Toward Scalable Systems for Big Data Analytics: A Technology Tutorial

(June 2014)


Recent technological advancements have led to a deluge of data from distinctive domains (e.g., health care and scientific sensors, user-generated data, Internet and financial companies, and supply chain systems) over the past two decades. The term big data was coined to capture the meaning of this emerging trend. In addition to its sheer volume, big data also exhibits other unique characteristics as compared with traditional data. For instance, big data is commonly unstructured and require more real-time analysis. This development calls for new system architectures for data acquisition, transmission, storage, and large-scale data processing mechanisms. In this paper, we present a literature survey and system tutorial for big data analytics platforms, aiming to provide an overall picture for nonexpert readers and instill a do-it-yourself spirit for advanced audiences to customize their own big-data solutions. First, we present the definition of big data and discuss big data challenges. Next, we present a systematic framework to decompose big data systems into four sequential modules, namely data generation, data acquisition, data storage, and data analytics. These four modules form a big data value chain. Following that, we present a detailed survey of numerous approaches and mechanisms from research and industry communities. In addition, we present the prevalent Hadoop framework for addressing big data challenges. Finally, we outline several evaluation benchmarks and potential research directions for big data systems.

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