Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Franz (+ Lisp Graph) Tech Corner - January 2015

Lisp Tech Corner News
January, 2015

In this issue

Haystax presents: Advanced Analytic Techniques for Insider Threat Detection (using Lisp, Prolog, and AllegroGraph)
Haystax Logo

Wednesday, January 21, 10:00 AM Pacific

Insiders are one of the top categories of data breaches according to recent reports by the FBI, Forrester Research and Verizon. In just the last year, high profile data breaches at Target, AT&T, and Morgan Stanley show that no organization is immune and all organizations must take steps to identify and protect themselves from insider threats.
In this webinar Haystax describes an analytic approach that enables the continuous risk monitoring of insider threat based on the fusion of high and low frequency entity-related events via temporal relevance models and a probabilistic risk model. Haystax begins by providing an overview of their approach and the challenges faced when integrating events of widely disparate frequency. Next, they describe two forms of event temporal relevance they use to enable the model to fuse infrequent events (e.g. public records life events) with high frequency events (e.g. network activity). Finally, Haystax describes how they've used Franz's Allegro Common Lisp, Allegro Prolog, and AllegroGraph, with Norsys Netica to create a practical implementation of our analytic approach suitable for practical use.
To register for this webinar, see heretarget blank image.

Tech Corner Article: Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Update and a useful script when using EC2
amazon web services
There was an update to the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) API for Allegro CL 9.0 released in late 2014. The documentation, EC2.htm, describes the update, which mostly involves using Version 4 signing. The linked tech corner article briefly discusses the update and then shows a program which can be used to tell how much using EC2 will cost you. (The progam can be run as a script on UNIX platforms or as a Lisp program.) You are shown where you must make modifications based on your system. The article is here.

Read the full Tech Corner Article here

Haystax and Franz Inc. Partner to Deliver Insider Threat Detection Solutions
Franz and Haystax Logos
Haystax Technology, Inc., and Franz Inc., announced a technology partnership that will enable Haystax to leverage Franz's AllegroGraph technology for patented algorithms and sophisticated behavior models used in Haystax's insider threat detection solutions. Haystax's solutions, which are being rapidly adopted by the U.S. government and Fortune 500 companies, are more advanced than traditional rules-based and brute-force processing approaches in identifying the types of risks and the potential impact of their actions that individuals pose to an organization.

To view the entire press release, see here.

EcoCyc: Encyclopedia of E. coli Genes and Metabolism
Gruff Screen
EcoCyc, a member of the BioCyc Database Collectiontarget blank image., is a bioinformatics database that describes the genome and the biochemical machinery of Escherichia coli K-12 MG1655. The long-term project goal is to facilitate a system-level understanding of E. coli by cataloguing the cell's molecular components and their functions. EcoCyc is an electronic reference source for biologists who work with E. coli and related microorganisms.
The EcoCyc websitetarget blank image. supports comparative analyses of multiple E. coli strains and analysis of high-throughput data.
For additional information, see heretarget blank image.

Gruff v5.6 - Now Available
gruff screen shot
New Features include:
  • Enhanced SPARQL Endpoint Functionality
  • Dragging a node in the graph view will now snap it into alignment with other nearby nodes whenever it is nearly aligned. This makes it easier to exactly align nodes with each other horizontally or vertically, to look as good as possible for presentation. See the new option "Visual Graph Options | Node and Link Spacing | Snap Alignment Resolution" and its sibling "Snap Alignment Reach". This can be disabled by setting the resolution to zero.
  • The new command "Link | Display Non-Leaf Linked Nodes" is similar to "Link | Display Linked Nodes for the Current Predicates", but it avoids displaying any new nodes that would be leaf nodes if they were displayed. This is basically a much faster version of displaying paths between each pair of a group of highlighted nodes (or from the selected node to other displayed nodes) for paths that are up to two links long (or three links for smaller stores).
  • Efficiency improvements were made for "Link | Display Linked Nodes for the Current Predicates" (the F command).
  • The new command "Select | Highlight All Nodes" facilitates applying a command to all nodes when it's a command that works on all highligted nodes.
  • The positioning of link labels in the graph view has been improved somewhat, including sometimes stacking individual words of the label along the link line.
  • The dialogs for opening or creating a store have a new Scheme widget where you can specify HTTPS if the AllegroGraph server is configured to require secure transactions.
  • Numerous Enhancements and Optimizations

See the full list of new features and improvements in the release notes

AllegroCache v3.0 Now Available!

