Project Haystack is an open source initiative to streamline working with data from the Internet of Things. We standardize semantic data models and web services with the goal of making it easier to unlock value from the vast quantity of data being generated by the smart devices that permeate our homes, buildings, factories, and cities. Applications include automation, control, energy, HVAC, lighting, and other environmental systems.
What is Haystack
Haystack was a project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to research and develop several software applications around personal information management and the Semantic Web. The most notable of those applications is the Haystack client, a research personal information manager (PIM) and one of the first to be based on semantic desktop technologies. The Haystack client is published as open source software under the BSD license.
Similar to the Chandler PIM, the Haystack system unifies handling different types of unstructured information. This information has a common representation in RDF that is presented to users in a configurable human-readable way.
Why do we need Haystack
Macro trends in technology are making it increasingly cost effective to instrument and collect data about the operations and energy usage of buildings. We are now awash in data and the new problem is how to make sense of it. Today most operational data has poor semantic modeling and requires a manual, labor intensive process to "map" the data before value creation can begin. Pragmatic use of naming conventions and taxonomies can make it more cost effective to analyze, visualize, and derive value from our operational data.
Project Haystack encompasses the entire value chain of building systems and related intelligent devices. Owners and consultants can specify that Haystack conventions are used in their building automation systems to ensure cost effective analytics and management of their buildings for years to come. System integrators and manufacturers who integrate Haystack support into their projects and products are positioned for the future of value added services.
The Haystack community and all associated intellectual property is managed as an open source project using the Academic Free License 3.0. Anyone is free to participate as long as contributed IP is licensed under the AFL. This ensures that Haystack IP is open and freely available for any commercial use.
Haystack was developed in the Resource Description Framework (RDF) -aware dynamic language Adenine which was created for the project. The language was named after the nucleobase adenine and is a scripting language that is cross-platform. It is the perhaps the earliest example of a homoiconic general graph (rather than list/tree) programming language. A substantial characteristic of Adenine is that this language possesses native support for the Resource Description Framework (RDF). The language constructs of Adenine are derived from Python and Lisp. Adenine is written in RDF and thus also can be represented and written with RDF based syntaxes such as Notation3 (N3).
- Haystack: per-user information environments. Eytan Adar, David Karger, Lynn Andrea Stein. Proceedings of the eighth international conference on Information and knowledge management, p. 413-422, November 2–06, 1999, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
- Haystack: A Platform for Creating, Organizing and Visualizing Information Using RDF. Huynh, Karger, et al. 2002
- Haystack Project summary
- Belief layer for Haystack