CWI's research helps to set standards.

CWI's research helps to set standards. For instance, our researchers contributed to two post-quantum cryptography standards from NIST. Other examples are Web standards like (X)HTML, HTML4, CSS, SMIL, XForms, RDF and RDFa. We are also involved in benchmarking.

Post-quantum Cryptography (NIST)

On 5 July 2022, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced that they selected cryptographic standards to protect sensitive electronic data against the threat of quantum computers. Léo Ducas from CWI's Cryptology group is involved in the two primary schemes of this upcoming portfolio; one for public-key encryption and one for digital signatures. These new standards are meant for global deployments, reaching billions of users. More information, see news item 'CWI's Léo Ducas involved in two primary new NIST Post-Quantum Cryptography standards' (July 2022).

W3C standards

Since the mid-1990s, CWI has been heavily involved in web standardization and web related R&D. For instance, CWI researcher Steven Pemberton chaired the XForms Working Group and led the (X)HTML Working Group for many years, and Ivan Herman had been the W3C Digital Publishing Activity Lead for a long time. CWI researchers have also worked on CSS, SMIL, XForms, HTML4, RDF, RDFa and other standards.

From 1998 until 2022 CWI hosted the regional W3C Office (now called W3C Chapter), the administrative centre of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in the Benelux. The task of the office was to locally disseminate W3C standards and to recruit new member organizations for W3C. Together with it organized masterclasses on new standards with W3C experts.

For more information on W3C Membership, developing web standards and W3C activities, see (or in Dutch).

Multimedia Standards

CWI focused on standards for three-dimensional video and on standards for the quality experienced by users, participating in the following standardisation bodies and groups:

Experience Standards

For quality of experience standards, CWI is working on multi-party video conferencing, trying to understand which factors determine the user experience, how does latency affect a video conversation, and what are thresholds for a good user experience. In recent years the results of the work have already been used by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a standardisation body of the United Nations responsible for information and communication technologies For some applications, such as remote medical consultation, virtual classrooms, virtual museum visits or videoconferencing, communication via three-dimensional video would be superior to the traditionally used two-dimensional video. But to make three-dimensional video communication work, many scientific problems must be solved: What information is absolutely necessary to transmit and what information can be omitted for practical reasons? How to ensure that video communication can take place in real time? How to support all kinds of configurations and cameras? How to guarantee a rich user experience?

Compression Algorithms

CWI created compression algorithms that make the amount of data that needs to be transmitted much smaller. The work has been used by MPEG, the Moving Picture Experts Group, to benchmark computer programs, also called codecs, from various technology companies for encoding and decoding data streams. The compression algorithms were the starting point of the Point Cloud Compression technologies, VPCC and GPCC, that were ultimately chosen by MPEG as the standards for immersive media coding. “Contributing to the development of standards fits perfectly in CWI’s mission”, says Cesar. “We have no commercial interest and we can often work on a topic much longer than commercial institutions can.”