New features in v3.0

  • SMP Optimized -- perform simultaneous operations on index btrees
  • Compressed Indexes -- reduces database size by up to 50%
  • Regex Cursors -- efficiently match string values against regular expressions
Read the press release heretarget blank image.
Read the AllegroCache product page heretarget blank image.

AllegroGraph v5.0 Coming Soon!
franz logo
AllegroGraph will deliver a New 3D and multi-dimensional geospatial functionality.
AllegroGraph has long supported two-dimensional encoding in both spherical and Cartesian systems. The 5.0 release includes a new implementation called nD for "N-Dimensional". It has powerful new capabilities, a simpler, more intuitive API, and automates some of the setup tasks for geospatial.
Although the term geospatial refers specifically to positions on or around the earth's surface, AllegroGraph supports a more-general notion of n-dimensional ordinates systems that could be used in fields such as semiconductor manufacturing and biology, to name a couple.
Additional New features include:
  • Update to new Sesame 2.7.x transactional semantics
  • Update to new Apache Jena v2.6.x
  • The server supports new optional specific transaction "begin"
  • Improved support for encrypted client connections
  • WebView query page enhancements: display of execution time and abort options
  • Query Engine optimizations
  • Support for Top Braid Composer 4.6
If you are interested in receiving an early release, please send mail to

European Lisp Symposium, April 20-21, Goldsmiths University, London, UK
ELS Logo
The purpose of the European Lisp Symposium is to provide a forum for the discussion and dissemination of all aspects of design, implementationand application of any of the Lisp and Lisp-inspired dialects, including Common Lisp, Scheme, Emacs Lisp, AutoLisp, ISLISP, Dylan, Clojure, ACL2, ECMAScript, Racket, SKILL, Hop and so on. We encourage everyone interested in Lisp to participate.
Submission Deadline: February 22
Early Registration Deadline: March 29

For additional conference information, see here

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Training Schedule

LabBECOME ALLEGRO CERTIFIED - To obtain your Allegro CL Certification enroll in our LIVE Program which offers developers an opportunity to learn and improve their Lisp programming skills from the comfort of their home or office while interacting with the Franz instructor.
Lisp Programming Series Level I: Basic Lisp Essentials - February 11, 18, 25
Lisp Programming Series Level II: Specialized Components of Lisp - March 4, 11, 18
For additional information and to register, see here.

Subscribe to Franz RSS feeds: RSS Feeds

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

AllegroCache v3.0 - Now Available!!!

AllegroCache is a high-performance, dynamic object caching database system. It allows programmers to work directly with objects as if they were in memory while in fact the object data is always stored persistently. It supports a full transaction model with long and short transactions, and meets the classic ACID requirements for a reliable and robust database. It automatically maintains referential integrity of complex data objects. AllegroCache provides 64-bit real-time data caching on the application memory to achieve very high data access throughput by applications over as large a data set as necessary.

"AllegroCache is the heart of our rule-based Solicitation Selection system as well as our Medical Supply Chain solution for the U.S. Department of Defense." noted Glenn House Sr., President 2Is Inc., "We are delighted with the new functionality in AllegroCache 3.0.  We are able to cut our hosting database footprint by 50%, increase our transaction speeds by 50% to 100% and bring new search capabilities to bear." stated Mr. House.

New features in v3.0

  • SMP Optimized -- perform simultaneous operations on index btrees
  • Compressed Indexes -- reduces database size by up to 50%
  • Regex Cursors -- efficiently match string values against regular expressions

AllegroCache Features:

  • Persistent CLOS Objects in Allegro Common Lisp -- Class definitions are stored as first class objects in the database
  • Dynamic Schema Evolution -- Redefine classes on the fly, persistent objects are lazily updated when accessed
  • Standalone & Client Server -- Single user on local disk or multiple clients talking to single server over sockets
  • Native lisp btrees -- Comparable in speed with BerkeleyDB, with more control
  • Transactional model -- All ACID features, commit/rollback, and optimistic concurrency
  • Supports databases with billions of objects (and Terabytes of Data)
  • Convenient macros to loop over classes, maps and sets
  • Indexed slots -- A mapping from slot-values to objects, retrieve objects and object ids (oid)
  • Maps -- Transactionally safe persistent hashtables
  • Sets -- Persistent large collections of objects
  • Supports most common datatypes -- Including unsigned-byte 8 arrays, maps and sets
  • Object ID's unique for the lifetime of the database -- User accessible
  • Dump the database into XML files
  • Restore database from the XML dump
  • User controlled caching -- For the size of the btrees and the total number of objects stored in the cache
Download Now - Express Users Downloaded or Updated as of October 16, 2015, AllegroCache v3.0 already included.

Recent Webcast with 2Is - 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Franz Tech Corner - July 2014

Franz Tech Corner News
July, 2014

In this issue

Tech Corner Article: New Universal Date/Time Parser Facility
A new universal date/time parser facility was added by a recent patch. It defines the new functions "string-to-universal-time" and "universal-time-to-string". The first function takes a string specifying a date and time in any of a variety of standard formats and returns the corresponding universal time. The second function converts a universal time to one of those formats. This new facility is separate from the existing date-time module but integrated with it.

The new universal date time parser is described here.

Tech Corner Article: Loop Over Sequence Extension to Loop Macro
A new "for-as-in-sequence" subclause for the loop macro was added by a recent patch. It allows iteration over either lists or simple, general vectors. For example, the function foo defined below will take either a list or a vector as an argument:

(defun foo (x)
    (loop for y in-sequence x collect (1+ y)))
(foo '(1 2 3)) => (2 3 4)
(foo #(1 2 3)) => (2 3 4)

Without this extension, foo would have to make separate loop calls with lists and vectors. Note the extension has some restrictions.
See the documentation here for further details.

International Lisp Conference, 2014 - August 15-17, Montreal
The Association of Lisp Users is pleased to announce the 2014 International Lisp Conference will be held in Montreal, Canada at Universite de Montreal from August 15 to 17, 2014. This year's focus is directed towards integrated solutions and mobile computing.
The International Lisp Conference is a forum for the discussion of Lisp and, in particular, the design, implementation and application of any of the Lisp dialects. We encourage everyone interested in Lisp to participate.
This year's program consists of tutorials, an excellent technical session, and prominent invited speakers from the Lisp communities: Christian Queinnec (Universite Pierre et Marie Curie), Ambrose Bonnaise-Sergeant (Indiana University), Stefan Monnier (Universite de Montreal) and Marc Battyani (Fractal Concept).
For additional conference infomation, see heretarget blank image..

Video - Gabor Melis' talk at ELS'14 - "Sending Beams into the Parallel Cube"
We send probes into the topic hypercube bounded by machine learning, parallelism, software and contests, demonstrate existing and sketch future Lisp infrastructure, pin the future and foreign arrays down. We take a seemingly random walk along the different paths, watch the scenery of pairwise interactions unfold and piece a puzzle together. In the purely speculative thread, we compare models of parallel computation, keeping an eye on their applicability and lisp support. In the the Python and R envy thread, we detail why lisp could be a better vehicle for scientific programming and how high performance computing is eroding lisp's largely unrealized competitive advantages. Switching to constructive mode, a basic data structure is proposed as a first step.
To view the video, see heretarget blank image.

