The Infant, the Elephant and the Intelligent Event

Fellow blogger Opher Etzion, replies to  On Elephants and Analytics with On Unicorn, Professor and Infant.   Opher is kindly giving us another metaphor to consider, the Infant and the Profession, since we are both big fans of big gentle elephants, babies and our universities.  

Opher and I agree that Infants are not Professors, and we also agree that CEP is in its Infancy and there is overhype by folks often implying CEP is a Professor.     So it seems we all have a huge elephant in the room with an Infant Professor hanging on the end of a wildly swinging Elephant’s trunk!

To keep the blogopoints interesting, I should point out that with all this agreement and Kumbaya campfire singing, there are a couple of things I do disagree with in Opher’s amusing counterpoint. 

First of all, Opher uses the well know debate technique of falsely attributing some easily refutable discussion point and then offering a slam dunk counterpoint.   He does this in this clever, but completely inaccurate Opher quote,

 “I [Opher] respectfully disagree with Tim … in his claim that what has been done until today is just hype and hence totally worthless…”

Folks reading my blog know that I have never said “what has been done until today is … totally worthless.”    This is a misfortunate misquote.  Shame on you Opher!  

What I said, easily read in the blog, was that CEP is overhyped and that most of the self-described CEP software on the market today does not live up to the inflated claims we read and hear from CEP software vendors, the analysts and reporters they influence.

The second counterpoint that I find interesting is Opher’s consistent attempt to redress the dramatic lack of capability and analytics in current generation self-described CEP software by repositioning CEP as “intelligent event processing” (IEP) as he is continues in On Intelligent Event Processing.   

Perhaps Opher will be successful in repositioning the vast majority of the original CEP problem space as IEP.   This is a interesting slippery slope, in my opinion.   The new positioning that Opher is offering is that when “event processing” has advanced analytics, it is not CEP anymore, it becomes IEP because CEP is really “Simple Event Processing” (SEP) – event processing with little to no analytical capability.

I don’t know about most of our readers, but all this positioning and repositioning to match the capabilities, or lack of capabilities, in the current portfolio of self-described CEP software vendors is fascinating.

Here is the next logical question is:

What is the difference between a “Complex Event” and an “Intelligent Event” ?

This could get quite interesting, so stay tuned!

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One Response to The Infant, the Elephant and the Intelligent Event

  1. Opher Etzion says:

    Hello Tim. I had a blog about the different interpretations of CEP, I agree that thevery term CEP is somewhat misleading, since it can be interpreted as complex processing of events, or as processing of complex events. This debate has been determined by David Luckham both on his forum and in the glossary he co-edited to be the second interpretation — according to the glossary – complex event processing is -Computing that performs operations on complex events, while complex event is : an event that is an abstraction of other events called its members. There is nothing in CEP that implies that one needs analytics, all you need is to provide the pattern for creating complex events from other (raw or complex) events. When these patterns are deterministic and the events are also exist and deterministic, there is no need of analytics, and there are quite a lot of applications with these properties, as I pointed out many times, when the patterns are not known in advance, and have to be mined, or when the events are stochastic in nature, or when they need to be obtained from sources using some analytics techniques (e.g. simulation) then we need “intelligent event processing” which is complementary to “complex event processing”, since it creates either the events or the patterns using some AI/OR technique.

    cheers,

    Opher

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