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BaPa: A Novel Approach of Improving Load Balance in Parallel Matrix Factorization for Recommender Systems

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Raj Ranjan


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A simplified approach to accelerate matrix factorization of big data is to parallelize it. A commonly used method is to divide the matrix into multiple non-intersecting blocks and concurrently calculate them. This operation causes the Load balance problem, which significantly impacts parallel performance and is a big concern. A general belief is that the load balance across blocks is impossible by balancing rows and columns separately. We challenge the belief by proposing an approach of “Balanced Partitioning (BaPa)”. We demonstrate under what circumstance independently balancing rows and columns can lead to the balanced intersection of rows and columns, why, and how. We formally prove the feasibility of BaPa by observing the variance of rating numbers across blocks, and empirically validate its soundness by applying it to two standard parallel matrix factorization algorithms, DSGD and CCD++. Besides, we establish a mathematical model of “Imbalance Degree” to explain further why BaPa works well. BaPa is applied to synchronous parallel matrix factorization, but as a general load balance solution, it has significant application potential.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Guo R, Zhang F, Wang L, Zhang W, Lei X, Ranjan R, Zomaya A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: IEEE Transactions on Computers

Year: 2021

Volume: 70

Issue: 5

Pages: 789-802

Print publication date: 01/05/2021

Online publication date: 25/05/2020

Acceptance date: 10/05/2020

ISSN (print): 0018-9340

ISSN (electronic): 1557-9956

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/TC.2020.2997051


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