knor: A NUMA-Optimized In-Memory, Distributed and Semi-External-Memory k-means Library

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Authors Disa Mhembere, Da Zheng, Carey E. Priebe, Joshua T. Vogelstein, Randal C. Burns
Journal/Conference Name HPDC
Paper Category
Paper Abstract k-means is one of the most influential and utilized machine learning algorithms. Its computation limits the performance and scalability of many statistical analysis and machine learning tasks. We rethink and optimize k-means in terms of modern NUMA architectures to develop a novel parallelization scheme that delays and minimizes synchronization barriers. The k-means NUMA Optimized Routine knor) library has (i) in-memory knori), (ii) distributed memory (knord), and (ii) semi-external memory (\textsf{knors}) modules that radically improve the performance of k-means for varying memory and hardware budgets. knori boosts performance for single machine datasets by an order of magnitude or more. \textsf{knors} improves the scalability of k-means on a memory budget using SSDs. knors scales to billions of points on a single machine, using a fraction of the resources that distributed in-memory systems require. knord retains knori's performance characteristics, while scaling in-memory through distributed computation in the cloud. knor modifies Elkan's triangle inequality pruning algorithm such that we utilize it on billion-point datasets without the significant memory overhead of the original algorithm. We demonstrate knor outperforms distributed commercial products like H2O, Turi (formerly Dato, GraphLab) and Spark's MLlib by more than an order of magnitude for datasets of 107 to 109 points.
Date of publication 2016
Code Programming Language R
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