Presto: Distributed Machine Learning and Graph Processing with Sparse Matrices

It is cumbersome to write machine learning and graph algorithms in data-parallel models such as MapReduce and Dryad. We observe that these algorithms are based on matrix computations and, hence, are inefficient to implement with the restrictive programming and communication interface of such frameworks.
In this paper we show that array-based languages such as R are suitable for implementing complex algorithms and can outperform current data parallel solutions. Since R is single-threaded and does not scale to large datasets, we have built Presto, a distributed system that extends R and addresses many of its limitations. Presto efficiently shares sparse structured data, can leverage multi-cores, and dynamically partitions data to mitigate load imbalance. Our results show the promise of this approach: many important machine learning and graph algorithms can be expressed in a single framework and are substantially faster than those in Hadoop and Spark.