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Tresata is proud to release Ganitha, our first open-source library. Ganitha (derived from the Sanskrit word for mathematics, or science of computation) is a Scalding library with a focus on machine-learning and statistical analysis.

The current pieces to be open-sourced are our integration of Mahout vectors into Scalding, our clustering (K-Means) implementation, and Naive-Bayes classifiers.


To make mahout vectors usable in Scala/Scalding we did the following:

  • Pimp Mahout vectors: We used the pimp-my-library pattern in Scala to make Mahout vectors more friendly to use (see RichVector.scala). Note that we decided to not implement RichVector as an IndexedSeq, but rather as an Iterable, for our first iteration. We also didn't implement IterableLike (or IndexedSeqLike) and CanBuildFrom, which would allow operations like vector.take(3) and to return new Mahout vectors. The reason for this was that we were not happy with the interaction between the builders and the pimp-my-library pattern. We might still add these features in the future. As an alternative, we provided the vectorMap methods that return Mahout vectors. Thanks to RichVector, you can now do things like:

    scala> import com.tresata.ganitha.mahout._
    scala> import com.tresata.ganitha.mahout.Implicits._
    scala> // create a sparse vector of size 6 with elements 1, 3 and 5 non-zero
    scala> val v = RichVector(6, List((1, 1.0), (3, 2.0), (5, 3.0)))
    v: org.apache.mahout.math.Vector = {5:3.0,3:2.0,1:1.0}

    (We can see it's using a Mahout RandomAccessSparseVector with v.getClass). Likewise, we can create a dense vector with 3 elements as follows:

    scala> val v1 = RichVector(Array(1.0,2.0,3.0))
    v1: org.apache.mahout.math.Vector = {0:1.0,1:2.0,2:3.0}

    We can also perform basic math and vector operations (map, fold, etc.) on the vectors. Elements inside the vectors can be accessed and set (since Mahout vectors are mutable), however, this is not encouraged.

    scala> (v + 2) / 2
    res1: org.apache.mahout.math.Vector = {5:2.5,4:1.0,3:2.0,2:1.0,1:1.5,0:1.0}
    scala> => x * 2).sum
    res2: Double = 12.0
    scala> v.fold(0.0)(_ + _)
    res3: Double = 6.0
    scala> v(3)
    res4: Double = 2.0
    scala> v(3) = 3.0
    scala> v
    res5: org.apache.mahout.math.Vector = {5:3.0,3:3.0,1:1.0}
    scala> v * v
    res6: org.apache.mahout.math.Vector = {5:9.0,3:4.0,1:1.0}

    The nonZero method provides access to the non-zero elements as a scala Iterable.

    scala> v.nonZero.toMap
    res7: scala.collection.immutable.Map[Int,Double] = Map(5 -> 3.0, 3 -> 3.0, 1 -> 1.0)

    Dense vectors can be converted to sparse, and vice versa.

    scala> v1.toSparse.getClass
    res8: java.lang.Class[_ <: org.apache.mahout.math.Vector]
            = class org.apache.mahout.math.RandomAccessSparseVector

    The vectorMap operation provides access to the assignment operation on a Mahout vector, but as a non-mutating operation (it creates a copy first).

    scala> v.vectorMap(x => x * 2)
    res9: org.apache.mahout.math.Vector = {5:6.0,3:4.0,1:2.0}
  • Make serialization transparent: Mahout's vectors come with a separate class called VectorWritable that implements Writable for serialization within Hadoop. The issue with this is that you cannot just register VectorWritable as a Hadoop serializer and be done with it. If you did this then you would have to constantly wrap your Mahout vectors in a VectorWritable to make them serializable. To make the serialization transparent we added VectorSerializer, a Kryo serializer that defers to VectorWritable for the actual work. All one has to do is register VectorSerializer with Kryo, and serialization works in Scalding. For example, if you are using a JobConf you can write:


    The same applies to a Scalding Config (which is a Map[AnyRef, AnyRef]):


Naive-Bayes classifying

A Naive-Bayes classifier is a probabilistic classifier used in machine-learning that involves the application of Bayes' theorem. The underlying model is "naive" because of the assumption that the attributes are conditionally independent of each other. Naive-Bayes learning is suprisingly effective in a wide range of applications, given the simplifying assumption of feature independence. Though not as powerful as decision-tree learning, it is considerably less computationally complex than many other forms of classifiers, and in many cases, the naive assumption has little impact on the quality of predictions.

