Sunday, December 9, 2007

On Virtual Events

The glossary defines event as something that happens, it also has some escapte to talk about virtual events that is: an event that does not happen in the physical world but appears to signify a real world event; an event that is imagined or modeled or simulated
Which leads to the question- when we are processing events, is there a place to process events that don't really happen in the physical world - well, today that people have second life in a virtual reality, and there are some events in this reality that worth processing, this is an example of a virtual event, but there are some other examples -- when event processing is used in a simulated mode, the simulated event also does not happen in the physical world, if an event is predicted it has not happened (yet?) in the physical world and there are some other examples. The question is -- what is the difference between event and virtual event ? are the boundaries even clear ? - in the meta-physical world the answer is YES, an even either occurs or does not occur (following the law of excluded middle), however, in reality we may have uncertain events, thus, when processing this event we don't really know if it is a real event or a virtual event. In previous posts I have started to talk about the importance of context and this is the key to handle these events - an event happens within a context. The context may be physical deterministic world, virtual world, physical stochastic world, simulated world, predicted world etc - and the event happen within this context. The type of processing for these events is the same, so something that is real in one context may be virtual in another context and vice-versa.
Furthermore, something that may be considered as an important event in one context For example:
the event that the Dow Jones is up by 5 percent is an exciting event for some people, and a non-event to the fisherman on the Pacific island beach who does not even know what Dow Jones is, but for him the capture of a fish that weighs 100 KG is a big event, and the broker in Wall Street is not excited from such an event, thus - the question whether something deserves to be called "event" is also a question of context. I'll get to a more formal definition of context in the next posting.


Hans said...

Hmm, I don't think I understand virtual events. Even under uncertainly, every event is generated by something, if only a timer. There is exactly one point at which you decide that you've seen enough evidence to say that you believe something did or will happen. So even if the event didn't really happen, the event of it being inferred to have happened still derives from a real event. To me, this makes it just as real as any other event.

Also, I hope that you won't push forward with calling an event virtual just because it happened in a virtual reality environment. The number of contradictions that arise from this are enough to make me dizzy.

Opher Etzion said...

Hello Hans.

I'll dedicate one of the next postings to "uncertain events" - deciding whether one believes that an event happens is one possible action, processing an event with uncertainty measure, say probability, is another possibility that is sometimes valid