Your first time here? Welcome, I'm glad you've dropped in.... David Soul (aka Bricoleur)

Tsunami backlash…
arising out of widespread frustration and a growing belief that
and hierarchical warning systems let the people down this grass roots
effort has arisen to put something in place that would work….

What is ARC?

Alert Retrieval Cache. It's a system of collecting, sorting and routing SMS messages for the puposes of alerts and relay communication.

How can a single SMS can save people's lives?

If all the people relevant to that message can receive it,
instantaneously. In the following system, the SMS message also contains
a way of deciding which recipients are relevant to the message.

Why do we need ARC?
The failure of state-owned and hierarchical
warning systems to alert us about the South Asia earthquake &
tsunami, despite prior information has put into focus issues of forums
for information exchange. What we need is to get credible, real time
information from the grassroots to save lives.
<emphasis added>
How does this ARC work?

Here's a scenario –
Morquendi is a relief worker in Middle Earth, and he runs short of
medical supplies, specifically antibiotics. The supplies are needed
immediately. He needs to inform someone from his location. He sends out
an SMS to ARC, which goes in a format, like

Date    Time           Number              Where       Related to     Major Issue

Jan03   06:53:26   919819107418  Mid earth   Supplies          Medical

Specific Need    Suggested Action

Antibiotics         Dispatch

The Sorter program looks for similar keywords in the cache, as in
Morquendi's message. After the program is done sorting, it links this
message to all those numbers that are attached to similar attributes as
in Morquendi's original message. Then it flashes this message to all
these numbers.

Real-time, instantaneous. People in the vicinity, and anyone across
the world who is awake, or knows Morquendi, receives this message.

Compare this approach to the CAP approach of disaster response professionals <# on this blog>
or to the commercially motivated PINS (Personalized Intelligent
Notification Service) used for shark alerts among other things. <# on this blog>

Also consider the opinion of David Cousrey
(eWeek) that technology might not provide a positive solution to
getting people to react in an appropriate manner <# on this blog>

The three approaches mentioned above all call out for CEP. 

Any viable solution (wide spread and usble for
general not just specific purpose) must use the tools of CEP for the
event processing — perhaps with a dose of Bayesian Statistics thrown
in for good measure (e.g. one message — well it may be a false alarm
or an indicator of something confined to a very specific locale so
raise an alert but don't YELL   ….. while hundreds of messages –
either wide spread geographically or from a number of independent
sources in a specific locale – are likely an indicator or a large scale
emergency … so raise an ALARM as widely and as loudly as possible…
hopefully before the messaging infrastructure at the nexus collapses in
the wake of the disaster…..)

Sometimes the situation calls out for getting
what Stafford Beer would call an Algerdonic message directly to people
that can react NOW …. ignoring the normal communications protocols of
the organization/system…

originally Posted to by David Soul on 1/3/05; 6:19:25 PM
in the CEP section

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Tags: CEP, Complex Event Processing, Stafford Beer

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