IJCAI 2013 Tutorial: Formal Methods for Event Processing


Tutorial Description

Today's organisations require techniques for automated transformation of the large data volumes they collect into operational knowledge. This requirement may be addressed by employing event processing systems that detect activities/events of special significance within an organisation, given streams of 'low-level' information that are very difficult to be utilised by humans. Numerous event processing systems have been proposed in the literature. Systems with a logic-based representation of event structures, for example, have been attracting considerable attention because, among others, they exhibit a formal, declarative semantics, they haven proven to be efficient and scalable, and they are supported by machine learning tools, automating the construction and refinement of event structures.

In this tutorial, we will review formal methods for event processing and discuss the open research issues of this field. More precisely, we will present highly efficient temporal reasoning systems, and systems that explicitly deal with uncertainty.

Throughout the tutorial we will illustrate the reviewed approaches using two real-world case studies: event recognition for city transport & traffic management, and event recognition for public space surveillance.


Some parts of the tutorial are documented in tutorial-level articles published in the Knowledge Engineering Review and DEBS 2012, while some other parts are documented in the book 'Event Processing in Action'.

The slides are available here. These may be updated until the date of the tutoral.

Intended Audience

The intended audience of the tutorial consists of academics, students and practitioners investigating the open issues of event processing, and/or willing to apply event processing techniques for extracting knowledge from structured and unstructured datasets. Familiarity with Artificial Intelligence techniques is desirable.


Alexander Artikisis a research associate in the Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications at NCSR Demokritos, in Athens, Greece. He holds a PhD from Imperial College London on the topic of norm-governed multi-agent systems. His research interests lie in the areas of artificial intelligence and distributed systems. He has published papers in related journals and conferences, such as the Artificial Intelligence journal, the ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems, the ACM Transactions on Computational Logic, the Journal of Logic and Computation and the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI). He worked on the EU FP7 PRONTO project, being responsible for the event recognition work-package. He has given tutorials in several summer schools and conferences, including tutorials on logic-based event recognition in the 2011 edition of IJCAI and the 2010 edition of DEBS, and a tutorial on event processing under uncertainty in the 2012 edition of DEBS. He is a member of the programme committees of several international conferences such as IJCAI, DEBS, AAMAS, and AAAI. He has co-organised several international workshops, co-edited the Applied Artificial Intelligence special issue on event recognition, and chaired the Event Processing track in RuleML 2011. He is the posters and demos co-chair at DEBS 2013.

Opher Etzion is IBM Senior Technical Staff Member and principal investigator of event processing computational independent modeling. He is also the chair of the Event Processing Technical Society. In parallel, he serves as an adjunct professor at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology where he teaches a graduate course on event processing. Furthermore, he is an academic advisor in the MIS department in the Yezreel Valley College. Over the years he supervised 6 PhD and 21 MSc theses. Dr. Etzion has authored and co-authored more than 90 papers in refereed journals and conferences on topics related to: active databases, temporal databases, rule-base systems, event processing and autonomic computing, and gave several keynote addresses and tutorials. He is the co-author of the book 'Event Processing in Action' (with Peter Niblett), and co-edited the book 'Temporal Databases-Research and Practice'. He has given tutorials on event processing in various conferences such as AAAI 2011 and VLDB 2010. Prior to joining IBM in 1997, he has been a faculty member and Founding Head of the Information Systems Engineering area at the Technion, and held professional and managerial positions in the industry and in the Israel Air-Force. He was recognized as ACM Distinguished Speaker. He won several prestigious awards over the years, such as the Israel Air-Force award for introduction of new technologies towards widely usage (1982), IBM Outstanding Innovation Award (2002) and IBM Corporate Award (the highest IBM award) for the pioneering work on event processing (2010), and has been a major contributor to the IBM Research accomplishment in the category of fundamental contribution to science and technology (2012).

Alexander Artikis