Thursday, June 23, 2011

Revisiting "Right Time"

This illustration (as indicated in the bottom) is taken from the "enterprise irregulars" site, posted by Ray Wang.
Ray Wang cites a relatively old posting of mine, talking about real-time, right-time and other time related concepts.   I admit that sometimes I abuse the term real-time (like other people do, but this is not a good excuse!), but I have not adopted the term "right-time".   In that posting I bring some classical definitions of various types of real-time.  Wang is making a somewhat different classification as a matrix with two axes:  the reactive/proactive axis, and the business value axis (low/high).  The high value proactive is called "anticipation", and the low value of proactive is called "nice things to do".   My interpretation is that both deal with notifications that may allow proactive behavior, but not necessarily automated proactive behavior of the type that we talk about (see my keynote talk last year in the OMG conference),  on the reactive front, the high value are mission critical reactions. and the low business value are called "timeless responses".  Here, I am not sure it is the best title, as there are reactions that have low value, but are time dependent, since they lose their relevance in time.  Example here is that getting an alert on available discounts in a nearby store may not be that important for me, but the discount is applicable only within the next hour, so if I would like to respond, there is time bound on this response.   Anyway - interesting classification. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Plato vs. Aristotle

Carole-Ann Matignon recent Blog posting was entitled:  "Plato or Aristotle", the two great Greek philosophers, that were once labeled as those in which the entire western culture is a footnote to their writings.   In this context, I guess that Carole-Ann meant the major difference in their outlook of life.  Plato saw the individual as part of a society, while his student Aristotle, saw the society as a collection of individuals.  The difference is -- who is in the middle: the society or the individual.    Carole-Ann's posting was in the issue of privacy, or data accumulated on people, which in some cases it is good for the society in general, a government agency, an ability to get credit decisions and more, but can harm the individual's interest.    This is an issue that is also dominant in dilemmas about event processing for years, the relatively ease in obtaining information about  events, in a world full of sensors and cameras, and the privacy considerations.

Security and privacy in event processing is one of the topics we'll discuss in the DEBS tutorial about non-functional properties of event processing in DEBS'11.  Stay tuned for me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Who do you work for?

I came across an interesting posting by Matthias Kaiserwerth, the director of the IBM Zurich Research Lab, entitled "who do you work for?".      In this posting Matthias raises the dilemma, that it is much easier to identify with a smaller organization, sometimes until the level of a single project or department, rather than to identify with a big corporate, or any division of it.     

I certainly agree,  in the past, the department I managed had a logo, and I found that people identified much easier with this department, relative to the lab, division, or IBM.    While this had a great contribution to the people's  motivation and "unit pride", it was not popular in the environment (which I never thought it is a strong consideration).    Creating excellence requires to have identification with a goal, it is much easier to identified with goals that one feels partner in, and not of some abstract entities.  

Smart cars -- towards proactive elimination of car accidents

Thanks to a posting of Rainer von Ammon in the CEP forum,  a "killer" application of proactive computing,  is the MIT smart cars that predict human behavior of other drivers and intended to eliminate accidents.  This is intended for the interim period where some of the car will be autonomic and some manually driven.  The rate of success is high, still not perfect.   Actually this is the opposite of a killer application - it is a life saver. 
I guess that in the future, all cars will be driven by computers and this will be able to eliminate the accidents (or minimize them),  since human behavior cannot be totally predictable,  More on ability to predict events - later.