Free Webcast: Graph vs. Semantic Graph Databases - Selecting the Right Database for Your Next Project
Franz Graph Logo

Wednesday, July 23rd, 10 AM Pacific

A frequent question for Semantic Technology vendors: "Why use an RDF triplestore, why not a general Graph database or some other NoSQL option?" This presentation discusses the criteria for selecting the appropriate database for your application.
With the surge in interest around "Graph" technologies there is a need for understanding the tradeoffs for various Graph based technologies. There is a whole set of use cases where Graph technologies make the most sense for application success. This presentation will explore the technical and business reasons to consider a Graph Database, RDF Database, or hybrid Graph/NoSQL. We will discuss a set of real world applications for Graph technologies and explore a number of criteria to consider for proper database selection, a few are noted below:
Selection criteria:
  • (1) Do you need to model knowledge or assets and you literally have to deal with thousands of objects that have different feature sets?
  • (2) Do you add or change object definitions on a nearly daily basis?
  • (3) Do you need to do do recursive graph search on your data or you need to do complex pattern matching?
  • (4) Do you have to deal with innumerable one to many or many to many relations and you need to index them all?
To register for this webinar, see blank image.

Free Webcast: Discovering the Social Networks in your Customer Data
Gruff View

Wednesday, August 13, 10 AM Pacific

Most Enterprises have collected large bodies of data that describe interactions between their customers. Consider the graph of claims and policies for an insurance provider, telephone calls and SMS for a Telco, and links between payments by customers of financial institutions. Graph databases can be used to mine these social interactions to better understand customer patterns and opportunities.
Relational databases are fundamentally unfit to explore the graph within a social network and Big Data solutions (Hadoop, etc) are usually not meant to work with sparse graphs. The mature capabilities of Graph Databases have made them the optimal approach to mine these social networks.
During this presentation, we will discuss applications of graph mining to show the relationships discovered through "Similarity" and "Social" graphs.
To register for this webinar, see blank image.

Gruff v5.3 - Now Available
gruff lab guy
New Features include:

See the full list of new features and improvements in the release notes.

AllegroGraph 4.14 Available July 14th 

New features include:
  • Redesigned Query Interface for AGWebView. The interface has enhanced functionality and includes a CANCEL button to easily allow user to cancel uncompleted queries. See notes in the WebView Documentation
  • AGWebView's SPARQL query user interface now supports query log viewing, query plan inspection and reports additional details about query execution such as query time and warnings
  • Enhanced auditing and end user security capabilities
See the full list of new features and improvements in the release notes.

YouTube - The Allegro CL and AllegroGraph Channels 

Subscribe to Franz RSS feeds: RSS Feeds
For more information about other Franz products and services, follow us on Twitter - @Franzinc or email -

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Allegro CL - Tech Corner - Universal date/time parser facility

New universal date/time parser facility

A new universal date/time parser facility was added by a recent patch. It defines the new functions string-to-universal-time and universal-time-to-string. The first function takes a string specifying a date and time in any of a variety of standard formats and returns the corresponding universal time. The second function converts a universal time to one of those formats. For example,
(string-to-universal-time "20031231" :format :iso8601)
  => 3281846400 :iso8601 :time-zone-not-specified
(universal-time-to-string 3281846400 :format :iso8601)
  => "2003-12-31T00:00:00"
(string-to-universal-time "20031231")
  => 3281846400 :iso8601 :time-zone-not-specified
(universal-time-to-string 3281846400)
  => "2003-12-31T00:00:00"
(string-to-universal-time "20031231" :format :iso8601 :native t)
  => # nil nil

(string-to-universal-time "20031231" :format :iso8601)
  => 3281846400 :iso8601 :time-zone-not-specified
(universal-time-to-string 3281846400 :format :iso8601)
  => "2003-12-31T00:00:00"
(string-to-universal-time "20031231")
  => 3281846400 :iso8601 :time-zone-not-specified
(universal-time-to-string 3281846400)
  => "2003-12-31T00:00:00"
(string-to-universal-time "20031231" :format :iso8601 :native t)
  => # nil nil
This new facility is separate from the existing date-time module but, as the last example indicates, integrated with it. The date-time module is described in date-time.htm The new universal date time parser is described here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The SSL Heartbleed bug: UPDATE NOW!