Ganitha supplies three of the more popular forms of Naive-Bayes classifiers: Gaussian, Multinomial, and Bernoulli. In gaussian Naive-Bayes, a type of classifier used for continuous data, we are making the assumption that the features associated with each class lie along a normal distribution. In a multinomial or Bernoulli event model, we are dealing with discrete features, a common example being the classification of a document given the presence of words (features) in the text. In this case, each word has a score assigned to it for each label, or class. In multinomial Naive-Bayes, each feature vector relates to the term frequency of the words found in the document or class. We make the 'bag-of-words' assumption, in which documents are represented as a multiset of words, disregarding grammar or word order. In Bernoulli Naive-Bayes, features represent binary occurences, and in this classification model, the absence of a word/feature has an effect on the calculated probabilities.

Each classifier consists of a training phase, where an NBModel is constructed from the training set of data, and a classifying, or predicting, phase. In the classifying phase, each data point that is to be classified is given a probability (in this case a log probability is used) for each label, and the label with the highest, or maximum a posteriori probability is assigned to the data point.

K-Means clustering

K-means clustering consists of partitioning data points into k 'clusters' where each point belongs to the cluster with the nearest mean. The process of refining the centers of the clusters is commonly known as Lloyd's algorithm, however there exist heuristic algorithms to seed the initial selection of cluster centers in order to improve the rate of convergence of Lloyd's algorithm. K-Means++ offers an improvement over random initial selection, and more recently, K-Means|| offers an initialization technique that greatly cuts down on the number of iterations needed to determine initial clusters, a very desirable optimization in Hadoop applications, where significant overhead is involved in each iteration.

Ganitha provides an extensible interface for handling vector operations using different representations for data points, including Mahout vectors (which can contain categorical and textual features in addition to numerical). The VectorHelper trait can be used to specify how vectors are defined from the input and how distances are calculated between vectors.

K-Means in Ganitha (currently) reads vectors from Cascading Sequence files, and the algorithm writes a list of vectorid-clusterid pairs to a Tap, as well as a list of cluster ids with coordinates.


K-Means: Lloyd, S., "Least squares quantization in PCM". IEEE Trans. Information Theory, 28(2):129-137, 1982.

K-Means++: Arthur, D. and Vassilvitskii, S. (2007). "k-means++: the advantages of careful seeding". Proc. ACM-SIAM Symp. Discrete Algorithms. pp. 1027–1035.

K-Means||: Bahmani, B. et al. (2012). "Scalable k-means++". Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment, 5(7), 622-633.

Getting started with Ganitha and K-Means

Ganitha uses sbt for generating builds. To create a runnable jar distribution, run sbt update and sbt assembly. Unit tests are included and can be run using sbt test.

To run K-Means clustering on a test set of data, stored as a comma-separated values file with a header (in this example, with a file on Hadoop named 100kPoints.csv with the header (id,x,y), run the following command from within the ganitha directory:

hadoop jar ganitha-ml/target/scala-2.10/ganitha-ml-assembly-0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar com.twitter.scalding.Tool --hdfs --vecType StrDblMapVector --distFn euclidean --k 100 --id id --features x y --input 100kPoints.csv --vectors 100kVectors --vectorOutput vectorAssignments --clusterOutput centroids

This will use the id columns as the vector id, and will encode the coordinates(x and y) as Map[String, Double] vectors (using the StrDblMapVector VectorHelper), under a Euclidean space, and run the algorithm on k=100 clusters. The output is written to a vectorAssignments file on Hadoop, with the cluster centroids written to centroids. The vectors argument specifies a location for the Cascading Sequence file that serves as the input for KMeans.


Copyright 2014 Tresata, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0: