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Showing posts from July, 2017

A Comparison of Distributed Machine Learning Platforms

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This paper surveys the design approaches used in distributed machine learning (ML) platforms and proposes future research directions. This is joint work with my students Kuo Zhang and Salem Alqahtani. We wrote this paper in Fall 2016, and I will be going to ICCCN'17 (Vancouver) to present this paper.

ML, and in particular Deep Learning (DL), has achieved transformative success in speech recognition, image recognition, and natural language processing, and recommendation/search engines recently. These technologies have very promising applications in self-driving cars, digital health systems, CRM, advertising, internet of things, etc. Of course, the money leads/drives the technological progress at an accelerated rate, and we have seen many ML platforms built recently.

Due to the huge dataset and model sizes involved in training, the ML platforms are often distributed ML platforms and employ 10s and 100s of workers in parallel to train the models. It is estimated that an overwhelming m…

Paper summary: Zorua: A holistic approach to resource virtualization in GPU

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This paper recently appeared in MICRO'16 and addresses the problem of ease of managing GPU as a computational resource.

GPU computing today struggles with the following problems:
Programming ease: The programmer needs to statically allocate GPU resources (registers, scratchpad, threads) to threads and this is hard and non-optimal as tuning is hard.  Portability: An optimized specification on one GPU may be suboptimal (losing upto 70% performance) on another GPU.Performance: Since the programmer allocates resources statically and fixed manner, the performance suffer and dynamic underutilization occur when the program resource utilization vary through execution.
To address the above problems, Zorua (named after the shapeshifting illusionist Pokemon) virtualizes the GPU resources (threads, registers, and scratchpad). Zorua gives the illusion of more GPU resources than physically available, and dynamically manages these resources behind the scenes to co-host multiple applications on th…

Paper Summary: Two decades of recommender systems at Amazon.com

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This is a short article that appeared as a retrospective piece for the 2003 "Item-to-Item Collaborative filtering" paper as it was awarded a test-of-time award. This article is by Brent Smith and Greg Linden. 

I am not a machine-learning/data-mining guy, so initially I was worried I wouldn't understand or enjoy the article. But this was a very fun article to read, so I am writing a summary.

The item-based collaborative filtering is an elegant algorithm that changed the landscape of collaborative filtering which was user-based till then. User-based means "first search across other users to find people with similar interests (such as similar purchase patterns), then look at what items those similar users found that you haven't found yet". Item-based is based on the idea that "people who buy one item are unusually likely to buy the other." So, for every item i1, we want every item i2 that was purchased with unusually high frequency by people who boug…

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