August 10, 2007

Applications for super-low-latency CEP

Complex event/stream processing vendors compete fiercely on the basis of low latency, down to the single-digit number of milliseconds, or even sub-millisecond levels. A question naturally springs to mind: When does this extreme low latency matter?

I think I’ve come up with a concise yet fairly accurate answer: Super-low latency matters when the application includes direct competition against a similarly fast opponent. The best example is automated stock trading – if you can exploit a market inefficiency 1 millisecond before your competition, you make money.

Other examples might arise in network security or battlefield systems, but I don’t know of any specific real-life cases. Instead, other applications for complex event/stream processing tend to be content with latencies that are easier to achieve. E.g., 100 milliseconds (1/10 of second) is likely to be plenty fast enough.

Comments

2 Responses to “Applications for super-low-latency CEP”

  1. Event processing vs. data-driven processing | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on July 2nd, 2008 3:46 am

    [...] processing lies in its performance for certain kinds of data processing problems, some of which require super-low-latency and some of which [...]

  2. The CEP guys are getting a bit chippy | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on March 20th, 2009 1:11 pm

    [...] more, except where super-low latency is needed, #2 is apt to be the primary [...]

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