Spark SQL: Relational Data Processing in Spark Spark SQL: Relational Data Processing in Spark
Paper summary Data processing frameworks like MapReduce and Spark can do things that relational databases can't do very easily. For example, they can operate over semi-structured or unstructured data, and they can perform advanced analytics. On the other hand, Spark's API allows user to run arbitrary code (e.g. which prevents Spark from performing certain optimizations. Spark SQL marries imperative Spark-like data processing with declarative SQL-like data processing into a single unified interface. Spark's main abstraction was an RDD. Spark SQL's main abstraction is a DataFrame: the Spark analog of a table which supports a nested data model of standard SQL types as well as structs, arrays, maps, unions, and user defined types. DataFrames can be manipulated as if they were RDDs of row objects (e.g., but they also support a set of standard relational operators which take ASTs, built using a DSL, as arguments. For example, the code users.where(users("age") < 40) constructs an AST from users("age") < 40 as an argument to filter the users DataFrame. By passing in ASTs as arguments rather than arbitrary user code, Spark is able to perform optimizations it previously could not do. DataFrames can also be queries using SQL. Notably, integrating queries into an existing programming language (e.g. Scala) makes writing queries much easier. Intermediate subqueries can be reused, queries can be constructed using standard control flow, etc. Moreover, Spark eagerly typechecks queries even though their execution is lazy. Furthermore, Spark SQL allows users to create DataFrames of language objects (e.g. Scala objects), and UDFs are just normal Scala functions. DataFrame queries are optimized and manipulated by a new extensible query optimizer called Catalyst. The query optimizer manipulates ASTs written in Scala using rules, which are just functions from trees to trees that typically use pattern matching. Queries are optimized in four phases: 1. Analysis. First, relations and columns are resolved, queries are typechecked, etc. 2. Logical optimization. Typical logical optimizations like constant folding, filter pushdown, boolean expression simplification, etc are performed. 3. Physical planning. Cost based optimization is performed. 4. Code generation. Scala quasiquoting is used for code generation. Catalyst also makes it easy for people to add new data sources and user defined types. Spark SQL also supports schema inference, ML integration, and query federation: useful features for big data.

Summary by Shagun Sodhani 1 year ago
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