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On Software Infrastructure for Scalable Graph Analytics


Recently, there is a growing need for distributed graph processing systems that are capable of gracefully scaling to very large datasets. In the mean time, in real-world applications, it is highly desirable to reduce the tedious, inefficient ETL (extract, transform, load) gap between tabular data processing systems and graph processing systems. Unfortunately, those challenges have not been easily met due to the intense memory pressure imposed by process-centric, message passing designs that many graph processing systems follow, as well as the separation of tabular data processing runtimes and graph processing runtimes.

In this thesis, we explore the application of programming techniques and algorithms from the database systems world to the problem of scalable graph analysis. We first propose a bloat-aware design paradigm towards the development of efficient and scalable Big Data applications in object-oriented, GC enabled languages and demonstrate that programming under this paradigm does not incur significant programming burden but obtains remarkable performance gains (e.g., 2.5X).

Based on the design paradigm, we then build Pregelix, an open source distributed graph processing system which is based on an iterative dataflow design that is better tuned to handle both in-memory and out-of-core workloads. As such, Pregelix offers improved performance characteristics and scaling properties over current open source systems (e.g., we have seen up to 15X speedup compared to Apache Giraph and up to 35X speedup compared to distributed GraphLab).

Finally, we integrate Pregelix with the open source Big Data management system AsterixDB to offer users a mix of a vertex-oriented programming model and a declarative query language for richer forms of Big Graph analytics with reduced ETL pains.

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