Network Management System Interface Model
Lingli Meng, Lusheng Yan
Network Management Research Center, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Beijing, Popular Republic of China
Wenjing Li
Department of Computer science and technology, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Beijing, Popular Republic of China
Keywords: Ontology Adapter, Interface Model.
Abstract: This paper proposes a new method to define the interface model of network management system, that is
ontology adapter. This model includes three parts, which are ontology agent, ontology knowledge base and
ontology resource description. We can realize the uniform presentation of different network resource
interface information using them. Therefore, we can take this model as a common data platform to offer the
interface information to the network management system.
The telecommunication network and business have
such a great speed development, which cause more
network resource needed to be managed in the
managed network system (Luoming,2001). However,
the traditional network management interface model
of the TMN proposed by the ITU-T is not suitable
for changes of the network technology, and can only
satisfy the static management of the managed
network resources, adjusting badly to all kinds of the
existing interface technology. Therefore, the
interface model is encountering the great challenges
(Luoming ,2003)(Zhipeng,2007):
1) variety of managed network resources. For the
complicated managed network resources are
included under the background of network
management integration, it is an important problem
how to describe these managed resources in the
interface layer, and give the uniform description of
them before offering to the NMS(Network
Management System).
2) diversity of interface description. At present,
there exactly exists the diversity definition of private
interfaces among all equipment vendors, although
the ITU-T has standardized these interface
descriptions. It can cause the inconsistence
presentation of the data, and not share the managed
resources with different systems, as well as be
deficient in flexibility when NMS collects the
information from different interface equipments.
Therefore, how to find a better interface model to
integrate all these different descriptions of network
resources, realize the uniform data presentation,
which will be a creative breakout of interface model
in NMS.
So as to solve these problems above, we proposal
an interface adapter model using ontology language.
The rest of this paper is organized as follows:
Section 2 introduces the existing method of interface
definition in NMS. In section 3, we give a glimpse
of ontology language, presenting the ontology
language OWL. We describe the detail of the
ontology interface adapter model in section 4.
Finally section 5 would conclude our paper and give
the future work.
ITU-T proposed five layers architecture of TMN in
1990’s. The five layers are composed of business
management, service management, network
Meng L., Yan L. and Li W. (2008).
ONTOLOGY ADAPTER - Network Management System Interface Model.
In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics - ICSO, pages 318-321
DOI: 10.5220/0001491903180321
management, network element management and
network element, which are managed by NMS.
At present, it has been defined that several methods
of the interface between NMS and managed
resources, Such as SNMP, CORBA and XML. They
design the interface model distinguishingly
according to different prospective.
2.1 SNMP
SNMP is a standard protocol to manage the IP
network. It can monitor and control the variable
set,as well as monitor the two data format of
equipments, SMI and MIB. SNMP adopts the model
of “Management Process---Agent Process”. When
the Management Process sends an order to the
Managed Object, the Managed Object receives the
order by the Agent Process. Then the Agent process
also sends back the response to the Management
Process. That is, the communication between
Management Process and Managed Object is not in
direct, but using the Agent Process.
SMI is a method of defining the management
object using SNMP. It based on object-oriented, not
using encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism. So
it simplifies the management information models. It
is on behalf of an instance of a class by using table
to represent the data type, table, column, and row.
(Jorge Vergara, 2003)
2.2 Corba
CORBA is proposed by the OMG. It is an object-
oriented software development as well as application
platform, with the function of portable, reusable and
connection, under distributed heterogeneous
IDL, which ITU-T use to define the TMN and
UTRAD. It is an object-oriented description
language. By defining of the IDL, classes are
interfaces between different models. They have
attributes and methods. IDL can be mapped to
different languages, such as C++, JAVA, Ada,
Cobol and SmallTalk.
2.3 XML
XML is given by the W3C. It is an information
processing tool, which has on relevant to platform,
software and hardware. XML has the feature of
flexibility, easy-realization, easy-extension, as well
as low cost. At present, we only use this tool to
define format of the configuration files and the
performance files in NMS.
Ontology is an explicit specification of a
conceptualization. The term is borrowed from
philosophy, where an ontology is a systematic
account of existence. In 1990’s, ontology was
brought into the field of the knowledge
representation, knowledge sharing, semantic reason
and so on.
In recent years, it has been great development of the
applications and research of ontology, which NMS
has been focusing on. There may exist the
possibility of the application of ontology in network
management information model (Jorge, Vergara,
2003), the relations among ontology mapping,
network management operation (Wong, 2005), as
well as special management information model
based on ontology. However, it is still short of the
research to design interface adapter model using
ontology language in NMS. We will propose an
ontology interface adapter model next section.
3.1 OWL
Generally speaking, we use a special ontology
language to describe ontology. At present, the main
ontology description languages are DAML, OIL,
KIF, and OWL, among which, the OWL proposed
by the W3C has the great effect.
The OWL (Web Ontology Language) is designed
for processing the content of information instead of
just presenting information to humans. OWL
facilitates greater machine interpretability of Web
content than those supported by XML, RDF, and
RDF Schema (RDF-S), by providing additional
vocabulary along with a formal semantics. OWL has
three increasingly-expressive sublanguages: OWL
Lite, OWL DL, and OWL Full.
