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Bridging the Gap: Complex Event Processing on Stream Processing Engines

Ariane Ziehn
Philipp M. Grulich
Steffen Zeuch
Volker Markl

March 25, 2024

Analytical Stream Processing (ASP) and Complex Event Processing (CEP) extract knowledge from unbounded data streams. ASP solutions are optimized for scalable cloud environments to handle huge volumes of data in motion. In contrast, CEP solutions are designed for single-machine deployments, limiting their usage for large data volumes and distributed processing. A few hybrid solutions seek to address the lack of support for large-scale CEP by enabling its support in ASP systems and exploiting their data collection and distribution capabilities. However, these hybrid solutions assign the entire pattern workload to a single unary operator, which becomes the bottleneck of the entire execution pipeline. In addition, this composed operator prevents the application from utilizing the highly efficient stream processing optimization capabilities currently available in ASP systems.
In this paper, we propose a novel operator mapping that overcomes the drawbacks of current hybrid solutions. In particular, we bridge the gap between CEP and ASP by mapping CEP to ASP operators, enabling the decomposition of the pattern workload into multiple operators. As a result, our mapping enables CEP workloads to piggyback on the scalability and efficiency of distributed ASP systems. Our results demonstrate that our proposed mapping outperforms the single-operator solution for semantically equivalent ASP queries by a factor of up to 150x and enables workloads that current CEP solutions do not sustain. As a result, our mapping truly unlocks the benefits of both paradigms in one system by enabling a broad range of CEP functionalities in general-purpose ASP systems.