Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Elke A. Rundensteiner, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Badrish Chandramouli, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Mohamed Y. Eltabakh, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Daniel J. Dougherty, Committee Member




Recently numerous emerging applications, ranging from on-line financial transactions, RFID based supply chain management, traffic monitoring to real-time object monitoring, generate high-volume event streams. To meet the needs of processing event data streams in real-time, Complex Event Processing technology (CEP) has been developed with the focus on detecting occurrences of particular composite patterns of events. By analyzing and constructing several real-world CEP applications, we found that CEP needs to be extended with advanced services beyond detecting pattern queries. We summarize these emerging needs in three orthogonal directions. First, for applications which require access to both streaming and stored data, we need to provide a clear semantics and efficient schedulers in the face of concurrent access and failures. Second, when a CEP system is deployed in a sensitive environment such as health care, we wish to mitigate possible privacy leaks. Third, when input events do not carry the identification of the object being monitored, we need to infer the probabilistic identification of events before feed them to a CEP engine. Therefore this dissertation discusses the construction of a framework for extending CEP to support these critical services. First, existing CEP technology is limited in its capability of reacting to opportunities and risks detected by pattern queries. We propose to tackle this unsolved problem by embedding active rule support within the CEP engine. The main challenge is to handle interactions between queries and reactions to queries in the high-volume stream execution. We hence introduce a novel stream-oriented transactional model along with a family of stream transaction scheduling algorithms that ensure the correctness of concurrent stream execution. And then we demonstrate the proposed technology by applying it to a real-world healthcare system and evaluate the stream transaction scheduling algorithms extensively using real-world workload. Second, we are the first to study the privacy implications of CEP systems. Specifically we consider how to suppress events on a stream to reduce the disclosure of sensitive patterns, while ensuring that nonsensitive patterns continue to be reported by the CEP engine. We formally define the problem of utility-maximizing event suppression for privacy preservation. We then design a suite of real-time solutions that eliminate private pattern matches while maximizing the overall utility. Our first solution optimally solves the problem at the event-type level. The second solution, at event-instance level, further optimizes the event-type level solution by exploiting runtime event distributions using advanced pattern match cardinality estimation techniques. Our experimental evaluation over both real-world and synthetic event streams shows that our algorithms are effective in maximizing utility yet still efficient enough to offer near real time system responsiveness. Third, we observe that in many real-world object monitoring applications where the CEP technology is adopted, not all sensed events carry the identification of the object whose action they report on, so called €œnon-ID-ed€� events. Such non-ID-ed events prevent us from performing object-based analytics, such as tracking, alerting and pattern matching. We propose a probabilistic inference framework to tackle this problem by inferring the missing object identification associated with an event. Specifically, as a foundation we design a time-varying graphic model to capture correspondences between sensed events and objects. Upon this model, we elaborate how to adapt the state-of-the-art Forward-backward inference algorithm to continuously infer probabilistic identifications for non-ID-ed events. More important, we propose a suite of strategies for optimizing the performance of inference. Our experimental results, using large-volume streams of a real-world health care application, demonstrate the accuracy, efficiency, and scalability of the proposed technology.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Computer Science

Project Type


Date Accepted





Utility Maximization, Privacy Preserving, Probabilistic Inference, Event Suppression, Complex Event Processing, Transactional Stream