OWL has been applied widely to module in most
kinds of domain ontology: W3C has used OWL in
the ontology model of Web Service; Using OWL
defined the analysis model, which can be adapted to
test circumstance (Bodkin, 2005).
4.1 Ontology Adapter Model Analysis
We propose and discuss the ontology adapter model
in the interface definition below. We divide
ontology adapter model into three parts: ontology
ONTOLOGY ADAPTER - Network Management System Interface Model
agent, ontology knowledgebase and ontology
resource description. Figure 1 shows the model.
Now we will introduce what functions the three
parts have, and how to realize the uniform
description of the interface information when NE
management Layer sends the network resource to
the NMS. First of all, the network resource
information has been defined well in the NE
Management Layer.
Step1, ontology agent receives resource
information, represented by the SMI, IDL or XML
from the NE Management Layer. Then they will be
transformed to the uniform representation using
OWL. If just the
Figure 1: Ontology Adapter Model.
information describe static resources, which can be
dealt with by the ontology agent; otherwise
including dynamic information, which would be
forwarded to the Ontology Knowledgebase. It will
give a further deal.
Step2, ontology knowledgebase is used to
transform the complex interface information. There
exists a database, which stores more transduction
rules between OWL and other interface description
languages, all that the ontology agent can’t deal
with, will be sent to the ontology knowledgebase.
Step3, ontology resource description, in which, we
can complete the interface information
representation finally. After receiving the static
information sent by ontology agent and the dynamic
ones dealt by ontology knowledgebase, ontology
resource description module will integrated both of
them, and present a uniform format to NMS.
4.2 Ontology Adapter based on XML
This section we give a simple realization of ontology
adapter model. We have defined some
transformation rules and a simple ontology resource
description frame using OWL.
4.2.1 Ontology Agent
Figure2 shows the process how ontology receives
the interface information. Firstly, read interface
information; Secondly, analyze language type and
judge whether it present dynamic information;
thirdly, transform the format, finally, the final OWL
representation is formed.
In transform mode 1, take IDL as an example,
there are some rules below:
Rule 1:
module IDL,
NameSpace OWL
Figure 2: Ontology Agent Flow Chart.
Case study:
module TypeDemo { …… }
Rule 2:
Interface IDL, class OWL
Case study:
interface Father { ……. };
<owl:Class rdf:ID="Father"/>
Attribute IDL,
property OWL
Case study:
attribute string name;
<owl:DatatypeProperty rdf:ID="name">
<rdfs:domain rdf:resource="#Father"/>
<rdfs:range rdf:resource="&xsd;string"/>
fundamental datatype IDL,
datatype OWL
Case study: String xsd:string
Note: there are some data types that can’t be
mapped directly, therefore, you must do some
changes. Such as, char xsd:byte.
Rules above, which just aim at static information.
There are still methods to represent dynamic
ICINCO 2008 - International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics
information, such as operation and context. We do
such analysis in ontology knowledgebase. Simply,
we use OWL text to descript these methods. Here,
we only offer a sample:
e.g. Method1 (var1, var2)
Method1 has var1, var2
In transform mode 2, we translate XML into OWL,
we should distinguish the differences between the
two kinds of data types, the fundamental data type
and the user-defined ones. Because the user-defined
data type is so complex that we must avoid the
semantic loss at our best, while transforming such
4.2.2 Ontology Resource Description
In this part, we represent a uniform network resource
description framework using OWL. When ontology
agent and ontology knowledgebase send the
transformed information to ontology resource
description, it will integrate these two parts, and give
a uniform representation using OWL. We now give
a sample description, as follows:
The definition of class:
<owl:Class rdf:ID=
<rdfs:subClassOf rdf:resource=
<owl:hasDatatypeProperty rdf:resource=
<owl:onProperty rdf:resource=
<owl: minCardinality
rdf:datatype="&xsd;int"> 1
</owl: minCardinality>
<owl:onProperty rdf:resource=
"# hasInterface "/>
<owl:haslValuesFrom rdf:resource=
"# Interface "/>
The detail definition of attributes for the above:
<owl:DatatypeProperty rdf:ID=" equipType ">
<rdf:type rdf:resource=
<rdfs:domain rdf:resource="#Equipment"/>
<rdfs:range rdf:resource="&xsd;int"/>
<owl:ObjectProperty rdf:ID="hasInterface">
<rdfs:domain rdf:resource="#Equipment"/>
<rdfs:range rdf:resource="#Interface"/>
rdf:resource="#belongEquipment "/>
It is a challenging research of the integration of
network resource interface information. The
ontology adapter model we presented has solved
how to integrate these different interface
informations in architecture. Our future work will
concentrate on the research of offering a specific
method and realization, using which we can success
to transform existing interface presentation language
into OWL. If possible, a tool which can be used to
produce this transformation automatically is
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ONTOLOGY ADAPTER - Network Management System Interface Model