What is Complex Event Processing? (Part 6)

Posted by: Tim Bass

In What is Complex Event Processing? (Part 5), we discussed situation refinement, the functional component of event processing that describes refining multiple event objects in order to estimate and identify business situations and scenarios in real-time. Today, in Part 6 of What is Complex Event Processing, we discuss impact assessment – where detected business situations are compared, correlated, and/or analyzed in “what if” type of scenarios to determine and predict business consequences.

Event Processing Reference Architecture

After event detection and situation refinement, businesses are very concerned with ascertaining or predicting outcomes and financial gains or losses if a detected situational threat or opportunity materializes. Impact assessment is the functional component of event processing that is focused on the estimation and prediction of the priority, utility or cost of an estimated business situation, complex event or scenario.

At this stage of the CEP reference model (above), we estimate the impact of an assessed situation, which includes likelihood and/or cost/utility measures associated with potential outcomes. From this inference, loss projections and liabilities (or gains) may> In addition, resource allocation and processing priorities may be estimated.

Opportunities and threats in business generally need to be predicted based upon an estimate of the current situation, known plans and predicted reactions. Example of real-time predictive types of business use cases are:

– determining the expected consequences of a fraudsters actions in an ecommerce scenario given the current estimated threat to the business;

– estimate the consequence of a failure in a distributed computing application and the effects on other systems that interact with the failed component;


– estimating the potential profit if an algorithmic trade is executed on a tracked equity or basket of equities;


– predicting how delays in shipping effect the supply chain, including consumer choices and behavior;

– predicting network congestion and outages based on specific patterns of anomalous network behavior in real-time;


– assessing risk and losses in a potential aircraft collision based on information about the planes, the location and their cargo or passengers;


– predicting the impact of a viral epidemic on different geographic areas and populations;


– predicting costs saving based on optimizing network resources in a transportation or supply chain network; or,


– predicting potential losses if an identified class of missile reaches its projected target.

Impact assessment generally requires real-time correlation of historical data which resides in databases. This is represented by the Database Management component of the event processing reference architecture.

In my next post, What Is Complex Event Processing, Part 7, we will discuss another important area in CEP, process refinement – actions taken, parameters adjusted, resources allocated (for example) based on detected (and/or predicted) business situations and scenarios.

Copyright © 2007 by Tim Bass, All Rights Reserved.


2 Responses to What is Complex Event Processing? (Part 6)

  1. Impact assessment is the functional component of event processing. Key business indicators can be tracked so performance measures can be studied.

  2. […] is Complex Event Processing? (Part 7) In What is Complex Event Processing? (Part 6), we discussed impact assessment in event processing applications. Today, we introduce process […]

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