Journal of Computer Science and Technology ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (2): 453-467.doi: 10.1007/s11390-020-9702-3

• Special Section of ChinaSys 2019 • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Bigflow: A General Optimization Layer for Distributed Computing Frameworks

Yun-Cong Zhang1, Xiao-Yang Wang1,2,*, Cong Wang1, Yao Xu1, Jian-Wei Zhang1, Xiao-Dong Lin1, Guang-Yu Sun2, Member, CCF, IEEE, Gong-Lin Zheng1, Shan-Hui Yin1, Xian-Jin Ye1, Li Li1, Zhan Song1, Dong-Dong Miao1   

  1. 1 Baidu Inc., Beijing 100193, China;
    2 Center for Energy-Efficient Computing and Applications, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2019-05-21 Revised:2020-01-17 Online:2020-03-05 Published:2020-03-18
  • Contact: Xiao-Yang Wang E-mail:yaoer@pku.edu.cn
  • About author:Yun-Cong Zhang received his B.S. degree from Nanyang Institute of Technology, Nanyang. He is now working in Baidu in the field of distributed computing and autonomous driving. He used to lead a team to build a unified presentation layer for distributed systems in the Department of Infrastructure. Now he is working in the Planning & Control team (PNC) in the Intelligence Driving Group.
  • Supported by:
    This work is supported by the National Key Research and Development Project of China under Grant No. 2018YFB1003304 and Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI).

As data volumes grow rapidly, distributed computations are widely employed in data-centers to provide cheap and efficient methods to process large-scale parallel datasets. Various computation models have been proposed to improve the abstraction of distributed datasets and hide the details of parallelism. However, most of them follow the single-layer partitioning method, which limits developers to express a multi-level partitioning operation succinctly. To overcome the problem, we present the NDD (Nested Distributed Dataset) data model. It is a more compact and expressive extension of Spark RDD (Resilient Distributed Dataset), in order to remove the burden on developers to manually write the logic for multi-level partitioning cases. Base on the NDD model, we develop an open-source framework called Bigflow, which serves as an optimization layer over computation engines from most widely used processing frameworks. With the help of Bigflow, some advanced optimization techniques, which may only be applied by experienced programmers manually, are enabled automatically in a distributed data processing job. Currently, Bigflow is processing about 3 PB data volumes daily in the data-centers of Baidu. According to customer experience, it can significantly save code length and improve performance over the intuitive programming style.

Key words: distributed computing, programming model, optimization technique

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