Tuesday, September 23, 2008

event processing meets artificial intelligence

Bedford, MA, USA.

In the EPTS symposium last week, Alan Lundberg from TIBCO, who moderated the "business panel" made the analogy to AI, especially to "Experts systems", saying that there was a hype in the beginning, and people believed it will solve many of the world problems, and in the reality, it did not recover from sliding down in the hype cycle, this triggered the (somewhat surprising to some) response of Brenda Michelson, that actually EP is under-hyped, and its place in the hype-cycle is much lower in the climbing phase than the Gartner analysts draw, this is the diagram that Brenda presented with "event processing" in orange, way below SOA (in blue), BPM (in red), and Web 2.0 (in green).

Anyway - this is not the topic of today's Blog, but going back to the AI issue. The term AI is interesting, in the sense that it has spawned several disciplines (e.g. robotics, image processing, information retrieval, data mining and more) which are based on AI principles, but when they mature they stop being AI and become disciplines of their own. This is the same phenomenon we have for philosophy - the mother of all arts and sciences - many disciplines has emerged from philosophy, but when they depart, they are not considered as philosophy anymore. Event processing as a young discipline, is a descendent of multi disciplines as stated in the past, AI is certainly one of them.

What are the current topics in which AI touches event processing?

1. Modeling: the basic term "situation" and "context" have been taken from AI (situation calculus), conceptual modeling is important for design of EP applications, AI techniques can help here

2. Discovery: Prediction of events, mining of patterns - these are all derivatives of machine learning in AI.

3. Reasoning: Defining precise semantics of both event processing languages and execution models. Evidently from the recent discussions in the community, this becomes an important topic - again, precise reasoning of both the regular case of event processing, and the extended case of handling uncertain events.

As my colleague Guy Sharon described in the research session of the EPTS meeting, we in IBM Haifa Research Lab (together with some colleagues in IBM Watson Research Center) are engaged in the "Intelligent Event Processing" project that concentrates now on the discovery aspects, however, the idea is to extend the activity probably through collaborative work with the academia, as part of this collaboration we are organizing the "Intelligent Event Processing" workshop which will take place as one of the AAAI spring symposium series that will take at Stanford University, March 2009. The idea is to have the EP community meet the AI community and create partnerships to deal with these issues... so - target this conference for paper submission and/or attendance. More - later.