GraphLab

GraphLab

Progress on graph processing continues.

From the website:

A New Parallel Framework for Machine Learning

Designing and implementing efficient and provably correct parallel machine learning (ML) algorithms can be very challenging. Existing high-level parallel abstractions like MapReduce are often insufficiently expressive while low-level tools like MPI and Pthreads leave ML experts repeatedly solving the same design challenges. By targeting common patterns in ML, we developed GraphLab, which improves upon abstractions like MapReduce by compactly expressing asynchronous iterative algorithms with sparse computational dependencies while ensuring data consistency and achieving a high degree of parallel performance.

The popular MapReduce abstraction, is defined in two parts, a Map stage which performs computation on indepedent problems which can be solved in isolation, and a Reduce stage which combines the results.

GraphLab provides a similar analog to the Map in the form of an Update Function. The Update Function however, is able to read and modify overlapping sets of data (program state) in a controlled fashion as defined by the user provided data graph. The user provided data graph represents the program state with arbitrary blocks of memory associated with each vertex and edges. In addition the update functions can be recursively triggered with one update function spawning the application of update functions to other vertices in the graph enabling dynamic iterative computation. GraphLab uses powerful scheduling primitives to control the order update functions are executed.

The GraphLab analog to Reduce is the Sync Operation. The Sync Operation also provides the ability to perform reductions in the background while other computation is running. Like the update function sync operations can look at multiple records simultaneously providing the ability to operate on larger dependent contexts.

See also: GraphLab: A New Framework For Parallel Machine Learning (The original paper.)

This is a project that bears close watching.

One Response to “GraphLab”

  1. […] See also our prior post on GraphLab. […]