Discovering and tracking of spatiotemporal patterns in noisy sequences of events are difficult tasks that have become increasingly pertinent due to recent advances in ubiquitous computing, such as community-based social networking applications. The core activities for applications of this class include the sharing and notification of events, and the importance and usefulness of these functionalities increase as event sharing expands into larger areas of one's life. Ironically, instead of being helpful, an excessive number of event notifications can quickly render the functionality of event sharing to be obtrusive. Indeed, any notification of events that provides redundant information to the application/user can be seen to be an unnecessary distraction. In this paper, we introduce a new scheme for discovering and tracking noisy spatiotemporal event patterns, with the purpose of suppressing reoccurring patterns, while discerning novel events. Our scheme is based on maintaining a collection of hypotheses, each one conjecturing a specific spatiotemporal event pattern. A dedicated learning automaton (LA) - the spatiotemporal pattern LA (STPLA) - is associated with each hypothesis. By processing events as they unfold, we attempt to infer the correctness of each hypothesis through a real-time guided random walk. Consequently, the scheme that we present is computationally efficient, with a minimal memory footprint. Furthermore, it is ergodic, allowing adaptation. Empirical results involving extensive simulations demonstrate the superior convergence and adaptation speed of STPLA, as well as an ability to operate successfully with noise, including both the erroneous inclusion and omission of events. An empirical comparison study was performed and confirms the superiority of our scheme compared to a similar state-of-the-art approach. In particular, the robustness of the STPLA to inclusion as well as to omission noise constitutes a unique property compared to other related approaches. In addition, the results included, which involve the so-called "presence sharing" application, are both promising and, in our opinion, impressive. It is thus our opinion that the proposed STPLA scheme is, in general, ideal for improving the usefulness of event notification and sharing systems, since it is capable of significantly, robustly, and adaptively suppressing redundant information.

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Keywords Learning automata (LAs), Spatiotemporal pattern recognition
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Journal IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Yazidi, A. (Anis), Granmo, O.-C. (Ole-Christoffer), & Oommen, J. (2013). Learning-automaton-based online discovery and tracking of spatiotemporal event patterns. IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, 43(3), 1118–1130. doi:10.1109/TSMCB.2012.2224339