Middleware 2003

ACM/IFIP/USENIX International Middleware Conference

Rio Othon Palace Hotel

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

16-20 June 2003

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Full Paper Abstracts

A Framework for Event Composition in Distributed Systems

Peter Pietzuch, Brian Shand and Jean Bacon (Cambridge U.)

For large-scale distributed applications such as internet-wide or ubiquitous systems, event-based
communication is an effective communication mechanism between components. In order to handle the
large volume of events in such systems, composite event detection enables application components to
express interest in the occurrence of complex patterns of events.  However, today's middleware systems
lack support for composite event detection.  In this paper, we introduce a general composite event
detection framework that can be added on top of existing middleware architectures --- as demonstrated
in our implementation over JMS.  We argue that the framework is flexible, expressive, and easy to
implement.  Based on finite state automata extended with a rich time model and support for
parameterisation, it provides a decomposable core language for composite event specification, so that
composite event detection can be distributed throughout the system.  We discuss the issues associated
with automatic distribution of composite event expressions and introduce the concept of higher-level
specification languages.  Finally, tests of our composite event system over JMS, against a naive
implementation, showed reduced bandwidth consumption and corresponding improvements in latency.
We conclude that novel middleware services such as composite event detection are needed to
help build the next generation of cooperative systems.

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