Tag Archives: qr

Parallelizing Linear Regression or Using Multiple Sources

My previous post was explaining how mathematically it was possible to parallelize computation to estimate the parameters of a linear regression. More speficially, we have a matrix \mathbf{X} which is n\times k matrix and \mathbf{y} a n-dimensional vector, and we want to compute \widehat{\mathbf{\beta}}=[\mathbf{X}^T\mathbf{X}]^{-1}\mathbf{X}^T\mathbf{y} by spliting the job. Instead of using the n observations, we’ve seen that it was to possible to compute “something” using the first n_1 rows, then the next n_2 rows, etc. Then, finally, we “aggregate” the m objects created to get our overall estimate.

Parallelizing on multiple cores

Let us see how it works from a computational point of view, to run each computation on a different core of the machine. Each core will see a slave, computing what we’ve seen in the previous post. Here, the data we use are

y = cars$dist
X = data.frame(1,cars$speed)
k = ncol(X)

On my laptop, I have three cores, so we will split it in m=3 chunks

library(parallel)
library(pbapply)
ncl = detectCores()-1
cl = makeCluster(ncl)

This is more or less what we will do: we have our dataset, and we split the jobs,

We can then create lists containing elements that will be sent to each core, as Ewen suggested,

chunk = function(x,n) split(x, cut(seq_along(x), n, labels = FALSE))
a_parcourir = chunk(seq_len(nrow(X)), ncl)
for(i in 1:length(a_parcourir)) a_parcourir[[i]] = rep(i, length(a_parcourir[[i]]))
Xlist = split(X, unlist(a_parcourir))
ylist = split(y, unlist(a_parcourir))

It is also possible to simplify the QR functions we will use

compute_qr = function(x){
  list(Q=qr.Q(qr(as.matrix(x))),R=qr.R(qr(as.matrix(x))))
}
get_Vlist = function(j){
  Q3 = QR1[[j]]$Q %*% Q2list[[j]]
  t(Q3) %*% ylist[[j]]
}
clusterExport(cl, c("compute_qr", "get_Vlist"), envir=environment())

Then, we can run our functions on each core. The first one is

  QR1 = parLapply(cl=cl,Xlist, compute_qr)

note that it is also possible to use

  QR1 = pblapply(Xlist, compute_qr, cl=cl)

which will include a progress bar (that can be nice when the database is rather large). Then use

  R1 = pblapply(QR1, function(x) x$R, cl=cl) %>% do.call("rbind", .)
  Q1 = qr.Q(qr(as.matrix(R1)))
  R2 = qr.R(qr(as.matrix(R1)))
  Q2list = split.data.frame(Q1, rep(1:ncl, each=k))
  clusterExport(cl, c("QR1", "Q2list", "ylist"), envir=environment())
  Vlist = pblapply(1:length(QR1), get_Vlist, cl=cl)
  sumV = Reduce('+', Vlist)

and finally the ouput is

solve(R2) %*% sumV
         [,1]
X1 -17.579095
X2   3.932409

which is what we were expecting…

Using multiple sources

In practice, it might also happen that various “servers” have the data, but we cannot get a copy. But it is possible to run some functions on their server, and get some output, that we can use afterwards.

Datasets are supposed to be available somewhere. We can send a request, and get a matrix. Then we we aggregate all of them, and send another request. That’s what we will do here. Provider j should run f_1(\mathbf{X}) on his part of the data, that function will return R^{(1)}_j. More precisely, to the first provider, send

function1 = function(subX){
return(qr.R(qr(as.matrix(subX))))}
R1 = function1(Xlist[[1]])

and actually, send that function to all providers, and aggregate the output

for(j in 2:m) R1 = rbind(R1,function1(Xlist[[j]]))

The create on your side the following objects

Q1 = qr.Q(qr(as.matrix(R1)))
R2 = qr.R(qr(as.matrix(R1)))
Q2list=list()
for(j in 1:m) Q2list[[j]] = Q1[(j-1)*k+1:k,]

Finally, contact one last time the providers, and send one of your objects

function2=function(subX,suby,Q){
Q1=qr.Q(qr(as.matrix(subX)))
Q2=Q
return(t(Q1%*%Q2) %*% suby)}

