Computershare's SMARTS is fastest market surveillance system in the world

17 September 2002

SMARTS Stock Market Surveillance software reaches benchmark of 14,400 transactions per second.

Melbourne - Computershare today claimed the record for the fastest stock market surveillance system in the world, more than ten times faster than Nasdaq's SDR system, according to an independent study by the University of New South Wales. The system, SMARTS, examines trading data to look for insider trading, market manipulation, money laundering, breaches of market-maker obligations and other abnormal activity.

The latest release of the SMARTS surveillance software, v5.0, reached a transaction rate of 8,400 transactions per second. This benchmark brings SMARTS in at about 14 times that of its nearest rival, the Nasdaq SDR system used by Nasdaq's StockWatch department. According to Nasdaq's own literature SDR is designed to handle just 600 transactions per second.

Thomas Jones, UK Director for SMARTS, says "SMARTS is now the fastest system of its kind anywhere in the world. No other surveillance system in the world can process 8,400 transactions per second. We deliver alerts, visualisations and associated information to large teams of surveillance analysts within 2 seconds of events happening in the trading engine.”

SMARTS processed 1,045,000 transactions of stock-market data from one of its clients in 152 seconds. Clients include leading world stock exchanges and government regulators including Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, Singapore Stock Exchange, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Jakarta Stock Exchange, Oslo Børs, Stockholm Stock Exchange, Copenhagen Stock Exchange and MICEX stock exchange (Russia).

The data represented a heavy day's trading by the stock exchange in question and was a 'realtime simulation', not a batch process, i.e. the exact processing SMARTS clients perform each trading day. The processing involves building all order-books and replaying the order-books as they change throughout the day; SMARTS then applies a set of rules to each incoming transaction to search for various types of aberrant market behaviour. There are 16 alert rules, examined against each and every transaction. Examples are:
1. "Too many orders" alert (over a specified interval, e.g. 15-minutes)
2. "End-of-day price ramping" i.e. attempts to manipulate the official closing price of a security

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