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What is Complex Event Processing?

By Emma G.
Updated Jan 21, 2024
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Complex event processing is a way of recognizing and responding to situations happening within an organization. It is most often used in the context of business process management. Complex event processing is usually performed by a computer program that monitors information coming into and leaving the organization in order to find patterns of events. It then recommends or automatically implements a solution based on existing algorithms and data. Complex event processing is most often used in the telecommunications, finance, and transportation industries.

Any time new data is entered into the system, this is known as an event. New data can take many forms. It may be anything from a personnel record to a sales figure to a purchase order. The computer analyzes these events in a procedure known as processing. Clusters of related events can be used to infer a complex event, which is where the name complex event processing comes from.

Several techniques can be used to process events. Event-pattern detection looks for a repeating event or series of events. Abstraction uses an event to derive a useful generality from it. Detecting relationships recognizes that a specific event or series of events always occurs in correlation with another event or series of events. Other techniques used in complex event processing include modeling event hierarchies and abstracting event-driven processes.

Analyzing events would serve no purpose if it did not lead to solutions to problems or result in other changes within the organization. Once an event has been analyzed, the computer identifies the most meaningful events and takes action to respond to them. These actions can be pre-programed algorithms, known as computation-oriented solutions, such as automatically ordering more ink every time a printer runs out. The action may also be a report or alert to let the operator or manager know what the situation is and what action the system recommends. This is known as a detection-oriented solution.

Businesses that practice business process management are most likely to use complex event processing. Business process management is a method of management that takes the wants and needs of its clients as the guideline for structuring and organizing the business. Businesses using this method of management are always working to improve processes to help meet the goals of the business. Complex event processing is a useful tool for doing this, as it allows mangers to recognize patterns that might be difficult or impossible to notice without the aid of dedicated technology.

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