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Clojure and Heroku Predict Flight Delays 109

murphee writes "Flight delayed again? Should have asked FlightCaster, a new site using statistical analysis to predict the delay of your flight in real-time. What's even better, the services is fully buzzword compliant: it's built with Clojure, distributed with Hadoop, served with Rails, and hosted on Heroku. This interview with one of the FlightCaster developers gives the gory details on architecture, Clojure tips, and your boss a reason to let you have all the multimethods and macros you can eat. Seems like now that O'Reilly's publishing a LISP book, the Age of Parenthesus has come..."
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Clojure and Heroku Predict Flight Delays

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  • Works like a charm (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fahrvergnuugen ( 700293 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:18PM (#29148299) Homepage
    Southwest's site says my flight is delayed 45 minutes. Flightcaster says its right on time! (for those interested, its southwest flight 2978)
  • Heroku link broken (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr. Sketch ( 111112 ) <mister.sketch@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:25PM (#29148397)

    The link for Heroku is broken, it points to [].
    Here is a working link: []

  • by Fahrvergnuugen ( 700293 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:30PM (#29148455) Homepage
    Okay, I take it back - flightcaster is now updated and shows my flight being delayed.
  • Re:Unnecessary (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) * on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:49PM (#29148687)

    Last 2 times I have flown afternoon flights on Continental from Newark to Charleston, SC I have experienced delays on both legs of the trip there and back. The flights back from Charleston to Newark have been delayed by at least 2 hours both times. I fly this route regularly and it's very frequently delayed (>6 of the 12 times I've flown it in the last year). In fact, last time (2 weeks ago), my 6pm flight took off at 8pm, and the 4pm flight still hadn't taken off yet.

    I checked this route in their system and it says it is 85% on-time, 11% delayed less than an hour, and 4% delayed an hour or more.

    I am highly skeptical of this service, based on that initial result. I'll try it out the next few times I fly though.

  • by FlyingBishop ( 1293238 ) on Friday August 21, 2009 @01:51PM (#29148719)

    What exactly do you need clarified? The first sentence says exactly what it does, it predicts flight delay times. The rest talks about the tools used to do it. And though the tools are perhaps overhyped, referring to the tools isn't really a buzzword, just a statement of fact. Now, if the summary had said something along the lines of

    "Flight delayed again? Shoulda asked FlightCaster, a new site leveraging the power of the cloud to provide real-time statistical analysis of flight delays. It uses a combination of cutting-edge tools to do its magic. The filesystem uses the infinitely scalable redundant Hadoop cloud storage filesystem. The software itself is written in the dynamic AI language Clojure, which is a dialect of LISP. The web front-end combines magic of the Ruby on Rails framework with the Web 2.0 grandeur of Heroku.

    Now that is so laden with buzzwords I can't even understand what it says, and I wrote it. The summary is fairly good. The Buzzword-compliant bit was just poking fun at the fact that Rails and Hadoop have buzzwords thrown around them all the time.

  • Re:Unnecessary (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 21, 2009 @02:16PM (#29149043)

    Most delays are NOT ATC based delays. The airlines simply tell you they are so you dont complain as much.

    Most delayrs are the airlines fault or weather reasons. For example, ATC has no controll over a crew not prepping a plane in time for takeoff (maybe due to mechanical issues etc). ATC deals fairly with all planes in the system.

    Your delayed plane probably lost its takeoff slot and had to wait to be reinserted into the system at the next available time. NOT ATC's fault at all your plane couldnt take off on time. They fit you in as best they could.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger