Friday, July 22, 2011

Another implementation of the "Fast Flower Delivery"

In the EPIA book, we had a running example used for demonstrating all constructs in the book, the example described a scenario called:  "Fast Flower Delivery".    During the book writing we approached the event processing community and issued call for implementations, there has been six implementations that were ready  during the book's writing:  Aleri (currently Sybase),  Apama(Progress),  Esper, Etalis,   ruleCore and Streambase.    It seems that more implementations are being devised,    I was asked for permission to use the "Fast Flower Delivery" scenario as the running example in an upcoming book teaching the use of one of the products,  will write about that when this book will be out. 

Recently,  an implementation of this scenario in IBM Websphere Business Events (WBE) was posted on IBM developerWorks as a tutorial to teach the use of that product.  
Seems to becoming the "Hello World" of event processing.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Watson and Event processing

This is a picture taken in the DEBS conference last week, we had an invited talk by Eddie Epstein from the Watson team, and he ran a round of Jeopardy!, two of the conference participants against Watson, here you can see that Watson has -800 point (click on the picture to see it clearly), but it recovered and won.   We invited the talk on Watson, not because it somehow related to event-based systems, but because the conference took place in the Yorktown auditorium, where the famous Jeopardy! game in which Watson succeeded to beat two of the all time champions was recorded.

Today I've found a Blog posting by Shalin Shah from Vitria, with the promising title:  

IBM’s Watson: What Does Complex-Event Processing Mean For Customer Experience Management?

So I tried to understand what the author thinks is the relationship between the  two,  the answer according to the posting - both of them can be used for operational intelligence.

Indeed, there are now efforts within IBM Research, to determine what are the next steps, since in essence Watson is "deep question answering machine" there are some areas that seem to be killer applications of this technology, among them are: medical diagnosis and helpdesk/contact center in which agents need to answer questions in a lot of areas. There are some others as well.   

From technology point of view, Watson works in a different paradigm relative to event processing.  It is not event-driven, but is based on a knowledge stored in books, encyclopedias, and other sources.  What it does in real-time is - question understanding and question answering using statistical reasoning, and massive computational power.   

The interesting question is what can be a synergy between question answering machine and event processing,  here we can think of two sides:   an event processing system is being assisted in Watson-like system in order to determine contextual information that can be used for evaluating assertions, or classify events into context instances.   On the other hand a question answered can trigger event.  Or the question answering system can be monitored by an event processing system.     One can also think about real-time update of Watson's knowledge-base as a result of event, which is not the way Watson currently works.    I think that there are various more synergies between the two types of systems.

More - later.

Event processing as analytics

Recently, I hear more and more that people are classifying event processing as a kind of analytics. 
This is partially due to hype that exists around analytics, and partially due to taking the word analytics in more broader term  that denote general use of  computerized quantitative tools beyond the traditional use of statistical processing.   In sense it also reflects the fact that event processing is in many cases used as OEM inside sophisticated solutions, and not sold as a middleware  per se.     Is it the right classification?  --- there are pros and cons,  but linking to a hype seems to be a good marketing strategy especially towards people who don't know what it is.    From research point of view, it is certainly a distinct discipline, though there are synergies.  I'll write more about the differences and synergies in follow up postings.

Monday, July 18, 2011

DEBS 2011 awards

Back in my office now from the DEBS trip,  after spending Saturday in NYC and watched the matinee' show of Wicked, a wonderful musical. 

Last remaining fact about DEBS 2011 is that it is the first instance of DEBS to grant awards, the award granting ceremony occurred at the conference banquet's on Wednesday evening.  The awards are noted on the DEBS 2011 webpage.  Here is the list of awards and award winners:

Best Paper Award:Gabriela Jacques Da Silva, Buğra Gedik, Henrique Andrade, Kun-Lung Wu, Ravishankar K. Iyer.
Fault Injection-based Assessment of Partial Fault Tolerance in Stream Processing Applications.
DEBS Challenge Award:The ETH team:Lynn Aders, René Buffat, Zaheer Chothia, Matthias Wetter, Cagri Balkesen, Peter M. Fischer, Nesime Tatbul.
Best Poster Award:Nihal Dindar, Peter Fischer, Nesime Tatbul.
DejaVu: A Complex Event Processing System for Pattern Matching over Live and Historical Data Streams.
Best Demo Award:Sinan Sen, Ruofeng Lin, Bijan Fahimi Shemrani.
Complex Event Pattern Evolution based on Real-Time Pattern Execution Statistics.
Best Idea in the DEBS Gong Show:Mike Lefler.