Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie, Andreas Grabner, Jim Kaskade, John Basso

Blog Feed Post

Diving into H2O

by Joseph Rickert One of the remarkable features of the R language is its adaptability. Motivated by R’s popularity and helped by R’s expressive power and transparency developers working on other platforms display what looks like inexhaustible creativity in providing seamless interfaces to software that complements R’s strengths. The H2O R package that connects to 0xdata’s H2O software (Apache 2.0 License) is an example of this kind of creativity. According to the 0xdata website, H2O is “The Open Source In-Memory, Prediction Engine for Big Data Science”. Indeed, H2O offers an impressive array of machine learning algorithms. The H2O R package provides functions for building GLM, GBM, Kmeans, Naive Bayes, Principal Components Analysis, Principal Components Regression, Random Forests and Deep Learning (multi-layer neural net models). Examples with timing information of running all of these models on fairly large data sets are available on the 0xdata website. Execution speeds are very impressive. In this post, I thought I would start a little slower and look at H2O from an R point of View. H2O is a Java Virtual Machine that is optimized for doing “in memory” processing of distributed, parallel machine learning algorithms on clusters. A “cluster” is a software construct that can be can be fired up on your laptop, on a server, or across the multiple nodes of a cluster of real machines, including computers that form a Hadoop cluster. According to the documentation a cluster’s “memory capacity is the sum across all H2O nodes in the cluster”. So, as I understand it, if you were to build a 16 node cluster of machines each having 64GB of DRAM, and you installed H2O everything then you could run the H2O machine learning algorithms using a terabyte of memory. Underneath the covers, the H2O JVM sits on an in-memory, non-persistent key-value (KV) store that uses a distributed JAVA memory model. The KV store holds state information, all results and the big data itself. H2O keeps the data in a heap. When the heap gets full, i.e. when you are working with more data than physical DRAM, H20 swaps to disk. (See Cliff Click’s blog for the details.) The main point here is that the data is not in R. R only has a pointer to the data, an S4 object containing the IP address, port and key name for the data sitting in H2O. The R H2O package communicates with the H2O JVM over a REST API. R sends RCurl commands and H2O sends back JSON responses. Data ingestion, however, does not happen via the REST API. Rather, an R user calls a function that causes the data to be directly parsed into the H2O KV store. The H2O R package provides several functions for doing this Including: h20.importFile() which imports and parses files from a local directory, h20.importURL() which imports and pareses files from a website, and h2o.importHDFS() which imports and parses HDFS files sitting on a Hadoop cluster. So much for the background: let’s get started with H2O. The first thing you need to do is to get Java running on your machine. If you don’t already have Java the default download ought to be just fine. Then fetch and install the H2O R package. Note that the h2o.jar executable is currently shipped with the h2o R package. The following code from the 0xdata website ran just fine from RStudio on my PC: # The following two commands remove any previously installed H2O packages for R. if ("package:h2o" %in% search()) { detach("package:h2o", unload=TRUE) } if ("h2o" %in% rownames(installed.packages())) { remove.packages("h2o") }   # Next, we download, install and initialize the H2O package for R. install.packages("h2o", repos=(c("http://s3.amazonaws.com/h2o-release/h2o/rel-kahan/5/R", getOption("repos"))))   library(h2o) localH2O = h2o.init()   # Finally, let's run a demo to see H2O at work. demo(h2o.glm) Created by Pretty R at inside-R.org Note that the function h20.init() uses the defaults to start up R on your local machine. Users can also provide parameters to specify an IP address and port number in order to connect to a remote instance of H20 running on a cluster. h2o.init(Xmx="10g") will start up the H2O KV store with 10GB of RAM. demo(h2o,glm) runs the glm demo to let you know that everything is working just fine. I will save examining the model for another time. Instead let's look at some other H2O functionality. The first thing to get straight with H2O is to be clear about when you are working in R and when you are working in the H2O JVM. The H2O R package implements several R functions that are wrappers to H2O native functions. "H2O supports an R-like language" (See a note on R) but sometimes things behave differently than an R programmer might expect. For example, the R code: y <- apply(iris[,1:4],2,sum)y produces the following result: sepal.length sepal.width petal.length petal.width 876.5    458.6 563.7  179.9 now, let's see how things work in h2o, code loads h2o package, starts a local instance of uploads iris data set into from r package and produces very r-like summary. library(h2o) # load library localh2o =h2o.init() initial locl instance # upload file instance iris.hex >

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By David Smith

David Smith is Vice President of Marketing and Community at Revolution Analytics. He has a long history with the R and statistics communities. After graduating with a degree in Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, he spent four years researching statistical methodology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, where he also developed a number of packages for the S-PLUS statistical modeling environment. He continued his association with S-PLUS at Insightful (now TIBCO Spotfire) overseeing the product management of S-PLUS and other statistical and data mining products.<

David smith is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the popular tutorial manual, An Introduction to R, and one of the originating developers of the ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics project. Today, he leads marketing for REvolution R, supports R communities worldwide, and is responsible for the Revolutions blog. Prior to joining Revolution Analytics, he served as vice president of product management at Zynchros, Inc. Follow him on twitter at @RevoDavid

@ThingsExpo Stories
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...