Research Fellow Elected Chair of OASIS QUOMOS Technical Committee-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Research Fellow Elected Chair of OASIS QUOMOS Technical Committee

Dr. Steve Ray, Distinguished Research Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s Silicon Valley campus, has been elected Co-Chair along with Frank Olken, Program Manager at NSF, of the newly formed OASIS Technical Committee called the Quantities and Units of Measure Ontology Standard (QUOMOS) Technical Committee.

The OASIS Quantities and Units of Measure Ontology Standard (QUOMOS) Technical Committee works to develop an ontology to specify the basic concepts of quantities, systems of quantities, and systems of measurement units and scales, various base dimensions and units of the SI system, and designations of the most common derived units (joules, watts, etc.) for use across multiple industries.

OASIS is a standard development organization setting documentary standards, of which Carnegie Mellon University is a member.

Dr. Steven Ray is a Distinguished Research Fellow at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, where he researches information interoperability and standards in application domains including the smart electrical grid, disaster management, electronic business, supply chains, and manufacturing. For over 27 years, Dr. Ray led technical R&D projects at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland and has long been advocating the use of formal modeling methods to represent technical standards.

“Basically, we intend to define an international standard that will formally model the world’s system of units and measures in a form that is computer-interpretable, as an ontology,” said Ray. “This model will make it much easier to ensure the integrity and consistency of scientific measurements and calculations. It’s important to note, though, that we are not changing the existing definitions – we are only setting out to encode those definitions as a formal logic model.”

“There is currently no computer-interpretable model that relates all the units to each other. While there are equations that relate them, there is no explicit, unified model. We will use an unambiguous language – the language of mathematics and first-order logic to define it,” continued Ray. “My work at Carnegie Mellon in the areas of disaster management and smart grid interoperability will also be using this kind of modeling technology to create computer-interpretable standards for the exchange of information. In the case of disaster management, it would be emergency information and in the case of Smart Grid, it would be electricity usage and pricing information.”

The OASIS QUOMOS Technical Committee will be an international effort of experts around the world, who are dedicated to creating a unified model (ontology) for a system of units and measures. The project will take several years to get an OASIS standard. Once the standard is approved, it will be submitted to other international standard bodies for adoption within the international community.