AXIS-CSRM proposes a conceptual modellisation of the presentation and the exchange of Documentary Contents between technical and human Entities in order of ensuring the Interoperability of these Entities (temporal, systemic, historical and cultural); an interoperability that unfreezes users from the constraints of proprietary systems [not captive to their suppliers

AXIS-CSRM stands for:
Autonomous eXchange packages for Interoperable Systems Conceptual Semantic Reference Model

From AXIS to AXIS-CSRM: a long and winding road!

In the 1990s, Guy Maréchal, the godfather of this project, was the technical coordinator of the AMICE project that developed the CIMOSA architecture, the basis of the creation of SAP. However, important aspects of CIMOSA were not implemented in SAP due to the lack of computing power of the 1990s. AXIS-CSRM is in line with the will of the time, but with available a powerful computer and the possibility of computer modeling as close as we want the meaning that humans give to things.

The definition of AXISCSRM took inspiration from the ARCADE and CIMOSA projects (which have been the foundation for SAP) learning from their strengths & weaknesses. In a way, we can say that

  • "AXIS-CSRM is the 2020 CIMOSA", or
  • "AXIS-CSRM is the generic and semantic SAP".

ISO's standardization of the Open Archival Information System (OAIS1) in January 2002 weighed heavily on the vision of this project. Led by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, this model is a reference outlining the functions, responsibilities and organization of a system to preserve information (particularly digital data) over the long term to ensure access to identified user communities. AXIS-CSRM defines a methodology for a concrete realization of OAIS compliant systems based on the semantic approach, such that the interoperability and, in particular, the persistence will be guaranteed by construction.

In 2006, the non-profit association Titan took the initiative to study and develop AXIS-CSRM within the European project "Memories" based on an expression of the needs expressed by the "Memory of the World" (MoW) of UNESCO (under the leadership of Ms Joie Springer [Programme Manager] and with contributions from the former head Abdelaziz Habib.)

Subsequently, projects of the CelticPlus Cluster (MediaMap, MediaMap+), the IASA, the UNESCO and the working groups of the EBU-MIM have largely contributed to the development of the concepts. The general properties and aims of AXIS-CSRM have found an echo in the IASA-OK initiative [of the Organising Knowledge task force of the International Association for Sound and Audio-visual Archives] and in the UNESCO Memory of the World programme.

Since 2008, digital technologies have powerfully increased people's global networking, new forms of communication (e-mails, social networks) and decentralization in the flow of data. In short, the 5 V of Big Data (Volume, Variety, Velocity, Value and Veracity) have taken colours! In this universal concert, the Titan non-profit organization stands out by its desire to establish a "semantic" primacy in this deluge of data. Identifying, naming organizing and indexing are the foundation of communication between Humans, between Machines and between Humans and Machines. It is not only naming the objects, but also the facts, concepts, instructions, processes and representations of these objects, facts, concepts, instructions ... are also named and identifiable.

For all these reasons, the association advocates via AXIS-CSRM:

  • a semantic modelling of the modularity and interoperability of digital content allowing the migration, archiving and control of the evolution of organizations and their processes.
  • the provision of tools for the construction of related knowledge bases for the sharing of metadata and models.

It is not enough to define a conceptual model for adoption! It must in addition ensure it is validated, not only for its internal coherence, but also for its ability to respond to actual or latent needs.

That semantic approach is foundations for granting the interoperability according to its four axes (temporal / technical / cultural / historical) not only between machines, but also between human and machines, and, indirectly and transitively between humans.

This project is also due to the International Federations, Associations and Library Institutions that have been working on preservation for decades (IFLA-CIDOC), as well as the LOC (Library of Congress).

The approach has been confronted with the reality of pilot projects that have implemented the most innovative elements of AXIS-CSRM, especially the Eureka Celtic(Plus) MediaMap and MediaMap+ projects. The latter was first short listed by Eureka experts and the evaluation awarded the « CelticPlus Excellence Award 2015 of the Category: Services and Applications», which has been delivered in Vienna in late April.

