Tailor-made solutions for big data challenges

Abstract Computer network. Text: Tailor-made solutions for big data problems

“Our language enhances our ability to scale up interactions between devices such that we can publish and receive millions of events per minute.” - Kostas Kontogiannis

The internet of things (IOT) heralds a future already on our doorstep. The proliferation of devices with processing capabilities (from a smartwatch to sensors on a factory floor) has given birth to an entirely novel framework of automation and device communication. On the ground level, this means smarter, integrated traffic systems, manufacturing capabilities, and even everyday personal amenities like banking and household arrangements. As processing capacity of everyday and specialized devices increases, so too does the complexity of interaction, data sharing, and potential for end-user outcomes. This means that predictive traffic technologies can notify loved ones, airport emergencies can be met with greater and more targeted coordination of authorities, and a personal digital assistant can dynamically manage personal affairs, such as banking, without constant input.

Having a domain-specific language allows the Kontogiannis group to superimpose a system which dictates how interactions between devices occur based on the data being collected; Kostas’s IOT framework is not based solely on the simple exchange of information but rather the programming model for how those systems interact. This means that they can arrange a portfolio of interactions that have custom or defined templates to achieve certain outcomes for the end user.

Kostas Kontogiannis and his research group in the Department of Computer Science at Western University have developed a novel domain-specific language for programming and specifying interactions among things.


The IOT market, globally, is already valued at over $700 billion – by 2022 it is expected to exceed $1 trillion. Virtually no industry will go untouched by developments in IOT technology as it improves the efficiency and quality of business and service processes in Canada and around the world. As countries around the world invest heavily in IOT technologies, applying them to smart power grids, product marketing, and security, Canada will ensure its position as a global leader by continuing to push the boundaries of connectivity.