Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DEBS 2012 - highlights of the first conference day

I'll start from the last session - the poster and demo session.  During this session I wore the glasses shown in the picture, and it was the first glance towards the world of the glasses that Google is taking us.   It has a potential, but getting used to it is not intuitive,  one can see menu and then has to put a paper in the place to select among the menu options.   The demo was of an EU project that does human attention detection and  detect whether a person is interested in museum artifacts.  There have been some other demos and posters, many of them from EU projects.  Another interesting ones were one that provide safety alerts for monitoring underground trains, and another one which use events to help collaboration between team of software developers who work together.  

Getting back to the beginning -- the day started with the interesting keynote of Sethu Raman (the industrial keynote), already written about yesterday.    The next session has been an industry session.  It is interesting to note that around 1/3 of the participants here are from industry and not academia,   and the industry track became integral part of the program (not all academic people like it though!). 

In the afternoon there were two scientific papers sessions -- one on pub/sub, the original topic of DEBS, now reduced to a single track per conference,  the other one on "complex and spatial events".   I'll write a few sentences about it - slides can already be found on the conference's site

  • The first paper was presented by Martin Hirzel from the IBM System S team about parallel complex event processing, Martin started with the old assertion that CEP is part of stream processing, since it is doing only pattern matching, while stream processing can also do aggregations.  I was never sure why this distinction is important, furthermore, as I have written before CEP is used by different people to mean different things, thus I would say that "event processing" is the name of functionality that does all.  In any event, the talk about parallel incremental computation was interesting.
  • The second paper was presented by Alex Artikis from NCSR and event recognition (pattern matching) based on event calculus.   Formal approaches can be useful for that domain, and the event calculus is one of the first attempts to do it.  I have some terminology dispute with Alex, who equates the notion of fluent from event calculus to composite event.  I think it is actually refers to a state that can be initiated and terminated by events, and may serve as context or state. 
  • The third paper was presented by Michael Olson,  Mani Chandy's PhD student in CalTech.  He presented the latest on their going on project on geo-spatial events (relate to seismic events)
  • The fourth paper was present by Boris Koldehpfe from University of Stuttgart, who also active in the community for several years.  Boris talked about range queries in distributed event processing systems, where range queries relate to spatial operators on events.   It seems that the spatial dimension which was also discussed in the previous talk is gaining more traction. 
 I'll write about the sessions of today at a later point.

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