[erlang-questions] How to do this in Erlang -- any suggestions ?

Edmond Begumisa ebegumisa@REDACTED
Tue Jun 14 18:39:27 CEST 2011

The more I think about it, the more I think Banibrata is really onto  
something here!

A generic tool of this nature could be rather useful. If such a tool  
allowed me to say things like...

"If 30 'EXIT' messages appear in supervision subtree Y over a period of  
1sec and 60% of these contain {tcp_error, _} then call  
sasl:set_alarm({'network_down', Y})" in which case an SMS would be sent to  
my phone.

I can think of a million uses for such a tool :)

- Edmond -

On Tue, 14 Jun 2011 06:13:56 +1000, Mihai Balea <mihai@REDACTED> wrote:

> On Jun 13, 2011, at 9:12 AM, Banibrata Dutta wrote:
>> Well, I haven't. In fact, starting with a small set of possible  
>> patterns, seems to be the most intuitive approach. When I bring in the  
>> thought of permitting non-programmers to write "something" (e.g.  
>> natural language rules, or a simple DSL snippet), and then such a thing  
>> modifying the FSM, without me having to code anything further in  
>> Erlang, is when I am hitting a mental roadblock. I've coded fairly  
>> complex FSM's in C/C++ using the table-based approach. Does gen_fsm  
>> take a similar approach ? Will it be a good, natural fit ? Maybe a  
>> rather naive question for people extremely familiar with Erlang, but  
>> I'm still very much on the learning curve's positive vector.
> Erlang gen_fsms are quite simple and standard, they define a bunch of  
> states and use pattern matching to select actions for each state/event  
> combination. Pretty much equivalent to a table-based fsm, only there's  
> no distinct table to speak of.
>> however you might want to make them a bit more flexible. Maybe have a  
>> bunch of processes running pattern recognizers, say one process per  
>> pattern or class of patterns.
>> My natural tendency was to think more in terms of 1 process per source,  
>> e.g. 1st event from a source causes an Erlang process to be created,  
>> which then embodies the entire possible FSM. The main issue with  
>> pattern based processes (if I understood it correctly), is determining  
>> the right process to hand-off the event to, and once handed-off,  
>> backtracking would mean extra work.
>> Maybe you can filter events based on source so certain recognizers will  
>> only get certain events.
>> Yes, that was the starting point, as I had imagined.
> Event forwarding based on source is technically easy in Erlang, just use  
> a process registry (proc, grpoc, even the built in process registrar)  
> and use sources as keys.
> The problem with this approach is you might have at least some  
> correlation between sources. Events originating from different sources  
> but belonging to the same pattern (i.e. server going black due to switch  
> failing in some other room, due to power outage and the like).
>> If you have a low correlation between event sources maybe you can even  
>> design your system to distribute the processing of unrelated events to  
>> different nodes in a cluster (big scalability gain if you can do that).
>> Excellent thought... indeed. Source based sharding.
>> Another way of approaching this would be to duplicate the event stream  
>> to multiple nodes in your cluster and have each node only look for  
>> certain subsets of patterns.
>> Actually, my bad, I should've mentioned, I wanted to do all this in  
>> Real-Time. So I don't really have a pattern-string, so to say. I don't,  
>> without that I can really take this approach. Or can I ?
> I think you can. If your patterns are independent, or at least can be  
> grouped in independent categories, what would prevent you from assigning  
> sets of independent patterns to different nodes? Not saying you need to  
> do that, but it might be helpful if you find out that recognizing and  
> processing thousands of patterns take up too much cpu.
> Mihai

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