Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Iron Dome: A proactive real-time system that saves our lives

This is a picture of rocket interception by a system called "Iron Dome".    We live in Israel which has been suffering in the last week massive attacks of rockets.  The defense answer to these rockets is an amazing technology developed in Israel which demonstrates the principle of proactive event-driven computing in real life.   The system consists of the detection part which identifies that a rocket has been launched, the prediction part that anticipates where the rocket will hit,  a decision part that decides whether it is necessary to intercept the rocket, this is a cost-benefit analysis.  In many cases the rockets hit empty spaces, in that case it is not cost-effective to intercept them, since each activation of this system is quite expensive.  If the decision is that it is necessary to intercept the rocket, the decision is what is the best point of interception, and  a missile is fired accordingly.  This is a decision support systems with human in the loop.    The missile itself is equipped with electro-optic sensors.    During the last few days this technology has proven very effective and eliminated quite a lot of potential damage to the civilian population.   Many people have been skeptic about the feasibility of this system.  but the results are impressive.  Furthermore it is a good demonstration of the proactive event-based paradigm.    

The blog and myself are going on short vacation in Germany.  Will return in two weeks. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The institute of Technology Empowerment - first meeting

Yesterday we conducted a meeting of people that are interested in the institute of technological empowerment that I am driving, they came from different sectors - academia, high-tech companies, non-profit organization, municipalities and more...  In the meeting I have presented an introduction and initial plan for the institute, and different people presented various aspects -- the societal, the professional behind it, and the various projects we are looking at.   I have posted this presentation on slideshare.  We are also looking for international collaborators.  I'll write more about the type of collaborators we are looking for.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

More on personalization: TOM ISRAEL MAKE-A-THON

Yesterday I attended an interesting event, the conclusion of a three days "make-a-thon" in Nazareth called 
TOM ISRAEL,  where different team made a 72 hours work to create prototypes for products that will aid disabled people using 3D printer technology and various software and sensors.   I attended the final presentations.   Some of them were very impressive, and you may view the challenges on their webpage, although they did not post (yet?) the actual presentations of the teams.    

I have recently written about personalization as the next frontier.   This is a good example of what I meant,  many of these prototypes was highly personalized to the need of a single person  (or maybe a small group of persons).  In the mass production world, there is no business model that can generate those products, however the 3D printer technology can make it possible to create product for individuals or small groups.   

Overall this has been very impressive event, and I'll further work with the organizers to collaborate on projects related to the Institute of Technological Empowerment. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New interesting slideshare presentations: multimedia & big data and WS02 CEP

Looking at Slideshare, I cam across two new interesting presentations.

The first one by Ramesh Jain, entitled:  "multimedia & big data".  Ramesh used the analog of the "blind men trying to understand what is an elephant" that I also used before in another context, and says that we create silos by the different senses (and media), and discusses the integration of all events grasped by the different senses (and media) to create storytelling.   He discusses some of the challenges of situation modelling and detection in that environment.  The challenges and directions are certainly where I believe the world, and the value of big data are taking us.

The second presentation is by WS02, a Sri-Lanka based company, introducing their complex event processor    AKA Siddhi. This is presented in the context of big data and describes the architecture and the language.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Top five Internet of Things examples according to Nuvem Consulting

Nuvem Consulting published its opinion about the five most useful IoT applications. 
.   According to this article they are:

1. Glowcaps:  The medication taking reminder.
2. bikn:  Help us to find our stuff (keys, phones)... 
3. ParkSight 2.0: Help us find parking.
4. Sightmahine: Help in monitoring manufacturing processes.
5. Airqualityegg:  Monitoring air pollution

Note that the first three is in the consumer space, one in the industry space, and one in the public/  sustainability space.

I guess that the "top 5" is subjective, but all of them are good examples of useful solutions in the IoT space.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

On data centric, decision centric, and situation centric - a response to Chris Taylor's "time and effort we waste on big data"

Some times there are scientific truths,  Nicolaus Copernicus coined the "heliocentric hypothesis", which states that the earth is revolving around the sun, and not vice versa.  His hypothesis was proved as a scientific facts.

The centric orientation is often a question for dispute, in a past post on this blog, I wrote about the dispute between Plato who advocated a society-centric approach, and Aristotle who advocated individual-centric approach.  

Chris Taylor recently wrote in the"Real-time & Complex Event Processing" site a post entitled: "The time and efforts we waste about big data".   Chris used the analog of "Tower of Babel"  and criticized the efforts invested in accumulating data within large warehouses, and the "data centric" approach, advocating another approach  "decision centric" approach. Stating ---  let's architect the "big data" around decisions, identify decisions required first, and then manage data as part of the decision architecture, making it decision centric.

  Let me add another view point here.  

 If we look at the sources of Big Data in 2015, we'll see the most of the data will come from sensors, and the second source is social media, where enterprise data which is the more familiar world became the minority.   If we look at the value of data the "Internet of Things",  one of its main values is the ability to detect situations and act upon them (in either reactive or proactive way).  Thus the center is neither data, nor decision, it is about situations, it becomes situation centric, and the architecture is around -- which situation we wish to identify, and then what data we need for that, and sometimes also what decisions we need when the situation is detected (note, the decision can be trivial, since when a situation occurs there is a single action associated with it, so it is not necessarily decision centric).

We have mentioned data-centric, decision-centric, and situation-centric.   Maybe one of the conclusions we can draw from Chris' analogy of "The Tower of Babel" is that there is no single viewpoint.  

Sometimes there is a need to accumulate data without a-priori knowledge what it will be used for. Medical data, for example, can be accumulated and lead to unexpected results, which will drive new type of decisions, and/or new situations we'll wish to identify.    In this case the data-centric approach is valid. 

In an organized world of structured processes with well-defined decisions, the decision-centric approach makes sense. As an example, when the main process is credit approval, this is a well-defined decision that centers both processes and data around it.

In the new world based on "Internet of Things" - situation-centric might become more dominant, and if we look at where big data really is -- we'll see more and more situation-centric in the universe.

Unlike the "heliocentric hypothesis" which is a scientific fact,  we don't have single scientific truth, but when anybody invests time and effort on big data, one has better to sort out what is the best value, instead of assuming that accumulating data is the value. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Personalization - the next frontier

Back to DEBS 2014.  The last keynote speaker was Manish Gupta, who has been a colleague in IBM Research in the past, and now is is heading the Xerox research center in India.  Manish talked about personalization. He started the talk by saying that in the past everything was personalized - clothes, food, furniture. But only a few rich people could enjoy it.  The industrial revolution brought the mass production.
Indeed most products and services we consume are not tailored to our own individual needs, but rather standard on-the-shelf products.    We are now facing a departure from this mass production trend, and back into personalization.   Manish talked mainly about healthcare   Today, there is a tremendous progress in this area, enabling personalized treatment of some diseases, like personalized cancer treatment based on genetic patterns.  This is true in other areas of life.  We were exposed to personalized advertisement, but in most areas we are still in the mass production.   The current technology enables personalization by understanding individuals context on one hand, and classification of individuals on the other hand.  I'll write more about the technology about personalization, and how the combination of Internet of Things and personalization are changing the world, in subsequent posts.