Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On spatiotemporal event processing

In the EPIA book we referred to the spatial dimension of context, and also to spatial patterns of events, there is also a paper on this topic that I've written last year with Nir Zolotorevsky,   There are also combination of the spatial and temporal perspectives,  both in sense of composite contexts,  and also spatiotemporal patterns 
(such as:  going north). 

It seems that spatiotemporal event processing is becoming popular.  Alex Alves from Oracle presented a paper  about it in  the industrial track of DEBS'11, and also recently wrote a short posting about it in his Blog;
Seems that Oracle is putting a support of spatiotemporal features in its product.

I also came across some description of spatiotemporal processing within Microsoft StreamInsight,  

The current support in spatiotemporal capabilities is quite elementary, and various extensions are possible (a student project for the  next semester?). It will be interesting to see more about applications that utilize the spatiotemporal capabilities, and their functional requirements. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

On tents and demonstrations in Israel

This is typically a professional Blog, with some off-topic deviations;  this posting is one of them.
Nowadays nobody that lives in Israel can ignore the phenomenon of the last couple of weeks:  mass protest in term of people demonstrating by living in tents in various places, mainly central Tel-Aviv, and the demonstrations all over the country last night (see picture above from the Tel-Aviv demonstration).    What is the demonstration about? -- it started as protest about the cost of housing both purchase price and rental price, and accumulated other reasons for protest - talking generally on "social justice".    In Israel the political focus as well as the major voting pattern is determined according to the war-and-peace decisions. Thus there is some abuse of the terms "right" and "left" in the Israeli politics, where (in gross generalization) typically "left" is referred as those who believe that Israel should take active steps towards peace, and support the establishment of Palestinian state, and "right" is referred as those who don't believe that peace is possible in our generation, and are against the establishment of Palestinian state.  Since many of the people are frustrated from the "peace process", there are more in Israel who voted for the "right" block in that sense, and currently we have the most extreme-right coalition ruling the country ever.     However the politically right administration happens also to possess social and economic right ideology, and it seems that this is the break point between the government and the people.
There are two types of socio-economic systems: the American system in which there are relatively low taxes, and relatively low social services; and the system of some of the European countries - with high taxes and high social services. It seems that gradually Israel adopts the bad aspects of both -- taxes are high (used to maintain the enormous defense expenses as well as supporting sectors that are part of the current coalition), social services are gradually decreasing.  On top of it,  the "free market competition" ideology that the current Prime-Minister imported from the USA in its extreme form, does not seem to work here. The reason is that the country is too small to have real competition, thus in each branch of the economy (banking, communication, food...) there are a small number of players who realize that it will be good for all to divide the market and maximize the revenues from its market share, and not really compete.  The Cartel oriented market and high sales taxes in various forms results in the fact that the prices of everything in Israel are now more expensive than almost anywhere else in the universe. Those who suffer most are the young people that try now to establish themselves, and discover that even with relatively high salaries, they get to financial difficulties, this is the population that started the protest, and this is the root cause of the current protest.   The required solution -- total change in the priorities and returning to the socially-based country.  Is it going to happen under the most right-wing government ever?   Will this become a social revolution or just phase out?  we'll have to wait and see. 

A footnote:  the entire protest started within Facebook, which still serves as a major vehicle for coordination.



Richard Tibbetts on "visual programming for complex event processing"

This picture is taken from the first slide of the presentation given by Richard Tibbetts last week in Oreill'y  OSCON Open Source Convention.   The presentation is now available on the web.  

In the presentation Richard brings five lessons for the implementation and use  of visual programming from Streambase experience.  Note that the visual programming in this case is intended for developers, building visual programming for domain experts is a different saga.   
In my event processing course, students have a choice to do projects in various available platforms (including implementing everything hard-coded),   I found that many of the students prefer this style of visual programming, but some prefer to work with text-oriented programming that looks more like the programming they are used to, claiming they can have better control that way, I guess from the same reason that there are people that still prefer to drive manual cars.   Personally I think that visual programming is the way to move forward, but we still have a challenge to do visual programming for semi-technical people.