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ASPEN: Seamless Declarative Programming across Sensors, Streams, and the Cloud

Date and Time
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Computer Science 302
Due to advances in semiconductor and communications technology, we are steadily moving towards a world filled with a plethora of embedded sensing devices as well as "virtual" sensors within devices -- with the potential to monitor the environment and to react to or even anticipate changes. The environment being monitored might be a smart hospital, an entire campus, or even an office or data center. Often the behaviors we wish to produce involve combining constantly updating (streaming) data from multiple heterogeneous sensor and Internet sources. A major challenge is how to manage the resulting complexity, and to build large-scale, rich monitoring, learning, and control applications.

In the ASPEN project we have been exploring an approach that seeks to separate logical dataflow from most of the algorithmic logic -- using a declarative, SQL-like (but iterative and incremental) programming model to capture the dataflow, data transformation, and state management needed by an application, combined with small bits of procedural code to handle complex logic. Our platform provides distributed query optimization that takes runtime conditions into account, while also supporting a range of learning, prediction, and connection-finding algorithms. In this talk I will describe our basic ASPEN prototype including cluster and sensor subsystems, and provide an overview of how we address issues of query optimization, distributed query execution, and incremental recomputation.

Work done jointly with Mengmeng Liu, Svilen Mihaylov, Boon Thau Loo, and Sudipto Guha

Zachary Ives is an Associate Professor and the Markowitz Faculty Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include data integration and sharing, "big data", sensor networks, and data provenance and authoritativeness. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, and an alumnus of the DARPA Computer Science Study Panel and Information Science and Technology advisory panel. He has also been awarded the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. He serves as the undergraduate curriculum chair for Penn's Singh Program in Market and Social Systems Engineering. He is a co-author of the textbook Principles of Data Integration.

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