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"PhD defence: Event Pattern Detection for Embedded Systems"

Jan Carlson

15th June, 2007 - 14:00--16:00


More information, including the thesis, can be found here.


Events play an important role in many computer systems, from small reactive embedded applications to large distributed systems. Many applications react to events generated by a graphical user interface or by external sensors that monitor the system environment, and other systems use events for communication and synchronisation between independent subsystems. In some applications, however, individual event occurrences are not the main point of concern. Instead, the system should respond to certain event patterns, such as "the start button being pushed, followed by a temperature alarm within two seconds". One way to specify such event patterns is by means of an event algebra with operators for combining the simple events of a system into specifications of complex patterns.

This thesis presents an event algebra with two important characteristics. First, it complies with a number of algebraic laws, which shows that the algebra operators behave as expected. Second, any pattern represented by an expression in this algebra can be efficiently detected with bounded resources in terms of memory and time, which is particularly important when event pattern detection is used in embedded systems, where resource efficiency and predictability are crucial.

In addition to the formal algebra semantics and an efficient detection algorithm, the thesis describes how event pattern detection can be used in real-time systems without support from the underlying operating system, and presents schedulability theory for such systems. It also describes how the event algebra can be combined with a component model for embedded system, to support high level design of systems that react to event patterns.

Contact: Jan Carlson,