NGSI 9/10 information model

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This page outlines the information model of OMA NGSI 9 and OMA NGSI 10. More detail can be found in the specification document.


Central Concepts


The central aspect of the NGSI 9/10 information model is the concept of entities. Entities are the virtual representation of all kinds of physical objects in the real world. Examples for physical entities are tables, rooms, or persons. Virtual entities have an identifier and a type. For example, a virtual entity representing a person named “John” could have the identifier “John” and the type “person”.


Any available information about physical entities is expressed in the form of attributes of virtual entities. Attributes have a name and a type as well. For example, the body temperature of John would be represented as an attribute having the name “body_temperature” and the type “temperature”. Values of such attributes are contained in value containers. This kind of container does not only consist of the actual attribute value, but also contains a set of metadata. Metadata is data about data; in in our body temperature example this metadata could represent the time of measurement, the measurement unit, and other information about the attribute value.

Attribute Domains

There also is a concept of attribute domains in OMA NGSI 9/10. An attribute domain logically groups together a set of attributes. For example, the attribute domain "health_status" could comprise of the attributes "body_temperature" and "blood_pressure".

The interfaces defined in NGSI 10 include operations to exchange information about arbitrary sets of entities and their attribute values, while NGSI 9 consists of functions for exchanging information about the availability of information about entities.

Context Elements

The container used for exchanging information about entities is 'context element. A context element can contain information about multiple attributes of one entity. The domain of these attributes can also be specified inside the context element; in this case all provided attribute values have to belong to that domain.

Formally, a context element contains the following information

  • an entity ID including the name and the type
  • a list of attributes
  • (optionally) the name of an attribute domain
  • (optionally) a list of metadata that apply to all attribute values of the given domain
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