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From Sujit Sakre <sujit.sa...@northgateps.com>
Subject Sliding Windows Processing problem with Kafka Queue Event Time and BoundedOutOfOrdernessGenerator
Date Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:44:20 GMT

Hope you are well.

We have encountered an issue in processing sliding windows. Here we have
encountered the problem that if the last record is outside of the sliding
window end time then it does not process the record till the next sliding
window is completely occupied and gets triggered.

Please consider the example below:

The datastream is Kafka based and Keyed on Location (1, 2, 3, 4 etc.)

Our previous sliding window
starts at
09-09-2016 12:54:00,
End at
09-09-2016 13:00:00
*Key is 15 (Location)*

Records in between with timestamps:
09-09-2016 12:56:33
09-09-2016 12:56:47
09-09-2016 12:58:04
09-09-2016 12:58:39
09-09-2016 12:58:45

However the next window starts at
09-09-2016 13:04:00
and ends at
09-09-2016 13:10:00
*with Key as  16 (Location)*
with record timestamps:

09-09-2016 13:04:48
09-09-2016 13:06:07
09-09-2016 13:06:38
09-09-2016 13:07:25
09-09-2016 13:08:00
09-09-2016 13:08:20
09-09-2016 13:08:38

is not processed until records are entered in *Location 17* with the
09-09-2016 13:08:48
09-09-2016 13:08:55
09-09-2016 13:09:11
09-09-2016 13:11:48
The window that gets formed at that time has
Start Time: 09-09-2016 13:06:00
End Time: 09-09-2016 13:12:00

We are using the standard BoundedOutOfOrdernessGenerator with maximum out
of orderness of 5 seconds (we have tried various other combinations of the
maxoutoforderness values but without success), and Event Time based

/** * This generator generates watermarks assuming that elements
arrive out of order, * but only to a certain degree. The latest
elements for a certain timestamp t will arrive * at most n
milliseconds after the earliest elements for timestamp t. */public
class BoundedOutOfOrdernessGenerator extends
AssignerWithPeriodicWatermarks<MyEvent> {

    private final long maxOutOfOrderness = 5000; // 5 seconds

    private long currentMaxTimestamp;

    public long extractTimestamp(MyEvent element, long
previousElementTimestamp) {
        long timestamp = element.getCreationTime();
        currentMaxTimestamp = Math.max(timestamp, currentMaxTimestamp);
        return timestamp;

    public Watermark getCurrentWatermark() {
        // return the watermark as current highest timestamp minus the
out-of-orderness bound
        return new Watermark(currentMaxTimestamp - maxOutOfOrderness);

Thus to summarize the problem,

the records in the window before the last window with different location
are not processed until there is a window next with a timestamp that is
more than the End Time timestamp of the existing sliding window.
This means the window is not processed until next set of records arrive
with timestamps that are more than existing end time window timestamp.

In a real situation, this means that we wait till the next set of records
arrive, which may be after a very long duration (e.g. maybe 1 hour), and
previous records are not processed till then.

Is this a problem that is by behavior?
Why does the sliding window not process the record that is present even
after not receiving a record for more than a substantial amount of time,
e.g. 30 minutes?
How do we resolve this situation?

Please could you suggest how to resolve this.

Many thanks.

*Sujit Sakre*

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