Tech Report CS-04-08

The Design of the Borealis Stream Processing Engine

Daniel Abadi, Yanif Ahmad, Hari Balakrishnan, Magdalena Balazinska, Ugur Cetintemel, Mitch Cherniack, Jeong-Hyon Hwang, John Jannotti, Wolfgang Lindner, Samuel Madden, Alexander Rasin, Michael Stonebraker, Nesime Tatbul, Ying Xing, Stan Zdonik

June 2004


Borealis is a second-generation distributed stream processing engine that is being developed at Brandeis University, Brown University, and MIT. Borealis inherits core stream processing functionality from Aurora and distribution functionality from Medusa. Borealis modifies and extends both systems in non-trivial and critical ways to provide advanced capabilities that are commonly required by newly-emerging stream processing applications.

In this paper, we outline the basic design and functionality of Borealis. Through sample real-world applications, we motivate the need for dynamically revising query results and modifying query specifications. We then describe how Borealis addresses these challenges through an innovative set of features, including revision records, time travel, and control lines. Finally, we present a highly flexible and scalable QoS-based optimization model that operates across server and sensor networks.

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