Thursday, October 14, 2010

On reaction to events

I noticed that the number of my linked-in contacts has grown again to a nice number 888,  my wife said that if I'll hit 999 she'll join linked-in and be my 1000 connection, so have some way to go.  

Anyway - one interesting insight from my recent visit in the USA is the way to react to event, or why proactive behavior needs to be smart.  I was driving in a road and there has been a sign notifying: traffic jam in a certain bridge, it is advised to use alternative roads, there was still around 30 minutes to drive to that bridge, and a couple of alternative roads. 

 My own calculation was that most of the traffic heading to that direction will use alternative roads, and that there is enough time for the traffic jam to be cleared, assuming that there will be very little additional traffic,  this of course was a gamble, but since I was not in a hurry to catch a flight, I decided to take this gamble, ignored the advice and drove straight to the bridge with the traffic jam, and surprise...surprise... the bridge was totally clear without any delay, indeed the traffic jam was cleared and there has been very little traffic heading in that direction.   Of course, if many other drivers would have taken the same strategy it would not have worked (like the prisoner's dilemma in game theory).     The lesson it that notifying about event may not yield the best result, maybe alternative road became jammed.  In this case the global optimization was to direct certain percentage of the traffic to each alternative route and leave certain percentage directed to the original route.   If we are looking from the point of view of individual driver who does not care about the others, this driver still needs to take into account the other's reaction in order to determine strategy.   I guess that these kind of considerations are also getting into trading decisions.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More on the OMG event processing symposium in the capital market area

Back home,  looking at some notes I have taken in the OMG EP meeting in NYC last week.  Here are some of these notes:

  • The host was Credit Suisse, so we had an opening talk of Eric Newcomer, who told us about Credit Suisse, and also told us that his title was changed from CTO to Chief Architect, since the problem is not evaluation of technology, but coping with the complexity of the systems.  
  • W. Roy Schulte
  •  Roy Schulte (Gartner) gave the first keynote talk.   He set the tone of other speakers as classifying event processing as analytics (which is the current hot buzzword),  he said (this is a slight variation about his previous classification) that event processing have three levels: the simple event processing, which we always done, the BPM + state machine which have some event-driven functionality, and the analytics event processing - AKA CEP or ESP, i.e. providing aggregations and pattern matching.  On the financial market front he said that while the original EP applications have been in the front office, it is now getting to the middle and back office in various application areas.   He also sees that the future of inter-systems integrations will be in using events.   On EP as part of analytics he also talked on the BI classification -- descriptive (BAM systems),  predictive (pattern matching is a way to define predictive) and prescriptive (which is still mostly futuristic).    There are also three ways to deliver event processing:  Basic engine,  EP platform (which includes tools for management, debug etc..) and packaged applications  (this classification is not new).

    Thomas Sulzbacher
  • Thomas Sulzbacher, CEO of Starview, talked about his product. He started his talk by saying that he took a flight from SFO to NYC in order to arrive into the conference, and in order to execute the flight, there were 12M  event-driven decisions required, most of them automatic. 

      David Parker
    • David Parker, from Sybase, An SAP company, as he repeatedly reminded us, also classified event processing as part of the analytics solutions of Sybase.  The interesting insight he provided (from Sybase internal sources) is how they view the distribution of the EP market:   42% Finance Sector, 14% government, 11% services, 8% telecommunication 8% healthcare and life sciences, 6% production, 4% retail, 3% education, 2% energy and utilities.     It is interesting to see if other vendors have different perspectives, especially what analysts have to say, since no analyst has produced such a detailed distribution so far.

      Colin Clark
    • Colin Clark, whom I met first time, talked and demoed his cloud event processing solution, that does indexing, clustering. classification, summarization and anomaly detection.  He came along with his business partners that made a draw among the participants that provided them business cards,  and gave some gifts -- I think it was iPad.   

    Dr. John BatesThese talks were all before lunch - after lunch I did not take notes anymore;  there were two talks - one by John Bates, interesting as always, given us concentration of incidents in the financial markets area, among other things, and the last talk (before mine) was Matt Meinel from Informatica (came from the acquisition of  29West).

    Matt Meinel