Researchers Propose Novel Tuning Method for Spark SQL Applications

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Spark SQL is a Spark module for structured data processing. It has been widely deployed in industry but it is challenging to tune its performance.

Existing machine learning tuning methods are difficult to be applied in practice due to the high time cost and the failure to adapt to the changes in the amount of data to be processed.

To address these problems, a research team led by Prof. YU Zhibin from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed a low-time-cost automatic configuration optimization method named Low-Overhead Online Configuration Auto-Tuning (LOCAT), which could reduce the optimization time and improve performance of Spark SQL.

The result was published at SIGMOD 2022, an international forum for database researchers, practitioners, developers, and users.

The researchers firstly designed query and configuration parameter sensitivity analysis techniques for LOCAT. Queries that are insensitive to configuration parameters are identified and removed from a given workload when training samples are collected.

“For the remaining queries, LOCAT calculated correlation coefficients to identify important configuration parameters,” said Prof. YU. “Then, it applies kernel principal component analysis to reduce the dimension of configuration parameter search.”

Finally, the researchers designed bayesian optimization for LOCAT, which is aware of the dataset size to search for the optimal configuration so that its performance can be automatically optimized based on the size of the dataset.

The experimental results on the ARM cluster (a cluster of servers for big data computing, in which each server uses CPU based on the ARM instruction) showed that the LOCAT accelerated the optimization procedures of the state-of-the-art approaches by at least 4.1x and up to 9.7x. Moreover, the LOCAT improved the application performance by at least 1.9x and up to 2.4x. On the x86 cluster, LOCAT showed similar results to those on the ARM cluster.

An overview of LOCAT. (Image by YU Zhibin)

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.