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Systems Seminar - CSE

Processing Web-Scale Data with Pig

Christopher OlstonSenior Research ScientistYahoo! Research
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There is a growing need for ad-hoc analysis of extremely large data sets, especially at internet companies where innovation critically depends on being able to analyze terabytes of logs collected every day. Parallel database products, e.g., Teradata, offer a solution, but are usually prohibitively expensive at this scale. Besides, many of the people who analyze this data are entrenched procedural programmers, who find the declarative, SQL style to be unnatural.

The success of the more procedural map-reduce programming model, and its associated scalable implementations on commodity hardware, is evidence of the above. However, the map-reduce paradigm is too low-level and rigid, and leads to a great deal of custom user code that is hard to maintain, and reuse.

In this talk I will describe a new language called Pig Latin that we have designed to fit in a sweet spot between the declarative style of SQL, and the low-level, procedural style of map-reduce. The accompanying system, Pig, is fully implemented, and compiles Pig Latin into physical plans that are executed over Hadoop, an open-source, map-reduce implementation. Pig is an open-source, Apache-incubator project, and available for general use.

The talk will also cover some of the other topics we are addressing in the Pig project, including: (1) data sampling and synthesis techniques to assist in query debugging, (2) how to schedule queries that can share work, (3) adaptive approaches to physical database design, and (4) adaptive data placement techniques.

Christopher Olston is a senior research scientist at Yahoo! Research, after a stint as assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University from 2003 to 2005. His research interests include data management and web search. Olston received his Ph.D. in 2003 from Stanford University, where he was supported by fellowship awards from the National Science Foundation and the Stanford Graduate Fellowship program. Prior to attending graduate school, he received the 1998 Computing Research Association Award for Outstanding Undergraduates for his work at UC Berkeley. Olston is an avid Cal fan but likes to rollerblade at Stanford.

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