Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On Event Derivation

Today I have participated in the local IBM championship in Backgammon (in Hebrew we use the Turkish name "shesh-besh"), however, my participation did not last very long, I lost the first game, and did not move to the second round, thus, returned to my office... At least the one who won the game over me is the technician in charge of the video conference equipment, so if one wants to conduct video conferences, make sure he likes you, since he is the only one in the lab who knows how to operate this simple equipment.

Today I would like to write a little bit about "event derivation" - in one of the past postings I've used this illustration in order to explain relationships between terms. Why do we need all these terms? -- well - we don't, but they are "legacy" terms, thus it is a good to show the relations among them.

When saying "derivation" -- let's compare it to two other types of derivations:
  • Inference -- where the input are: facts and inference rules, for example: fact 1 -- Jack is the father of Mike; fact 2 -- Mike is the fater of Alex; inference rule: X is grandfather of Y if X is father of Z and Z is father of Y. From this system we can infer that Jack is the grandfgather of Alex. This is a deductive inference, there are some other types of inferences, and can be obtained by logic programming, or inference rule engines.
  • Data derivation --- although the term is broader --- if we'll take the relational database variation --- it takes a collection of relations as an input, apply query, and gets a relation as an output -- here there is no logical inference, but computation over data. Other variation of data derivation is a spreadsheet formula, typically performing some aggregation operator (sum, count, average...) on neigboring data in the table.
Event derivation is neither of the above, but has similar nature to both. The input and output are events, if we present it as functions then:

Inference: Facts X rules ----> Fact
Data derivation: Relations X Query ---> Relation
Event Derivation: Events X Event Derivations ---> Events

Now looking closely at event derivation. First -- why does event derivation occur ?

Event derivation may occur from various reasons -- while in mind it is closely related with pattern detection, it may also be associated with other event processing functions such as: enrichment and transformation.

Some examples:

Example 1:

Input event: Order that consists of the attributes (not including the header) -- customer, item, quantity.
Functionality type: enrichment -- add attributes as: customer-type, customer-reliability-rank to the order.
Output event: the enriched event. In this case the derived event is identical to the event that has been created by the main function (enrichment) and the derivation is just copying.
Output event occurs immediately when function is done

Example 2:
Input event: Order (same as first example)
Functionality: Aggregation -- quantity by item.
Output event: Item-Demand: Item, Quantity. Multiple events - one for each item.
Output event occurs at the end of the context ("deferred").
comment: here a composite event is being accumulated, and at the end of the context is decomposed to individual events.

Example 3:
Input events: Order (same as first), Item-Demand (Output of example 2).
Functionality: Detect Pattern, the pattern is: Quantity of a single order > 2/3 from quantity of the same Item.
Output event: Dominant-Order: Order-Id (from header), Item, Dominance Ratio = (Order.Quantity / Item. Quantity)
Output event occurs as soon as detected.

Example 4:
Input events: Temperature-Reading (every 1 minute).
Functionality: Aggregator/collector -- collects all reading of a certain hour and creates one event.
Output event: Every hour -- Composite event that consists of 60 raw events.

These are some examples. More formal definition of event derivation - later.


Hans said...

This reminds me of something that's somewhat off topic from this post. In your events diagram (not the backgammon event), you have complex events extending outside of derived events, implying that there are some complex events that are not derived events. Based on the definitions, I don't see how that would happen.

Opher Etzion said...

Hans. Good question, see my next posting in answering this question since the answer may be of interest also to those who don't read comments.



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