It faced other experts via presentations and discussions including four workshops of the "European Media Wrapper Round Table" [TITAN’s conferences] and in the context of the 'IASA-OK Taskforce’ [International Association of Sound and Audiovisual archive - Organizing Knowledge].

The first lecture of AXIS-CRM (first acronym) occurred during EMWRT IX in Amsterdam on September 13 2013. Developments contained in this document have been discussed within the project MediaMap+ (Eureka CelticPlus) which ended in June 2014.
On March 19th, 2015, a general introduction and the summary of AXIS-CSRM have been presented to Mrs. Iskra Panevska (the new head of the UNESCO’s MoW program).
AXIS-CSRM was presented at a number of conferences and workshops, particularly the EBU MIM-MDN Workshop (Metadata Developer Network) on 9 and 10 June 2015, at the two PASIG-2016 conferences (in Prague and New York).

The definition of this project was the object of a separate report after the IASA Conference 2014 in Cape Town under the title: AXIS OK – Organizing Knowledge (including meetings of the 'Task Force' IASA -OK).

Within the framework of UNESCO, the AXIS-OK project (Organizing Knowledge) was defined as complementary to the PERSIST project (Platform to Enhance the Sustainability of the Information Society Transglobally - see:

This version consolidates the two previous publications: September 2013 and October 2014 (Final review MediaMap+). These previous working versions have been invaluable for confronting the concepts with expert panels and, in addition to supporting the MediaMap + project, to carry out three focused pilot projects (in collaboration with the University of Lens1). This 2019 working version seems to be stabilized at the conceptual level, but it will still have to rely on exchanges during dissemination sessions and publication via audio-visual recording of tutorials.

The 2019 version of AXIS-CSRM is a working version focused on modeling (Chapter 6) where the first chapters are simply summarized to show the logic of the whole document. Two versions of the document exist: one expressed in French and one in English (the two official languages of UNESCO). Both versions, in their final form will be placed on the portal of the "Memory of the World" program of UNESCO, in accordance with decisions taken at the end of the IST-project MEMORIES.

Via AXIS-CSRM, the Titan association is therefore willing to contribute and / or join for the setting-up a concrete project aiming at realising the detailed specification of that AXIS format and illustrative samples of domain / media specific profiles and at implementing an open platform demonstrating the capabilities of the approach.

AXIS-CSRM general organisation

  • Part 1: A description of the origins of the project and an executive summary that describes in a substantial way the main part of the modeling work that has been carried out! This allows a quick visit of the results. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 aims at introducing the problematic: the objectives, the current situation (its weaknesses and the pitfalls) and the tracks for identifying valuable longterm solutions.
  • Part 2: The chapter 6 is devoted to the Conceptual Modellisation itself which is expressed through eight interlinked models. The three main and most innovative one’s are:
    • The “Functional Model” which generalizes and merge many of the functional standards; it explicitly links the data modelling within the functional modelling; it places as nodal the evolutions: the alternation of the stable states and of the evolutionist processes of things
    • The “Semantic Data Model” which presents a unified frame for deciding for declaring the existence of things, for representing and managing them and their models.
    • The “Configuration Management Model” managing the implementations and operations of AXIS-CSRM based systems.
  • 3. Part 3: The last part (chapter 7 and annexes) intends of introducing elements of implementation of the concepts, such as they receive a concrete illustration and demonstrate the capacity of the current technologies for implementing the concepts in an efficient and easy to use manner. This last part is still unfinished, waiting for a concrete project.