The OpenSSL "Heartbleed Bug (CVE-2014-0160)" (see, as it is being called, is a serious security hole in the Secure Sockel Layer (SSL) used for sending private documents over the internet. This bug is fixed for Allegro CL by our recent SSL module update. This update affects Windows and UNIX ports of Allegro CL and AllegroGraph.
Some background: the ACL SSL module has some glue code that sits between the OpenSSL library and Allegro CL (and any app that is built upon Allegro CL, including AllegroGraph). On UNIX, this glue code statically links with the OpenSSL libraries. On Windows, we dynamically link to the installed OpenSSL libraries on the system.
Visit the Franz Tech Corner for more details

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

European Lisp Symposium - Paris, May 5-6

Sending Beams into the Parallel Cube

Gábor Melis

Gábor Melis is a consultant at Franz Inc. (@Franzinc, +FranzInc) He worked on the SMP thread implementation of both SBCL and AllegroCL and got interested in all things parallel. Had he been a first generation lisper, he would have been in the artificial intelligence bubble of the 80s, but as a second generation lisper all that was left for him is machine learning. There are two kinds of programmers: those who get a kick out of their creation being used by real people to accomplish a goal, and those who first and foremost think in terms of the internal beauty of the object at hand. Most of the time, Gábor is firmly in the latter category and for his practical side to emerge he needs external pressure. Fortunately, external pressure is abundant in contests which he finds and leverages with some success.

Sending Beams into the Parallel Cube - A pop-scientific look through the Lisp lens at machine learning, parallelism, software, and prize fighting.

We send probes into the topic hypercube bounded by machine learning, parallelism, software and contests, demonstrate existing and sketch future Lisp infrastructure, pin the future and foreign arrays down.
We take a seemingly random walk along the different paths, watch the scenery of pairwise interactions unfold and piece a puzzle together. In the purely speculative thread, we compare models of parallel computation, keeping an eye on their applicability and lisp support. In the the Python and R envy thread, we detail why lisp could be a better vehicle for scientific programming and how high performance computing is eroding lisp's largely unrealized competitive advantages. Switching to constructive mode, a basic data structure is proposed as a first step.
In the machine learning thread, lisp's unparalleled interactive capabilities meet contests, neural networks cross threads and all get in the way of the presentation.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Franz Tech Corner - November 2013

Franz Tech Corner News
November, 2013

In this issue

SISCOG's CREWS Staff Planning and Management Success Story - Why Lisp and Customer Case Studies
siscog logo
SISCOG's CREWS provides solutions to the core problem transportation companies face today - effective planning and management of the work of crew members. CREWS addresses all phases of the planning and management process - long-term planning (duty and roster planning), short-term planning (staff allocation and changes to the plan), real-time management, and controlling the work done. CREWS enables quick and efficient planning and management staff, provides fast responses to train and crew changes, minimises crew-related train disruptions, and provides evaluation of strategic options. A presentation on SISCOG's Lisp applications was given at the ELS'13 conference, the presentation slides are available heretarget blank image..
For additional information about SISCOG and CREWS, see here.

Just Published - "Principles of Biomedical Informatics, Second Edition", by Ira J. Kalet PhD. - With more Lisp code
Lisp is the main programing language in this edition, as in the first. It is by far the best for achieving the goals of the book, to present biomedical informatics as a systematic set of formal ideas and methods that are naturally expressed as computations on well-defined representations. In Chapter 1, the basic ideas of symbolic computing are introduced gradually as needed. The Appendix has been expanded to include more tutorial material as well as references to aid the reader who is not so familiar with Lisp. All the code that appears in this book is available at the author's web site at the University of Washington, blank image.

