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Large scale data sets are difficult to manage. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, analysis, and visualization of large data. In particular, clustering of large scale data has received considerable attention in the last few years and many application areas such as bioinformatics and social networking are in urgent need of scalable approaches. The new techniques need to make use of parallel computing concepts in order to be able to scale with increasing data set sizes. In this paper, we propose a parallel particle swarm optimization clustering (MR-CPSO) algorithm that is based on MapReduce. The experimental results reveal that MR-CPSO scales very well with increasing data set sizes and achieves a very close to the linear speedup while maintaining the clustering quality. The results also demonstrate that the proposed MR-CPSO algorithm can efficiently process large data sets on commodity hardware.