Classification in Spark 2.0: “Input validation failed” and other wondrous tales

Christos - Iraklis Tsatsoulis Data Science, Spark 4 Comments

Spark 2.0 has been released since last July but, despite the numerous improvements and new features, several annoyances still remain and can cause headaches, especially in the Spark machine learning APIs. Today we’ll have a look at some of them, inspired by a recent answer of mine in a Stack Overflow question (the question was about Spark 1.6 but, as …

Limitations of Spark MLlib linear algebra module

Christos - Iraklis Tsatsoulis Spark 0 Comments

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon some unexpected behavior of Spark MLlib (v. 1.5.2), while trying some ultra-simple operations on vectors. Consider the following Pyspark snippet: Clearly, what happens is that the unary operator – (minus) for vectors fails, giving errors for expressions like -x and -y+x, although x-y behaves as expected. The result of the last operation, …

Augmenting PCA functionality in Spark 1.5

Christos - Iraklis Tsatsoulis Dimensionality Reduction, Spark 7 Comments

Surprisingly enough, although the relatively new Spark ML library (not to be confused with Spark MLlib) includes a method for principal components analysis (PCA), there is no way to extract some very useful information regarding the PCA transformation, namely the resulting eigenvalues (check the Python API documentation); and, without the eigenvalues, one cannot compute the proportion of variance explained (PVE), …

Dataframes from CSV files in Spark 1.5: automatic schema extraction, neat summary statistics, & elementary data exploration

Christos - Iraklis Tsatsoulis Big Data, Spark 19 Comments

In a previous post, we glimpsed briefly at creating and manipulating Spark dataframes from CSV files. In the couple of months since, Spark has already gone from version 1.3.0 to 1.5, with more than 100 built-in functions introduced in Spark 1.5 alone; so, we thought it is a good time for revisiting the subject, this time also utilizing the external …

Unexpected behavior of Spark dataframe filter method

Christos - Iraklis Tsatsoulis Big Data, Spark 4 Comments

[EDIT: Thanks to this post, the issue reported here has been resolved since Spark 1.4.1 – see the comments below] While writing the previous post on Spark dataframes, I encountered an unexpected behavior of the respective .filter method; but, on the one hand, I needed some more time to experiment and confirm it and, on the other hand, I knew …

Spark data frames from CSV files: handling headers & column types

Christos - Iraklis Tsatsoulis Big Data, Spark 13 Comments

If you come from the R (or Python/pandas) universe, like me, you must implicitly think that working with CSV files must be one of the most natural and straightforward things to happen in a data analysis context. Indeed, if you have your data in a CSV file, practically the only thing you have to do from R is to fire …