Core Features of the AXIS-CSRM Approach

The proposed conceptual approach is founded on powerful basic concepts: Entity / Configuration / Representation / Declaration of Existence / Knowledge base / Modelling Technology / Register / Point & Segment (static or dynamic) / Work – Edidata – Artefact – Item / …

In order of obtaining the interoperability by construction, AXIS-CSRM has selected the following basic characteristics:

  • The conceptual approach is declined according to eight interlinked models:
    • The Identification and Naming model
    • The Interoperability model
    • The Functional model
    • The Data model
    • The Behavioural model
    • The Security model
    • The Configuration Management model
    • The Import – Export model
  • The Documentary Contents represents Entities and the Configurations which structures and links these Entities, their Representations in their Context.
  • AXIS-CSRM proposes that Configurations be represented according to Modeling Technologies expressed explicitly and exclusively via object-oriented representation standards. The definitions of these Modeling Technologies are explicitly incorporated into Knowledge Bases. In particular, when implemented on the Internet, these representations are expressed in accordance with the standards of the Semantic Web and the Internet of Things.
  • The representations of the Entities are expressed according to Modeling Technologies, as far as possible or reasonable, expressed, as for the MT of Configuration, via object-oriented representation standards; otherwise, according to Modeling Technologies adapted to the type of Entity (for example ISDN for a book) or type of representation of Entity (for example JPEG to represent a photo). In cases where secret / private / proprietary Modeling Technology are used, AXIS-CSRM recommends that at least the Entity's representation file incorporate a 'Proxy' model, represented in accordance with a Formal Modeling Technology, which is integrated into the Representation Registry the Entity.
  • The Entities concerned can be of any kind, sometimes seen as Static Entities (Natural Objects, Artefacts, QR-Code, RF-ID, Documents, Images, Laws, Conventions, Titles, Contexts, Concepts ...) or as Operating Entities (Live Beings, Process, Audio Stream, Video Stream ...). The 'Finite State Machines' approach not only represents [in 'intent', 'operation' and 'results'] the operations of the Operating Entities, but also ensures that the Static Entities can be involved in their operations positioned in historicity.
  • The consideration of an Entity begins with a Declaration of Existence of the Entity to which the various representations of the Entity and the Contexts concerned are related, in particular, the Knowledge Bases involved.
  • Interoperable exchanges between technical entities are themselves documentary entities characterized by the fact that they are autonomous, in the sense that the knowledge base associated with the documentary content is incorporated or associated with the 'package'. In AXIS-CSRM these Interchange Entities are referred to by the acronym AXE [Autonomous eXchange Entities]. The AXEs are usually encapsulated via a particular technology adapted to the data transfer: the 'packaging' of AXEs.
  • The presentation in Perception and in Interaction with humans is built specifically to the characteristics of the mediating artefact.

What AXIS-CSRM advocates is to ensure representations where each Class / Link / Property are typed, and that the coding of property values is also. This method of representing knowledge does not directly concern the Web but the implementation of databases.

The approach is not directly aimed at querying Web sites in "Web-3.0" mode, but the internal organization advocated greatly facilitates the task of search and navigation tools.

Access to the AXIS-CSRM models presentation

    It describes the capacity of coping with several identification and naming systems and suggests a reliable generic approach.
    It describes the semantic encapsulation mechanisms such as being capable of reliable transfer and preservation of the essence of the information. It copes with the functional interoperability (the Human face) and the technical interoperability (the machine face).
  • The ‘FUNCTIONAL’ model:
    It describes the integration of the representation of the documents and the flows of the processes which generate them.
  • The ‘DATA’ model:
    It focuses on the modelling of the Things, of their declaration of existence and on the inner and outer structures, states and procedures of the Things attached to the modelling of the events and processes.
  • The ‘BEHAVIOURAL’ model:
    It covers the modelling of the processes and their perceptions
  • The ‘SECURITY’ model:
    It focuses on the authentication of the agents and on the integrity of the interactions between agents
    It covers the management of the existence of Things and of their models and of the management of the evolutions.
  • The ‘IMPORT & EXPORT’ model:
    It covers the organization of the interchange of ‘Packages’ between domains or between sub-domains. It covers also the ‘mapping’ onto the ISO OAIS standard.