To read more about this new book, see Principles of Biomedical Informatics, Second Edition

Alstom Smartlock Interlocking
Alstom Banner
With more than 1,500 installations in over 25 countries, the safety and reliability of the new generation of Alstom's Smartlock electronic interlocking products has more than proven itself. Interfacing with the Automated Train Control (Atlas) system and conventional track equipment (Smartway), Smartlock interlocking guarantees safety for traffic on all types of networks.
To read more about this new application, see Alstrom

DATAmaestro - A Unique Data Mining Tool for Industrial Applications
DATAmaestro Logo
DATAmaestro® is a powerful cloud predictive analytics tool that will transform your enterprise data from complex problems to working solutions. One multi-dimensional tool to extract, analyze, select, filter, model and report. PEPITe's innovative DATAmaestro combines proven analytic tools with a powerful data management kernel. The business backbone of the product comprises leading data mining technologies, performance management, tailored key performance indicators, and automatic drill-down to solve problems based on facts.
To read more about this new application, see DATAmaestro

Design Parametrics - Design Automation
Desing Parametrics Logo
Design Parametrics is dedicated to bringing to a larger audience the power of knowledge-based engineering through Design++, which lets users capture their engineering and design knowledge for automatic re-use, thus making the computer an active part of the design process rather than a passive tool. Design Parametrics has licensed Design++ technology from Bentley Systems allowing it to develop and distribute Design++ independently. It is also a Bentley partner and provides support to existing Bentley Design++ and PlantWise users.
To read more about this new application, see Design Parametrics

Japan Lisp Seminar, November 21-22 in Tokyo
MSI Logo
Please join us for this year's Japan Lisp Seminar, sponsored by Mathematical Systems Inc. and Franz Inc. This is no cost to participate.

For additional information and to register for November 21, see heretarget blank image.
For additional information and to register for November 22, see heretarget blank image.

Free Webcast: Augmenting Hadoop for Graph Analytics
Hadoop with RDF Quad Logo

Wednesday, November 20 - 10:00 AM Pacific

E-commerce sites, auction sites, financial institutions, insurance companies and telephone companies all have event based data that describes transactions between customers (Social Networks) that are located in time and space (GeoTemporal).
All these transactions together form interesting social graphs and patterns of customer behavior. Some of these behaviors are very interesting from a marketing perspective, other behaviors might point to fraudulent actions. Analyzing graphs and geospatial oriented data is notoriously hard to do with typical big data solutions, such as Hadoop, so we use a hyper scalable graph database to do this analysis.
We will present a number of new technologies to make it very straightforward and user friendly to analyze behavioral patterns. We discuss extending SPARQL 1.1 with a large number of magic predicates for geospatial, temporal and social network analysis so that non-specialists can very easily build very powerful queries. We will present new visual discovery capabilities to GRUFF, a graphical user interface for Graph Search. We will demonstrate how users can explore visual graphs and easily turn interesting patterns into SPARQL queries.

Free Webcast: Taxonomies and Ontologies for Graph Search
Gruff View

Wednesday, December 11 - 10:00 AM Pacific

Life Science and Healthcare organizations use RDF/SKOS/OWL based vocabularies, thesauri, taxonomies and ontologies to organize enterprise knowledge. There are many ways to use these technologies but one that is gaining momentum is to semantically index unstructured documents through ontologies and taxonomies.
In this talk we will demonstrate two projects where we use a combination of SKOS/OWL based taxonomies and ontologies, entity extraction, fast text search, and Graph Search to create a semantic retrieval engine for unstructured documents.
The first project organized all science related artifacts in Malaysia through a taxonomy of scientific concepts. It indexed all papers, people, patents, organizations, research grants, etc, etc, and created a user friendly taxonomy browser to quickly find relevant information, such as, "How much research funding has been spent on a certain subject over the last 3 years and how many patents resulted from this research".
The second project discusses a large socio-economic content publisher that has millions of documents in at least eight different languages. Reusing documents for new publications was a painful process given that keyword search and LSI techniques were mostly inadequate to find the document fragments that were needed. Fortunately the organization had begun developing a large SKOS based taxonomy that linked common concepts to various preferential and alternative labels in many languages. We used this taxonomy to index millions of document fragments and we'll show how we can perform relevancy search and retrieval based on taxonomic concepts.

YouTube - The Allegro CL Channel
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Videos covering Allegro CL and related technologies.

Visit the Allegro CL Channel heretarget blank image..