The Value and Process of Creating Standards: CIS Develops its First Standard

Justine Speck, IEEE Technical Activities



This article originally appeared in The Society Sentinel, An IEEE Technical Activities newsletter.

Earlier this year, the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (CIS) completed its first standard, IEEE 1855™, which is based on the Fuzzy Markup Language technology introduced by Giovanni Acampora, Associate Professor at University of Naples Federico II, in 2003. This Standard provides the “fuzzy community” with an important added value in terms of development speed of a system and design interoperability. IEEE 1855, like other standards projects, was developed to standardize a concept, which can benefit the technical community and ultimately consumers.

Understanding the process of creating a standard from start to finish may initially seem a daunting task; however, the end result is a valuable contribution to the technical field the standard supports, as well as a sense of accomplishment to the Society. Giovanni Acampora, chair of the IEEE 1855 working group, urges others Societies considering developing a standard to do so, and offers experiential advice: “Think about your technology and standardisation activity as a mechanism to provide an added-value both to scientists and engineers using this technology in their research and to people using this technology in their daily life activities. Only if we are able to think about the needs of others, we will be able to achieve a success.”

The first step in developing a standard is to identify the project Sponsor, usually an IEEE Society, which is responsible for the project and provides technical oversight. The effort is collaborative; each Society-sponsored “working group” must work closely with other IEEE OUs to meticulously follow process steps outlined by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA).

The process for IEEE 1855 started in 2011, when the then Chair of the IEEE CIS Standards Committee filed a motion to the IEEE CIS Advisory Committee (AdCom) to initiate the standardization activity related to Fuzzy Markup Language. The AdCom approved the motion and appointed Acampora as chair of the working group tasked with finalizing the standard. After three years, the working group delivered and approved the official draft of IEEE 1855. Then came the sponsor balloting.

“The sponsor balloting was the most crucial activity towards the standardisation of IEEE 1855. It asked worldwide members of IEEE SA who are interested in the aims and scope of IEEE 1855 to cast a vote of approval, disapproval or revision on the standard draft. In the case of IEEE 1855, 93% of voters returned their vote and 100% of the returned votes were “APPROVE”, says Acampora.

The IEEE SA Standards Board approved IEEE 1855 on 29 January 2016, as the first IEEE standard sponsored by IEEE CIS. IEEE 1855 was published on 27 May 2016 and is available for purchase at the IEEE Standards store and for subscription at the IEEE Xplore digital library.

“Thanks to IEEE 1855 fuzzy scientists and engineers will be able to design their fuzzy systems by creating a simple XML file and, moreover, they could share their systems by exchanging this XML-based description, without any knowledge of the hardware details on which systems will be implemented,” says Acampora.

IEEE CIS plans to continue their Standards development efforts and are sponsoring IEEE 1849, a standard technology useful for describing event logs in business and enterprise activities.

Read more on IEEE 1855.

Learn more about getting started with Standards development.

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