Cloudet: A Cloud-Driven Visual Cognition of Large Streaming Data

Cloudet: A Cloud-Driven Visual Cognition of Large Streaming Data

George Baciu (GAMA Lab, Department of Computing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong), Chenhui Li (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong), Yunzhe Wang (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong) and Xiujun Zhang (Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCINI.2016010102


Streaming data cognition has become a dominant problem in interactive visual analytics for event detection, meteorology, cosmology, security, and smart city applications. In order to interact with streaming data patterns in an elastic cloud environment, we present a new elastic framework for big data visual analytics in the cloud, the Cloudet. The Cloudet is a self-adaptive cloud-based platform that treats both data and compute nodes as elastic objects. The main objective is to readily achieve the scalability and elasticity of cloud computing platforms in order to process large streaming data and adapt to potential interactions between data stream features. Our main contributions include a robust cloud-based framework called the Cloudet. This is a cloud profile manager that attempts to optimize resource parameters in order to achieve expressivity, scalability, reliability, and the proper aggregation of the compute nodes and data streams into several density maps for the purpose of dynamic visualization.
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With the exponential increase in streaming data big data cognition has become a real challenge. Examples can be found in traffic monitoring and management, weather, astronomy, genomics, on-line financial transactions, and electronic tracking of large capital flows. For large scale streaming data, pattern cognition involves interactive pattern querying, filtering, smoothing, classification, rendering, and finally visualization (Patterson et al., 2014). The capacity to store and display even moderately sized data sets (e.g. in the Terabyte range) has become limited.

Currently, it is difficult to add cognitive analytics to big data sets (Tudoran et al., 2015). Big data sets are characterized by Volume, Velocity, and Variety (VVV). Processing big data has specific computational requirements both for both storage (i.e. volume) and speed (i.e. velocity). These requirements cannot be satisfied by simply allocating one fat server or a large number of thin client-server machines. However, within a cloud platform, access to a large number of compute nodes and leveraging on the availability of Petabyte-scale storage resources can often accelerate the processing time by allowing caching of large data streams, and distributing the data amongst store components of sizable VRAMs (i.e. in the Terabyte range). This gives the possibility to virtually adapt to any type of data streaming, filtering, smoothing and rendering requirements. Furthermore, mobile client machines, such as GPU enhanced tablets, and virtual desktops, can access an order of magnitude more resources within the cloud system in parallel from arbitrary locations.

In this work, we focus on the real-time visualization of streaming data in the context of big data and cloud computing platforms. In this context, we propose an elastic platform that would allow thin clients to extend beyond mobile device limitations in both storage and speed and open the door to scalable big data cognitive analytics. In this paper, we present the Cloudet, a flexible SPARK (Zaharia et al., 2010) based framework, which can adapt to the big data VVV characteristics: Volume, Velocity and Variety by monitoring data streams and adjusting the internal resource parameters in order to maintain quality of service, in this case rendering and interactive visualization requirements. Large numbers of data features can be processed on several interacting high performance cloud compute nodes and the results can be dynamically adjusted for arbitrary number of displays with different sizes and form factors.

The main idea is to allow the system to intelligently adapt computations, storage and communication connectivity based on the characteristics of the data stream patterns. A quad-tree structure for the cloud data (Ding et al., 2011) is amongst the first examples of a discrete elastic cloud management system. However, one limitation is the manual presetting of the cluster resources. The other limitation is that the adjustment is often done in one direction, i.e. as the demand for resources grows.

We are concerned with a more fine grained elastic resource management of the cloud platform during the incoming data stream. That is, adapt to the resource requirements in terms of compute nodes, storage, and communication channels on live data streams. The streaming features of the data can then be selected and rendered at interactive rates for visual cognition. Spatial-temporal patterns can then be visualized interactively in order to understand the interaction between data features. This framework can also be extended to a variety of multi-cluster architectures that can be automatically generated in order to accommodate to the complex interactions between tasks in the process of visual cognition of data streams.

In addition, our framework is suitable for adaptively handling data streams with different peaks in one task. We first address the problem of setting up adaptive clusters according to different types of tasks. Second, a stream mapping operation is proposed to normalize the unstructured data. Third, the use of adaptive color-theme based rendering with filtering is used in order to enhance visual cognition of the rendered data features. Critical regions and periods can then be easier to detect in the process of interactive visualizations of data streams.

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