A framework for event composition in distributed systems

Peter R. Pietzuch*, Brian Shand, Jean Bacon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


For large-scale distributed applications such as internet-wide or ubiquitous systems, event-based communication is an effective messaging 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. 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. Finally, tests of our composite event system over JMS show reduced bandwidth consumption and a low notification delay for composite events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-82
Number of pages21
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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