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From Dylan Hutchison <>
Subject Re: [Accumulo Contrib Proposal] Graphulo: Server-side Matrix Math library
Date Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:25:11 GMT
> place this in the contrib area or create a sub-project?

Ah ha, I indeed had the two avenues mistakenly equated in my head since
both involve Incubator approval and the same proposal and IP template.

I intend Graphulo as a sub-project of Accumulo.  There are enough use cases
unrelated to Accumulo's core development (algorithms, Graphulo client,
Graphulo-specific iterators) that it makes sense to form a dedicated
project for Graphulo.  That said, Graphulo is coupled to Accumulo by design
and purpose, and there is large opportunity for synergy in that Graphulo
development may help Accumulo development and vice versa.  We're in that
happy middle spot where a sub-project makes sense.  That said, this is a
community decision, and so I'm open to other opinions.

Regards, Dylan

On Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 8:08 AM, dlmarion <> wrote:

> Dylan,
>   I am a little confused about whether you want to place this in the
> contrib area or whether you want to create a sub-project as both are
> mentioned in your proposal. Also, if you intend for this to be a
> sub-project, have you looked at the incubator process? From what I
> understand given that this is a code contribution,it will have to go
> through that process.
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Dylan Hutchison <>
> Date: 08/28/2015 2:43 AM (GMT-05:00)
> To: Accumulo Dev List <>
> Cc: Accumulo User List <>
> Subject: [Accumulo Contrib Proposal] Graphulo: Server-side Matrix Math
> library
> Dear Accumulo community,
> I humbly ask your consideration of Graphulo
> <> as a new contrib project to
> Accumulo.  Let's use this thread to discuss what Graphulo is, how it fits
> into the Accumulo community, where we can take it together as a new
> community, and how you can use it right now.  Please see the README at
> Graphulo's Github, and for a more in-depth look see the docs/ folder or
> the examples.
> Graphulo is a Java library for the Apache Accumulo database delivering
> server-side sparse matrix math primitives that enable higher-level graph
> algorithms and analytics.
> Pitch: Organizations use Accumulo for high performance indexed and
> distributed data storage.  What do they do after their data is stored?
> Many use cases perform analytics and algorithms on data in Accumulo, which
> aside from simple iterators uses, require scanning data out from Accumulo
> to a computation engine, only to write computation results back to
> Accumulo.  Graphulo enables a class of algorithms to run inside the
> Accumulo server like a stored procedure, especially (but not restricted to)
> those written in the language of graphs and linear algebra.  Take breadth
> first search as a simple use case and PageRank as one more complex.  As a
> stretch goal, imagine analysts and mathematicians executing PageRank and
> other high level algorithms on top of the Graphulo library on top of
> Accumulo at high performance.
> I have developed Graphulo at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory with support from
> the NSF since last March.  I owe thanks to Jeremy Kepner, Vijay Gadepally,
> and Adam Fuchs for high level comments during design and performance
> testing phases.  I proposed a now-obsolete design document last Spring to
> the Accumulo community too which received good feedback.
> The time is ripe for Graphulo to graduate my personal development into
> larger participation.  Beyond myself and beyond the Lincoln Laboratory,
> Graphulo is for the Accumulo community.  Users need a place where they can
> interact, developers need a place where they can look, comment, and debate
> designs and diffs, and both users and developers need a place where they
> can interact and see Graphulo alongside its Accumulo base.
> The following outlines a few reasons why I see contrib to Accumulo as
> Graphulo's proper place:
>    1. Establishing Graphulo as an Apache (sub-)project is a first step
>    toward building a community.  The spirit of Apache--its mailing list
>    discussions, low barrier to interactions between users and developers new
>    and old, open meritocracy and more--is a surefire way to bring Graphulo to
>    the people it will help and the people who want to help it in turn.
>    2. Committing to core Accumulo doesn't seem appropriate for all of
>    Graphulo, because Graphulo uses Accumulo in a specific way (server-side
