Betfair uses CEP in real-time map of General Election betting

Online gambling firm Betfair is using complex event processing (CEP) technology to monitor and react to customer behaviour around the General Election

Online gambling firm Betfair is using complex event processing (CEP) technology to monitor and react to customer behaviour around the General Election on its website as UK voters go to the polls tomorrow.

A project driven by the research and development department at the betting exchange is focusing on use of CEP to analyse events (such as fixtures information and user events such as bet placement and funds withdrawal), detect patterns and extract data from them.

An early deliverable of the project related to the election allows the real-time generation of visualisations of the Betfair 'ecosystem' to show betting patterns by a constituency basis.

The technology displays the activity of the firm's website Election Predict on a live betting map, with constituencies across the UK coloured differently to reflect backing to the major three parties from people who have bet on one of the election-related markets.

The gambling firm plans to adopt a ubiquitous event-driven architecture (EDA) in future, where 'every application, service or component will produce and/or consume events and all facets of Betfair's domain model are represented as events'.

The architecture will sit on an event-processing network, which will have the flexibility to accommodate event processing capabilities. Betfair says that 'a new technological approach in order to build a general purpose platform for ubiquitous EDA.'

The betting exchange sees the ability to process data in real-time as a tool to create commercial opportunities, as well as predictive systems, control strategies and to provide more timely information to internal and external partners, as well as regulators.

Business departments such as marketing, communications and sales have had a positive reaction to the project and are all interested in the potential of event-driven technology, says Enzo Raso, operations manager at Betfair Research.

"CEP enables departments such as finance to see how profitable each part of the web site is in real-time, instead of having to wait for reports overnight," he adds.

"It also enables us to spot any detail that would otherwise go missing such as the hottest parts of the web site including banners and offers with high degree of traction."

It will still take years for Betfair to take full advantage of the possibilities offered by event-driven technology, but from June 2010 the company will use its existing capability to provide insight around World Cup fan behaviour and show how the 32 participating countries' fans are betting with respect to their national team.

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