Saturday, January 1, 2011

On interfaces and event processing

Interfaces is one of the main next frontiers for event processing systems.  In the picture you can see an illustration of brain-computer interface which is the most advanced interface that is mentioned in a recent human-computer interface survey,  this survey starts from command line, moves through mouse and keyboard and gets to gesture detection, and up to the mostly futuristic brain interface.  My daughter Daphna got for her recent birthday XBOX machine with Kinect, which is capable of voice and gesture recognition and provide advanced game experience.   

Getting to event processing, the human computer interface is crucial in order to raise the abstraction level and enable to extend the type of developers and users, currently the development interfaces are geared mostly towards programmers, and are in essence close in nature to the implementation abstractions, a separation between the implementation abstractions and the development abstractions is one of the major challenges, in general in software, but an important one in event processing, since realizing the event processing potential entails the ability to make application development accessible  to other communities such as the spreadsheet programming community (e.g. business analysts).   I have written in the past about this requirement, and will probably deal with it more in 2011. 

Talking about interfaces, there is another type of interfaces the application programming interfaces (API), this is important since one of the major utilization of event processing is as embedded capabilities inside applications/middleware/solutions.   Thus, APIs that are appropriate for multiple uses are gaining importance for the interoperability and  for making EP  easily embeddable.   API design has become an emerging area, a blog posting by Shanley Kane from Apigee (and API management provider) provides trends and predictions for APIs.  It is interesting to note that the first prediction is entitled "APIs go real-time big-time" (in the source all words are capitalized, but I have adopted Manning's writing style while writing the EPIA book which is against over-capitalizing).   This prediction talks about the popularity for APIs of push oriented pub/sub systems.   This is elementary event processing,  APIs for more sophisticated event processing is the next step.
Standard APIs for EP will enable plugging EP components that are doing aggregation, translation and pattern matching components as part of an "event-driven Web" (AKA event-processing fabric) that was declared as the grand challenge in the EP Dagstuhl seminar.  I'll write more about this grand challenge soon.

In any event, both human computer interfaces and application programming interfaces are major part of the work needed towards the next generation of event processing systems. 

My 2010

In 2010 I have posted less entries in this blog, relative to 2008 and 2009, 128 postings, roughly once every three days. Maybe I've been busier, and maybe I've been lazier - probably the combination of these two. 

The happiest day of the year was surprisingly the day in August when I've returned from a family vacation in western Canada and found two things that got by mail:   

12 copies of the book EPIA that fresh out of press (I have already gave 10 of them as a present, left 2 for myself - one at home and one in the office); the EPIA book was a major task for 18 months, so I was relieved to see it in print, at some points it fell like never-ending saga. 

The second item that arrived it the same day is a plaque designating the fact that I've received an IBM corporate award, which is the highest award that IBM gives,  the order of the events was somewhat funny: first I got the plaque in the mail, two weeks later I got a letter signed by IBM's CEO, which notifying me that I am receiving the award, two weeks later than the list of awards was publicly published, and then after six more weeks there was the award granting ceremony, giving me again the plaque I got in August.

Another notable event was the Dagstuhl seminar on event processing in May 2010.   We are now in the final phase of editing the end result of this team work.  Dagstuhl is a wonderful place, and we had a very good team there spending  5 days in dealing with the present and future of event processing.

I had some trips abroad - both business and pleasure.   Unlike most years I spent only four days in the USA in October, for the OMG financial market conference,  spent two and half weeks in a family vacation in Western Canada,   here is a picture with my daughter Daphna somewhere in the Canadian Rockies.

Another trip was to VLDB in Singapore, with a couple of days vacation in Hong-Kong on the way, and several days vacation in Singapore.

Here is a picture from Hong-Kong's wax museum,  where I am photographed with an old friend.

Here are two pictures from Singapore, one from a zoo that resides in a rain-forest in the northern part of the island, and the second in a spa where you can get your feet cleaned by fish

Another conference I have participated in was DEBS 2010 in Cambridge, UK.

 This year I have also started the work on a new project that deals with proactive computing, and will write more about in in 2011.    

Overall --  interesting year,  the leaves a lot of unfinished challenges for the future.  

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A personal invitation to contribute to DEBS 2011

Today I have sent the following note on various mailing lists, so you may have already got it, but if not you are welcome to read my personal invitation to contribute to DEBS 2011:

ACM DEBS (Distributed Event-Based Systems) is the premier event of those that are active or interested in  topics such as; event processing, stream processing, middleware infrastructures, models, applications and best
practices.  The conference, with many new tracks,  will take place in Yorktown Heights (near New York City) on July 11-15, 2011.

You are personally invited to contribute to any of the various tracks and participate in this exciting event.

ACM DEBS is in cooperation with EPTS, and there will be an EPTS session
within this conference.

There are plenty of opportunities to contribute for different types of
interest and participants: 

  •  The research track is the way to present quality state-of-the-art    research in all related areas. If you are a researcher in any related    area,  this is a primary citation source for researchers in these area,    thus you should consider it as a target for your publication. 
  •  The experience report track:  If you are implementer or user of    event-based system, has an interesting experience report to share about    product, solution or application, and don't have time to write papers,   the new experience report track is aimed for you. The submission   required is just a one page abstract.
  •  The industry paper track:   if you engage in industrial oriented   research and implementation and have the time and energy to write a full   paper describing your work or experience, the industrial paper track is your venue
  • Tutorials:  If you have done work of survey or want to share in-depth  knowledge with a broad audience,  the tutorial program is your opportunity to offer either  is your  opportunity to share short (1.5 hours) or long (3 hours) tutorials. The anticipated audience will consist of  additional interested people from industry as well as the traditional DEBS audience.
  •  Posters and demos:  If you have any work in progress you wish to show and get feedback on, or a cool demo,  this is an opportunity to show case, discuss and get feedback from all participants.
  •  The DEBS challenge:  In January 31 the DEBS challenge will be published,   this will be a specification of an application that implementers of   event processing languages, systems and platforms will be invited to show the way it is solved within their solution.   If you implemented  open source product or research prototype this will be your opportunity  to participate in the  competitive track open to non-commercial users,   where the competition will be based on ease of development, and win an  award.   If you are a commercial vendor or want just to show your   solution without the competition part, this is your opportunity to show your approach and view other approaches side by side,  This track is    expected to have much interest within the user community. 
  • The DEBS Gong Show:  The gong show will consist of very short presentations about  visionary and outrageous ideas towards the next generation of event-based systems.   Selection will be done by    submitting a short abstract.   The audience will vote for the best idea.   If you have far-reaching idea about either technology or novel use this is your opportunity to share, get feedback, and even win an award.
  • The DEBS PhD workshop:  If you are a PhD student in a relevant area,  either in early stages or late stages, this is your opportunity to share ideas with peers and get feedback in a relaxed atmosphere with senior people from the research community that you don't have access to on a regular basis,  if you supervise PhD students you are kindly asked to encourage their participation.

As you can see --  plenty of ways to get visibility to your work, you are encouraged to submit your contribution to one or more of these tracks. Besides the interesting tracks there will be four  distinguished keynote speakers  from the user's community, infrastructure vendor's community, and
academic community. More information  about the various tracks and keynote speakers can be
found in the conference's website:  

Have a happy new year!