Abaco computes formulas output from a stream of metric values as soon as all needed input values are collected.

In a real world scenario values are coming asynchronously, delayed and out of orders. Abaco may manage values referring to different times.

Getting Started


julia> using Pkg; Pkg.add("Abaco")    


using Abaco

# Initialize abaco context with a time_window of 60 seconds and handle
# input values with timestamp ts up to 4 contiguous spans.
abaco = abaco_init(interval=60, ages=4) do ts, node, formula_name, value, inputs
    @info "[$ts][$node] function $formula_name=$value"

# Add desired outputs in terms of inputs variables x, y, z, v, w
outputs = ["xysum = x + y", "rsigma = x * exp(y-1)", "wsum = (x*w + z*v)"]

for formula_def in outputs
    formula(abaco, formula_def)

# Start receiving some inputs values
# normally ts is the UTC timestamp from epoch in seconds.
# but for semplicity assume time start from zero.

# the node AG101 sends the x value at timestamp 0.
ts = 0
node = "AG101"
ingest(abaco, ts, node, "x", 10)

# Time flows and about 1 minute later ...

# the node CE987 sends the y value at timestamp 65.
ts = 65
node = "CE987"
ingest(abaco, ts, node, "y", 10)

# Time flows and more than 1 minute later ...

# Finally the node AG101 sends the y value calculated at timestamp 0.
# At this instant the formulas that depends on x and y are computable
# for the node AG101 at timestamp 0.
ts = 0
node = "AG101"
ingest(abaco, ts, node, "y", 20)
[ Info: [0][AG101] function xysum=30
[ Info: [0][AG101] function rsigma=1.7848230096318724e9

# Now arrives the variable x from CE987 that make some formulas computables.
# Note that x timestamp is 65, y timestamp is 101
# and the formulas timestamp is 60: the START_TIME of the span. 
ts = 101
node = "CE987"
ingest(abaco, ts, node, "x", 10)
[ Info: [60][CE987] function xysum=20
[ Info: [60][CE987] function rsigma=81030.83927575384

In the formula callback the first argument may be a user defined object, like a Socket a Channel or whatsoever communication endpoint.

For example:

sock = connect(3001)

abaco = abaco_init(handle=sock, interval=900) do sock, ts, node, formula_name, value, inputs
    @info "ts [$ts]: [$node] $formula_name = $value"
    msg = JSON3.write(Dict(
                        "node" => node,
                        "age" => ts, 
                        "formula" => formula_name,
                        "value" => value))
    write(sock, msg*"\n")

Basic concepts walkthrough

A formula is named math expression defined by a string.

A node is a domain of values. Each node has a unique name identifier and it may be tagged.

Also a formula may be tagged: the tag binds a formula with a subset on nodes identified by the same tag.

                        # name       expr
julia> formula(abaco, "my_formula", "x + y")

                                              # tag
julia> formula(abaco, "my_formula", "x + y", "my_tag")

Ingested data has a name, a value, a timestamp and is associated with a node.

julia> ingest(abaco,              # abaco instance
              ts,                 # timestamp 
              "node_unique_name", # node name
              "x",                # metric name
              100)                # value

Values may also be ingested using a Dict{String,Any} object with the following rule:

ne and ts are reserved dictionary keyword for node name and timestamp whereas the others entries are metrics values.

# A record with a single metric
julia> x_value = Dict(
    "ne" => "my_network_element",
    "ts" => 1642605647,
    "x" => 1.5    # metric name => metric value

julia> y_value = Dict(
    "ne" => "my_network_element",
    "ts" => 1642605647,
    "y" => 8.5

# A record with a batch of metrics:
julia> xyz_values = Dict(
    "ne" => "my_network_element",
    "ts" => 1642605647,
    "x" => 1.5,
    "y" => 25,
    "z" => 999

julia> ingest(abaco, x_value)
julia> ingest(abaco, xyz_values)

Metrics names are the names of the variables used by Abaco formulas.

A node may be seen as a data source or a data fusion namespace: all variables that belong to a node are the inputs considered by the formulas tagged with the same value of the node tag.

As soon as all inputs variables are collected and belong to the same time window the formula result is calculated.

Using the above example as soon as both x and y are collected formula my_formula is evaluated and onresult default callback is triggered.

The default callback print the result summary to the console.

julia> ingest(abaco, x_metric)

julia> ingest(abaco, y_metric)
my_formula(ts:1642605647, ne:my_network_element) = 10.0

A node may have a parent node: parent-child relationships and tags are powerful tools that enables aggregation and statistical functions:

                                  # name       tag
julia> aggregator = node(abaco, "my_region", "region")

                   # parent      name     tag
julia> node(abaco, aggregator, "city_1", "city")
julia> node(abaco, aggregator, "city_2", "city")

               # tag        name      aggregator expr
julia> formula("region", "my_formula", "mean(city.x)")

time span

A time span includes all the timestamps in a time interval:

span = { t ∈ N | START_INTERVAL <= t < END_TIME }

Timestamps t are integer values with second granularity.

