Complex event processing (CEP) is the use of technology to predict high-level events likely to result from specific sets of low-level factors. CEP identifies and analyzes cause-and-effect relationships among events in real time, allowing personnel to proactively take effective actions in response to specific scenarios. CEP is an evolving paradigm originally conceived in the 1990s by Dr. David Luckham at Stanford University.
One important aspect of CEP is business activity monitoring (BAM), the use of technology to proactively define and analyze the most critical opportunities and risks in an enterprise. CEP is especially effective in situations involving numerous factors that interact in variable ways, such as the investment and lending environments for financial institutions. CEP is used in security policy risk management, customer relationship management (CRM), application servers and middleware. CEP can also be used in threat management for communications networks.