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Design and Performance of a Scalable, Parallel Statistics Toolkit

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4 Author(s)
Pebay, P. ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Livermore, CA, USA ; Thompson, D. ; Bennett, J. ; Mascarenhas, A.

Most statistical software packages implement a broad range of techniques but do so in an ad hoc fashion, leaving users who do not have a broad knowledge of statistics at a disadvantage since they may not understand all the implications of a given analysis or how to test the validity of results. These packages are also largely serial in nature, or target multicore architectures instead of distributed-memory systems, or provide only a small number of statistics in parallel. This paper surveys a collection of parallel implementations of statistics algorithm developed as part of a common framework over the last 3 years. The framework strategically groups modeling techniques with associated verification and validation techniques to make the underlying assumptions of the statistics more clear. Furthermore it employs a design pattern specifically targeted for distributed-memory parallelism, where architectural advances in large-scale high-performance computing have been focused. Moment-based statistics (which include descriptive, correlative, and multicorrelative statistics, principal component analysis (PCA), and k-means statistics) scale nearly linearly with the data set size and number of processes. Entropy-based statistics (which include order and contingency statistics) do not scale well when the data in question is continuous or quasi-diffuse but do scale well when the data is discrete and compact. We confirm and extend our earlier results by now establishing near-optimal scalability with up to 10,000 processes.

Published in:

Parallel and Distributed Processing Workshops and Phd Forum (IPDPSW), 2011 IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

16-20 May 2011