For example suppose that a data collection system uses a 15 minutes span interval: in this case an hour is divided into 4 intervals and from ten to eleven of some (omitted) day you have:

  • span1 = { t ∈ [10:00:00, 10:15:00) }
  • span2 = { t ∈ [10:15:00, 10:30:00) }
  • span3 = { t ∈ [10:30:00, 10:45:00) }
  • span4 = { t ∈ [10:45:00, 11:00:00) }

By convention the span interval is identified by its START_TIME.

The formula value computed from inputs with timestamps included into the span [START_TIME, END_TIME) has timestamp equal to START_TIME.

The width of the span interval is an abaco setting, user-defined at startup.


The number of ages defines how many consecutive time spans are managed.

For example, for a time span of 15 minutes, set ages to 4 if your network devices may send data with a maximum delay of an hour. A received value marked with a timestamp distant 4 or more spans from the latest span is discarded.

The number of ages is an abaco setting, user-defined at startup.

This is the minimal background theory, the below example should help to clarify the Abaco mechanics.



Formula evaluation failure.

[ingest] throws EvalError when a runtime formula evaluation fails, for example for a wrong numbers of method args:

formula(abaco, "div(x,y,z")
ingest(abaco, ts, ne, Dict("x"=>10, "y"=>1, "z"=1))

Maintains the state of the abaco.

Before adding formulas and values an abaco MonoContext must be initialized by abaco_init.


Wrong formula definition.

formula throws WrongFormula when a formula is malformed, for example:

formula(abaco, "myformula = x + ")

abaco_init(onresult; handle=nothing, interval::Int=900, ages::Int=4, emitone=true)::Context

Initialize the abaco context:

  • onresult: function callback that gets called each time a formula value is computed.

  • handle: user defined object. If handle is defined it is the first argument of onresult, default to nothing.

  • interval: the span interval in seconds, default to 900 seconds (15 minutes). If interval is equal to -1 there is just one infinite time span.

  • ages: the number of active rops managed by the abaco. Default to 4. If interval is equal to -1 ages is not applicable because it loses meaning.

  • emitone: if true emits for each time span at most 1 formula value, otherwise emits a new result at every new inputs. Defaut to true

Example 1: defining onresult callback that uses of an handle object.

# the handle object is a socket
sock = connect(3001)

function onresult(handle, ts, ne, formula_name, value, inputs)
    # build a pkt message from ts, ne, ...
    pkt = ...
    write(sock, pkt)

Example 2: defining onresult callback that doesn't use an handle object.

abaco = abaco_init(onresult, handle=sock)

function onresult(ts, ne, formula_name, value, inputs)
    @info "[$ts][$ne] function $fname=$value"

abaco = abaco_init(onresult)
dependents(abaco::Context, tag::String, var::String)

Returns the list of expressions that depends on var.

formula(setting::SnapsSetting, name, expression)

Add the formula name defined by expression: a mathematical expression like x + y*w.

formula(setting::SnapsSetting, formula_def::String)

Add a formula, with formula_def formatted as "formula_name = expression", where expression is a mathematical expression, like x + y*w.

get_values(abaco, ne::String, var::String)::Dict{Int,Float64}

Returns the ordered by time sequence of var values for ne node.

The returned values dictionary is ordered by descending time, most recent value first. The number of entries are at most equal to the value of ages.

getsnap(abaco::Context, ts, ne)

Returns the ne node snapshot relative to timestamp ts.

ingest!(abaco, payload)

Adds the input variables included in the payload dictionary.

The Dict msg must contains the keys ts and ne and a numbers of other keys managed as input variables.

This function modifies the payload dictionary: ne and ts keys are popped out.

    payload = Dict(
        "ts" => nowts(),
        "ne" => "trento.castello",
        "x" => 23.2,
        "y" => 100
    ingest!(abaco, ts, ne, payload)
ingest(abaco, ts, ne, values)

Adds the input variables include in the dictionary values.

    # now timestamp 
    ts = nowts()

    # short name of network node
    ne = "trento.castello"

    values = Dict(
        "x" => 23.2,
        "y" => 100
    ingest(abaco, ts, ne, values)
ingest(abaco, ts::Int, ne::String, var::String, val::Real)

Adds the input variable var with value val.

  • ts: timestamp with seconds resolution
  • ne: scope name
  • var: variable name
  • val: variable value
last_point(abaco, ne::String, var::String)::Union{Nothing, Missing, Tuple{Int,Float64}}

Returns the most recent in time value for the ne node metric var as a tuple (time, value).

If the node ne is unknown returns nothing and if there are not values for metric var returns missing.

last_value(abaco, ne::String, var::String)::Union{Nothing, Missing, Float64}

Returns the most recent in time value for the ne node metric var

If the node ne is unknown returns nothing and if there are not values for metric var returns missing.


Returns the epoch start time of the last span. The last span is the nearest in the present time interval that satisfies the condition: span.endtime < now.


the current timestamp in seconds from epoch

snap_add(snap::Snap, ne, var::String, val::Real)

Adds the variable value of ne node to the snap snapshot.

span(ts::Int64, interval::Int64=900)

Returns the start_time of the time interval that contains ts.