Parallel Large-Scale Attribute Reduction on Cloud Systems

Junbo Zhang, Tianrui Li, Yi Pan

The rapid growth of emerging information technologies and application patterns in modern society, e.g., Internet, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and Tri-network Convergence, has caused the advent of the era of big data. Big data contains huge values, however, mining knowledge from big data is a tremendously challenging task because of data uncertainty and inconsistency. Attribute reduction (also known as feature selection) can not only be used as an effective preprocessing step, but also exploits the data redundancy to reduce the uncertainty. However, existing solutions are designed 1) either for a single machine that means the entire data must fit in the main memory and the parallelism is limited; 2) or for the Hadoop platform which means that the data have to be loaded into the distributed memory frequently and therefore become inefficient. In this paper, we overcome these shortcomings for maximum efficiency possible, and propose a unified framework for Parallel Large-scale Attribute Reduction, termed PLAR, for big data analysis. PLAR consists of three components: 1) Granular Computing (GrC)-based initialization: it converts a decision table (i.e., original data representation) into a granularity representation which reduces the amount of space and hence can be easily cached in the distributed memory: 2) model-parallelism: it simultaneously evaluates all feature candidates and makes attribute reduction highly parallelizable; 3) data-parallelism: it computes the significance of an attribute in parallel using a MapReduce-style manner. We implement PLAR with four representative heuristic feature selection algorithms on Spark, and evaluate them on various huge datasets, including UCI and astronomical datasets, finding our method's advantages beyond existing solutions.

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