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Benchmarking compboost vs. mboost

This benchmark was executed on a Linux machine with a Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2650 v2 @ 2.60GHz 62GiB System using the R package batchtools.

This document was automatically created using drake. To recreate this document just source drake_benchmark.R.

Runtime Benchmark

As already mentioned, the benchmark was conducted using batchtools. In case of benchmarking the runtime, we executed each algorithm for each configuration five times. The height of the bars of the following plots corresponds to the median of these five evaluations. The drawn error-bar illustrates the maximal and minimal measured runtime.

Since we are interested in tracking the performance while varying three different parameter we vary one and fix the others at a specific value. The three interesting parameters are the number of iterations, number of observations, and number of features. To run the benchmark on your own machine it is sufficient to execute the execute_runtime_benchmark.R script and submit the jobs by calling submitJobs(). For the benchmark we have just used one due to a very high memory allocation of some jobs crashes the system on multiple processes.

To access the raw results you need to load the registry:


After preprocessing the raw data are stored into a data.frame where each row represents a job with instances like the elapsed time and the dimension of the simulated data: time learner iters algo nrows ncols
144 0.8205 spline 100 gamboost 2000 1001
457 10.6092 linear 1500 mboost 10000 1001
255 1.4300 spline 1500 compboost 2000 1001
492 0.0848 spline 1500 gamboost 2000 11
502 0.3844 spline 1500 gamboost 2000 51
111 1.5987 linear 500 mboost 2000 1001
109 0.3911 linear 100 mboost 2000 1001
253 1.4084 spline 1500 compboost 2000 1001
162 25.2750 spline 5000 gamboost 2000 1001
225 0.0733 spline 1500 compboost 2000 51

The preprocessing is defined in the drake_runtime_benchmark.R script where is created. This also applies to the following graphics.

For any of the following bars with a height of zero it was not possible to execute the algorithm with the corresponding specification.

Increasing Number of Iterations

While increasing the number of iterations we fixed the number of observations at 2000, and the number of feature at 1000. Under this configuration we achieve a 15 times faster fitting process with compboost compared to mboost in boosting linear base-learner. Nevertheless, glmboost is faster due to the internal structure of glmboost, which is due to that all base-learners can be fitted in one matrix multiplication. But this approach is not suitable for compboost since it does not fit into the object-oriented system we provide. This is due to the flexibility in specifying ordinary base-learner combination and not making the whole fitting process conditionally on the used base-learners. Nevertheless, using spline base-learner, compboost is about five times faster than mboost and glmboost (which is just a wrapper of the original mboost algorithm).

Note that the relative factor highly depends on the number of observations. This behavior is described above.

Increasing Number of Base-Learner

For increasing the number of base-learners we get a equal behavior as for increasing the number of iterations. Nevertheless, with mboost it was not able to conduct the boosting on 4000 features while compboost it was. For this experiments we fix the number of observations at 2000 and the number of iterations at 1500.

Increasing Number of Observations

This may have the biggest effect on computation time since increasing the number of observations affects the allocated memory as well as the size of the internal matrix multiplications.

For a smaller number of observations, compboost definitely outperforms mboost. The relative runtime behavior decreases with increasing the number of observations. This is due to the size of the matrix multiplications which gets more weight then the whole boiler code, like initializing base-learner, which is very fast with compboost. For that reason and the reason that matrix multiplication is also not that slow in R, mboost comes closer to the performance of compboost.

Memory Benchmark

For the memory benchmark every second was measured how much RAM was used. This curve is then plotted for each algorithm.

In the case of the spline base-learner, compboost and mboost uses sparse matrices, which significantly reduces computing time and memory requirements. In general, compboost is efficient here too. A small exception is glmboost, which can also save memory due to its special structure.