>    computation) in support of algorithms and applications.  Parts of Graphulo
>    that are useful for all Accumulo users (not just matrix math for
>    algorithms) could be transferred from Graphulo to Accumulo, such as
>    ApplyIterator or SmallLargeRowFilter or DynamicIterator.
>    3. Leaving Graphulo as an external project leaves Graphulo too
>    decoupled from Accumulo.  Graphulo has potential to drive features in core
>    Accumulo such as ACCUMULO-3978, ACCUMULO-3710
>    <>, and
>    ACCUMULO-3751 <>.
>    By making Graphulo a contrib sub-project, the two can maintain a tight
>    relationship while still maintaining independent versions.
> Historically, contrib projects have gone into Accumulo contrib and become
> stale.  I assure you I do not intend Graphulo this fate.  The Lincoln
> Laboratory has interests in Graphulo, and I will continue developing
> Graphulo at the very least to help transition Graphulo to greater community
> involvement.  However, since I will start a PhD program at UW next month, I
> cannot make Graphulo a full time job as I have in recent history.  I do
> have ideas for using Graphulo as part of my PhD database research.
> Thus, in the case of large community support, I can transition to a
> support role while others in the community step up.  If smaller community
> support, I can continue working on Graphulo as before at my own pace and
> perhaps more publicly.  There are only a few steps left before Graphulo
> could be considered "finished software":
>    - Developing a new interface to Graphulo's core functions using
>    immutable argument objects, which simplifies developer APIs, increases
>    generalizability, and facilitates features like asynchronous and parallel
>    operations.  It would be good if other developers weigh their opinions on
>    designs as we propose them, since this decides how Graphulo users interact
>    with Graphulo.
>    - Instrumenting Graphulo for monitoring, profiling and benchmarking.
>    I have a blueprint on how to use HTrace to make these tasks as easy as
>    browsing a web page.  Needs careful thought and discussion before
>    implementing, since this instrumentation will go everywhere.  It would be
>    nice if Graphulo and Accumulo mirror instrumentation strategies, so it
>    would be good to have that discussion in the same venue.
>    - Rigorous *scale testing*.  Good instrumentation is key.  With
>    successful scale testing, we paint a clear picture for which operations
>    Graphulo excels to potential adopters, ultimately plotting where Graphulo
>    stands in the world of big data software.
>    - Explicitly supporting the GraphBLAS <> spec,
>    once it is agreed upon.  Graphulo was designed from the ground up with the
>    GraphBLAS in mind, so this should be an easy task.  Aligning with this
>    upcoming industry standard bodes well for ease of developing Graphulo
>    algorithms.
> Developing more algorithms and applications will follow too, and I imagine
> this as an excellent place where newcomer users can get involved.
> Some other places Graphulo needs work worth mentioning are creating a
> proper release framework (the release here
> <> could use improvement,
> starting with signed artifacts) and reviewing the way Graphulo runs tests
> (currently centered around a critical file called which is
> great for one developer, whereas a config file probably works better).
> Both of these are places more experienced developers could help.  I should
> also mention that Graphulo has groundwork in place for operations between
> Accumulo instances, but I doubt many users would need that level of control.
> Regarding IP, I'm happy to donate my commits to the ASF, which covers 99%
> of the Graphulo code base.  I'm sure other issues will arise and we can
> sort them out.  Sean Busbey, perhaps I could ask your assistance as someone
> more knowledgeable in this area.  Regarding dependencies, effectively every
> direct dependency is org.apache, so nothing to worry about here.
> I acknowledge that I will lose dictatorial power and gain some
> bureaucratic / discussion overhead by moving from sole developer to an
> Apache model.  The benefits of a community are well worth it.
> If we as a community decide that contrib is the right place for Graphulo,
> then there are lots of logistical questions to decide like where the code
> will live, where JIRA will live, what mailing lists to use, what URL to
> give Graphulo within, etc.  We can tackle these at our
> leisure.  Let's discuss Graphulo and Accumulo here first.
> Warmly,
> Dylan Hutchison

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