Seminar - A Declarative Approach to Distributed Stream Processing

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Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

After an excellent seminar on Morpheus, a newly developed model for generating pixel-level morphological classifications of astronomical sources, we continue our Virtual Seminar Series on Monday 9 November. Here, Professor Paul Watson (University of Newcastle) will give a fascinating insight in stream processing applications, the challenges it presents to write them and approaches to overcome these difficulties.

Processing streams of events generated by sensors and apps has become key to the success of many important applications, ranging from social networks, through wearable medical devices to the industrial Internet. However, writing stream processing applications presents engineers with a real challenge. Difficulties include: handling events arriving at high rates; distributing processing over a set of devices ranging from those at the edge (e.g. wearables, field gateways, sensors and phones) to servers (e.g. in a cloud); and, meeting non-functional requirements such as energy, networking, security and performance.

Rather than place all the responsibility for meeting this challenge in the hands of application programmers, an alternative approach is followed which aims to overcome these difficulties through an optimiser and run-time system. Enabling this approach requires that both the functional and non-functional requirements are described declaratively. The talk will compare two approaches to this: one based on pure functional programming, and the other on relational queries. Professor Watson will also show experimental results for applications drawn from healthcare and smart cities.


Paul Watson is Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Digital Institute at Newcastle University. He is a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute, and PI of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cloud Computing for Big Data. Previously, he directed the £12M RCUK-funded Digital Economy Hub on Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy which focussed on using advanced computing technologies to transform the lives of older people and those with disabilities.

In the 80s, as a Lecturer at Manchester University, he was a designer of the Alvey Flagship and Esprit EDS systems. From 1990-5 he worked for ICL as a system designer of the Goldrush MegaServer parallel database server. In 1995 he moved to Newcastle University, where he has led a range of research projects. His research interest is in scalable information management with a current focus on Data Analytics and IoT. He received the 2014 Jim Gray eScience Award.

The seminar is open to staff, students and anyone else who is interested. Participation is free, but you need to register to attend this and other seminars in the series.

For more information and how to register please follow this link


Upcoming Seminars

Professor Paul Watson 

Computer Science and Director of the Digital Institute, Newcastle University

Seminar Title: “A Declarative Approach to Distributed Stream Processing”

Monday 9 November 2020 at 14:00 (Europe/London)


Dr Jana Kemnitz

Senior Data Scientist, Distributed-AI-Systems Research Group Siemens

Seminar Title: “Industrial Data Science, Machine-, Transfer- and Federated Learning”

Monday 7 December 2020 at 14:00 (Europe/London)