Srinath recently wrote about the use of WSO2 CEP for the ACM DEBS 2013 challenge on Real time Complex Analytics which was a real eye opener. The challenge, enabled by sensor networks on player’s shoes, the goalkeeper and the football, was to conduct real time analytics on a football game, and provide useful analytics and real-time reports to the managers.
The post describes the usage of WSO2’s Complex Event Processor (CEP) which was used to implement the use cases of the challenge – namely Running analysis of the players, Ball possession analysis, a heatmap of player locations at various times and shots on goal analysis. CEP is a high performance and scalable event processor that can read streams of ‘data’, extract meaningful events and process them real time in memory – this means the ability to process large amounts of events, fast! In this case, continuous steams of data and events would be fed into the system via the various sensors, at a rate of 15,000 position events per second, whilst the player sensors and the ball sensors output events at a rate of 200MHz and 2000MHz respectively. According the blog, WSO2 CEP processed 50,000 events per second, which is quite impressive.
Just imagine the possibilities such an implementation can provide to the game – I’m awaiting the day when the TV alerts me, possibly 2 seconds before the event, that Robin Van Persie’s shot would have a 99% chance of finding the back of the net beating Petr Cech – based on analytics of the kick (the curvature , wind speed, rotation) and analytics of the defense (the distance of the goalkeeper and probability of him reaching the ball based on historical data, the distance between defenders). Or based on Theo Walcott’s speedy run and Carzola’s immaculate pass, as well as the position of the defense and the keeper, Walcott would end up with the ball beyond the defense in an on-side goal scoring position in the next 3 seconds – the mini siren on the TV goes off, telling me to watch the screen for the next 5 seconds (of course, that is assuming my reaction times are good, let alone the goal keeper’s). And I can hear us hard-core fans of football saying – “who would take their eyes off a football game anyways?”, but what if!
Minority Report for football, anyone?