A 2022 Real Time Classification Taxonomy

August 24, 2022

More than a decade ago, a semi clueless government entity in the European Union asked me to think about real time information flows. We looked around for technical papers, journal articles, and online information from investment banks and government agencies shooting stuff into space. (How about that real time communication from a satellite launched in 2009? Ho ho ho.)

I dug around in my paper files and found this early version of my research team’s approach to the subject of real time online information.


The team identified six principal types of real time information. I suppose today, these six categories are dinobaby eggs.

As evidence, I submit “Why You’re Probably Thinking About Real-Time Systems in the Wrong Way,” which illustrates how out-of-date our research has become. The article explains that there are three types of real time; to wit:

Hardware based real time systems, for example, high precision automated robotic assembly lines

Micro Batch real time systems; for example, ecommerce systems

Event driven real time systems; for example, embedded artificial intelligence systems

I am not sure how to fit our analysis into the three part categorization in the article.

What’s interesting is that the lack of understanding about real time, what’s needed to make them low latency, and affordable persists.

I will end with one question, “Do you think about real time in real time?”

Yes, ah, well, good for you!

Stephen E Arnold, August 24, 2022


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