

  • ANKE, Jürgen, FRÄMLING, Kary. Distributed Decision Support in a PLM scenario. In: Proceedings of Product Data Technology Europe 14th Symposium , 26-28 September 2005, Amsterdam, Netherlands. pp 129-137. Download as PDF.
  • FRÄMLING, Kary, HOLMSTRÖM, Jan. Design Patterns for Managing Product Lifecycle Information. In: Proceedings of 18th International Conference on Production Research (ICPR) , 31 July to 4 August 2005, Salerno, Italy. Download as PDF.

Seminar assignments

This is a preliminary list of possible tasks/assignments to be presented at the second seminar presentation. This list will probably still be modified!

  • Making a comparative evaluation of the suitability of EPCglobal, Trackway and Dialog (ID@URI) for a real-life application scenario of tracking&tracing, product lifecycle management or similar. May be performed both as a bibliographic study and analysis, with an optional implementation part included.
  • Relationship between Internet of Things and Multi-Agent technologies. Mainly bibliographic study.
  • Installation of EPCglobal based software solutions (if any such can be found), Dialog and Trackway software. Comparison on aspects such as cost, ease of installation, software availability, openness, standardisation, adaptability to new requirements etc.
  • Product lifecycle management for condition-based maintenance or product recycling, involving decision support modules (agents?) such as rule bases, neural networks etc. Can be purely bibliographic or include nearly any amount of implementation work.
  • Tracking and tracing of shipments, product information in multi-organisational networks, self-guiding shipments, ...
  • Intelligent products with embedded computing capabilites and network connectivity. Can involve implementation work e.g. with on-board car computers.
  • Special study on the role of RFID technology for the Internet of Things. Can involve testing and implementation with RFID equipment.
  • ...

Seminar report

Deadline for seminar report: May/June 2007 unless special agreement with lecturer.

The intention of the seminar report is mainly to report the results of the project work or an extensive literature or systems survey. It is also expected to provide feedback on the selection of articles, projects and the organisation of the seminar in general.

One possible structure for the report could be:

  1. Introduction to Internet of Things, short explanation of what it is with own words.
  2. Background material: article(s) read, how they relate to Internet of Things.
  3. Reasons for choosing project subject (or survey subject), how it relates to the previous points.
  4. Description of project in classical way, e.g. introduction, background, implementation, conclusions.
  5. Possibly as part of conclusions: comments on general organisation of the seminar, i.e. choice of articles, schedule, ... . Also, was it worth taking this seminar? Why? Why not?

Recommended length is about 10 pages. Send seminar report to Kary Främling .

This page is maintained by Kary Främling.
Last updated on May 29th, 2007