What is complex event processing and why is it needed for IoT?
What is CEP?
Complex event processing is an emerging network technology commonly used in the “internet of things” that uses distributed message-based systems, databases and applications to derive conclusions from data in real time or near-real time. It is a kind of computing in which incoming data about events is turned into more useful, higher level “complex” event data designed to provide insight into what is happening.
CEP is event-driven because the computation is triggered by the receipt of event data. CEP is used for demanding, continuous-intelligence applications said to enhance situation awareness and support real-time decisions. CEP combines data from multiple sources to infer events or patterns to suggest more complicated circumstances. It can provide companies with the ability to define, manage and predict events, situations, conditions, opportunities and threats.
The events being analyzed can be happening across different parts of an organization as sales leads, orders or customer service calls, according to David Luckham, research professor of electrical engineering at Stanford. These data types can include news items, text messages, social media posts, stock market feeds, traffic reports, weather reports or other kinds of data. An event may also be defined as a “change of state,” when a measurement exceeds a predefined threshold of time, temperature or other value – that is really where IoT comes in.
IoT and CEP
The challenge of real-time analysis continues to grow as the forthcoming tens of billions of sensors and smart devices continue to collect more data. Being able to react quickly in a mission-critical situation can save companies millions of dollars and is one of the pillars of IoT functionality. This is why CEP is becoming a more mainstream solution for IoT deployments.
One specific IoT-based use case was outlined in a LinkedIn post written by Eric Bruno, lead real-time engineer and member of the technical leadership team at Perrone Robotics. Bruno argues IoT, when combined with complex event processing, can have transformative effects on the health care industry.
“To ensure patient safety in m-health IoT systems, more than careful programming and testing is required,” Bruno wrote. “An entirely different product development approach and paradigm must be used. This is where complex event processing can help. Engineering health care solutions through event processing – using commercial or open-source CEP systems that have been tested across a wide range of use cases – may arguably deliver a higher level of safety. This helps to both mitigate risk and increase the level of patient care.”