Saturday, September 17, 2011

On the data challenges

I guess that many people can easily identify this place, Paris Montmartre.   I have been in Paris earlier this week,    for a meeting with the management of the information management business unit of the EU ICT program.  They arrived to a meeting with IBM to talk with them about IBM's view of the research challenges in data management,  towards the future program of the EU ICT called "horizon 2020".    I have been part of the IBM team that talked about several aspects,  here is a slide that summarized my part of the presentation:
I have discussed six different challenges - I already written something about the old and new worlds,  
There are also more challenges, and I'll write more about the rest.      
Why am I there?   it seems that today events are becoming an important thread of database research, while in the beginning database people thought (and some still think) that events is just a kind of data that should be stored in databases, and the from there we know what to do,  there is more and more recognition that events are first class citizen in the data world, and that they play important role in new data models, data semantics, execution models, transaction models and more.  In fact, events play a role in each and every of the data challenges we discussed.    
I also spent a day to meet some potential collaborators for a proactive computing project that we are trying to devise.
Also had a few hours to play tourist,  something I did not have time to do in my last two visit in Paris, actually last time I was a tourist with my family was 10 years ago, and then I was mugged in the Paris Metro.  Overcoming the trauma, I used the Metro again, and even the RER train to the airport.  Still crowded and hot (no air-condition).  Montmartre was one of the places I visited (I still have in my office a portrait of myself painted by a street painter at that place, but did not go to be painted again). 
Also talked with a person who reads my Blog and remarked me that the frequency of my postings becomes slower.   This may be true, some periods I have more time and energy to blog and some less. Looking at the statistics on Blog posts,  I think that in 2011 I can at least match 2010,  but not 2009.    Besides, I have written before that I refuse to  enslave myself to quantitative metrics.  More about the data challenges - later. 

Monday, September 12, 2011


Sometimes I am getting notifications that reveal players in the event processing space that I was not aware of,  the one I've discovered today is SpatialRules by ObjectFX.   From the description on the website it is difficult to understand the exact capabilities of this product which is described as CEP for geospatial data. It seems that it support tracking events that relate to spatial objects - entering, exiting, are inside/outside/close to areas, with also some spatiotemporal capabilities.    It seems that this product is not new,  but I must admit it is new to me, maybe recognized in the GIS community.    I've written before about spatiotemporal event processing capabilities in event processing products such as: Microsoft StreamInsight or Oracle CEP.   ObjectFX seems to come from the other direction,  instead of extending event processing to have spatiotemporal capabilities, it extends spatial platform (ObjectFX has other spatial oriented products) to event processing.  It will be interesting to see whether the two approaches meet.