Provider j should then run f_2(\mathbf{X},\mathbf{y},Q_j^{(2)}) on his part of the data, using also Q_j^{(2)} as argument (that we obtained on own side) and that function will return (\mathbf{Q}^{(2)}_j\mathbf{Q}^{(1)}_j)^{T}_j\mathbf{y}_j. For instance, ask the first provider to run

sumV = function2(Xlist[[1]],ylist[[1]], Q2list[[1]])

and do the same with all providers

for(j in 2:m) sumV = sumV+ function2(Xlist[[j]],ylist[[j]], Q2list[[j]])
solve(R2) %*% sumV
         [,1]
X1 -17.579095
X2   3.932409

which is what we were expecting…

Linear Regression, with Map-Reduce

Sometimes, with big data, matrices are too big to handle, and it is possible to use tricks to numerically still do the map. Map-Reduce is one of those. With several cores, it is possible to split the problem, to map on each machine, and then to agregate it back at the end.

Consider the case of the linear regression, \mathbf{y}=\mathbf{X}\mathbf{\beta}+\mathbf{\varepsilon} (with classical matrix notations). The OLS estimate of \mathbf{\beta} is \widehat{\mathbf{\beta}}=[\mathbf{X}^T\mathbf{X}]^{-1}\mathbf{X}^T\mathbf{y}. To illustrate, consider a not too big dataset, and run some regression.

lm(dist~speed,data=cars)$coefficients
(Intercept)       speed 
 -17.579095    3.932409
y=cars$dist
X=cbind(1,cars$speed)
solve(crossprod(X,X))%*%crossprod(X,y)
           [,1]
[1,] -17.579095
[2,]   3.932409

How is this computed in R? Actually, it is based on the QR decomposition of \mathbf{X}, \mathbf{X}=\mathbf{Q}\mathbf{R}, where \mathbf{Q} is an orthogonal matrix (ie \mathbf{Q}^T\mathbf{Q}=\mathbb{I}). Then \widehat{\mathbf{\beta}}=[\mathbf{X}^T\mathbf{X}]^{-1}\mathbf{X}^T\mathbf{y}=\mathbf{R}^{-1}\mathbf{Q}^T\mathbf{y}

solve(qr.R(qr(as.matrix(X)))) %*% t(qr.Q(qr(as.matrix(X)))) %*% y
           [,1]
[1,] -17.579095
[2,]   3.932409

So far, so good, we get the same output. Now, what if we want to parallelise computations. Actually, it is possible.

Consider m blocks

m = 5

and split vectors and matrices
\mathbf{y}=\left[\begin{matrix}\mathbf{y}_1\\\mathbf{y}_2\\\vdots \\\mathbf{y}_m\end{matrix}\right] and \mathbf{X}=\left[\begin{matrix}\mathbf{X}_1\\\mathbf{X}_2\\\vdots\\\mathbf{X}_m\end{matrix}\right]=\left[\begin{matrix}\mathbf{Q}_1^{(1)}\mathbf{R}_1^{(1)}\\\mathbf{Q}_2^{(1)}\mathbf{R}_2^{(1)}\\\vdots \\\mathbf{Q}_m^{(1)}\mathbf{R}_m^{(1)}\end{matrix}\right]
To split vectors and matrices, use (eg)

Xlist = list()
for(j in 1:m) Xlist[[j]] = X[(j-1)*10+1:10,]
ylist = list()
for(j in 1:m) ylist[[j]] = y[(j-1)*10+1:10]

and get small QR recomposition (per subset)

QR1 = list()
for(j in 1:m) QR1[[j]] = list(Q=qr.Q(qr(as.matrix(Xlist[[j]]))),R=qr.R(qr(as.matrix(Xlist[[j]]))))

Consider the QR decomposition of \mathbf{R}^{(1)} which is the first step of the reduce part\mathbf{R}^{(1)}=\left[\begin{matrix}\mathbf{R}_1^{(1)}\\\mathbf{R}_2^{(1)}\\\vdots \\\mathbf{R}_m^{(1)}\end{matrix}\right]=\mathbf{Q}^{(2)}\mathbf{R}^{(2)}where\mathbf{Q}^{(2)}=\left[\begin{matrix}\mathbf{Q}^{(2)}_1\\\mathbf{Q}^{(2)}_2\\\vdots\\\mathbf{Q}^{(2)}_m\end{matrix}\right]

R1 = QR1[[1]]$R
for(j in 2:m) R1 = rbind(R1,QR1[[j]]$R)
Q1 = qr.Q(qr(as.matrix(R1)))
R2 = qr.R(qr(as.matrix(R1)))
Q2list=list()
for(j in 1:m) Q2list[[j]] = Q1[(j-1)*2+1:2,]

Define – as step 2 of the reduce part\mathbf{Q}^{(3)}_j=\mathbf{Q}^{(2)}_j\mathbf{Q}^{(1)}_j
and\mathbf{V}_j=\mathbf{Q}^{(3)T}_j\mathbf{y}_j

Q3list = list()
for(j in 1:m) Q3list[[j]] = QR1[[j]]$Q %*% Q2list[[j]]
Vlist = list()
for(j in 1:m) Vlist[[j]] = t(Q3list[[j]]) %*% ylist[[j]]

and finally set – as the step 3 of the reduce part\widehat{\mathbf{\beta}}=[\mathbf{R}^{(2)}]^{-1}\sum_{j=1}^m\mathbf{V}_j

sumV = Vlist[[1]]
for(j in 2:m) sumV = sumV+Vlist[[j]]
solve(R2) %*% sumV
           [,1]
[1,] -17.579095
[2,]   3.932409

It looks like we’ve been able to parallelise our linear regression…

Short versus long papers, in academic journals

This Monday, during my talk on quantile regressions (at the Montreal R-meeting), we’ve seen how those nice graphs could be interpreted, with the evolution of the slope of the linear regression, as a function of the probability level. One illustration was on large hurricanes, from Elsner, Kossin & Jagger (2008). The other one was on birthweight, from Abrevaya (2001).

It is also to illustrate that technique to academic publication, e.g. the length of papers, over time. Actually, the data we can extract from Scopus are quite similar to the ones uses on hurricanes. For several journals, it is possible to look at the length of articles. Since Scopus is quite expensive ($60,000 per year for the campus, as far as remember, so I can imagine the penalty I might have to pay for sharing such a dataset)

base=read.table("/home/scopus.csv",
header=TRUE,sep=",")
pages=base$Page.end-base$Page.start
year=base$Year

Again, a first idea can be to look at boxplots, and regression on (nonparametric) quantiles, here for Econometrica,

boxplot(pages~as.factor(year),col="light blue")
Q=function(p=.9) as.vector(by(pages,as.factor(year),
function(x) quantile(x,p)))
u=1:16
points(u,Q(p),pch=19,col="blue")
abline(lm(Q(p)~u,weights=table(year)),lwd=2,col="blue")

Consider now (as in the slides in the previous post) a quantile regression (instead of a regression on quantiles), for instance in the Annals of Probability,

library(quantreg)
u=seq(.05,.95,by=.01)
coefstd=function(u) summary(rq(pages~year,
tau=u))$coefficients[,2]
coefest=function(u) summary(rq(pages~year,
tau=u))$coefficients[,1]
CS=Vectorize(coefstd)(u)
CE=Vectorize(coefest)(u)
k=2
plot(u,CE[k,],ylim=c(min(CE[k,]-2*CS[k,]),
max(CE[k,]+2*CS[k,])))
polygon(c(u,rev(u)),c(CE[k,]+1.96*CS[k,],
rev(CE[k,]-1.96*CS[k,])),
col="light green",border=NA)
lines(u,CE[k,],lwd=2,col="red")
abline(h=0)

We have the following slope, for the year, as a function of the probability level,

The slope is always positive, so size of papers is increasing with time, short and long papers. But the influence of time is much larger for long paper than short one: for short papers (lower decile) every year, the size keeps increasing, with one more page every three years. For long paper (upper decile), it is two more pages every three years.

If we look now at the Annals of Statistics, we have

and for the evolution of the slope of the quantile regression,

Again the impact is positive: papers are longer in 2010 than 15 years ago. But the trend is the reverse: short papers (lower decile) are much longer, almost one more page every year, with long paper increase only by one more page every two years… Initially, I want to run such a study on a much longer term, with quantile regressions and splines to see when there might have been a change, both in lower and upper tails. Unfortunately, as suggested by some colleagues, there might have been some changes in the format of the journal (columns, margins, fonts, etc). That’s a shame, because I rediscover nice short papers of 5-10 pages published 20 or 30 years ago. They are nice to read (and also potentially interesting for a post on the blog). 5 pages, that’s perfect, but 40 pages, that’s way too long. I wonder if I am the only one having this feeling, missing those short but extremely interesting papers….