Thursday, July 9, 2009

More on DEBS 2009

I am still in the DEBS conference venue, in a time gap between the conference sessions and the conference dinner that will be held here in an hour or so. This is the time to provide some more comments about DEBS 2009. The conference will continue tomorrow, but I'll skip the last day, going to NY for some IBM meetings. Spending whole three days in a conference is a heavy toll on my busy schedule, but it is fun. The next conference will be held in Cambridge, UK, and the call for papers (above) has been distributed. Today Alex Buchmann gave the second keynote address about some event processing applications and research challenges, I hope that Alex will make his slides available to the public. Also today there have been sessions of demos and posters, mostly by Ph.D. students, mostly concentrate on the transport area, pub/sub, messaging etc... We need more Ph.D. students on the event processing topics. Next there has been a fast abstract session that present work in progress in 10 minutes. I have presented a work in progress on spatial aspects of event processing, and will write more in the future about this activity.

Back to yesterday, the industry track was divided into two parts: industrial reports and a panel. In the industrial reports there was one, presented by Florian Springer, that the audience will remember for long time, not so much because the content of the talk, but since Florian made a point about importance of standards, by showing real-life examples for standards, and the example he chose was condoms, which, according to Florian, have a standard - they are all in the same size. People kept talking about it.

I have moderated the panel about academia/industry relations in event processing, and posed the following questions (see slide below)

The first question was, whether the academia should work on incremental stuff related to current technology, or on disruptive technologies, making current technologies obsolete, which was translated to the question --- do we want to clone John Bates to develop new technologies that will make the technology created by the original John Bates as obsolete. John Bates, who was in the audience, reacted by saying that his wife will not like the idea of cloning him, since she thinks that one of this type is more than enough. The panelists were two persons from academia, and two from industry. One of the industrial people was Richard Tibbetts, Streambase CTO, who showed the famous Gartner hype-cycle picture, claiming that the event processing area is already approaching the plateau. I think that he is a bit optimistic, in my opinion, we are not even at the peak of inflated expectations...

There was also some discussion about teaching event processing courses, and the fact that today it takes a lot of time to get a university graduate being effective in developing event processing applications, since they need to be taught to think in a different way. There have been some more talks, but I am tired from writing, so that's all for now.... Tomorrow early morning -- flying to NYC.

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