The amount of generated and stored data has been growing rapidly, It is estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day, and 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years. How to solve these big data issues has become a hot topic in both industry and academia. Due to the complex of big data platform, we stratify it into four layers: storage layer, resource management layer, computing layer, and methodology layer. This dissertation proposes brand-new approaches to address the performance of big data platforms like Hadoop and Spark on these four layers. We first present an improved HDFS design called SMARTH, which optimizes the storage layer. It utilizes asynchronous multi-pipeline data transfers instead of a single pipeline stop-and-wait mechanism. SMARTH records the actual transfer speed of data blocks and sends this information to the namenode along with periodic heartbeat messages. The namenode sorts datanodes according to their past performance and tracks this information continuously. When a client initiates an upload request, the namenode will send it a list of ''high performance'' datanodes that it thinks will yield the highest throughput for the client. By choosing higher performance datanodes relative to each client and by taking advantage of the multi-pipeline design, our experiments show that SMARTH significantly improves the performance of data write operations compared to HDFS. Specifically, SMARTH is able to improve the throughput of data transfer by 27-245% in a heterogeneous virtual cluster on Amazon EC2. Secondly, we propose an optimized Hadoop extension called MRapid, which significantly speeds up the execution of short jobs on the resource management layer. It is completely backward compatible to Hadoop, and imposes negligible overhead. Our experiments on Microsoft Azure public cloud show that MRapid can improve performance by up to 88% compared to the original Hadoop. Thirdly, we introduce an efficient 3-level sampling performance model, called Hedgehog, and focus on the relationship between resource and performance. This design is a brand new white-box model for Spark, which is more complex and challenging than Hadoop. In our tool, we employ a Java bytecode manipulation and analysis framework called ASM to reduce the profiling overhead dramatically. Fourthly, on the computing layer, we optimize the current implementation of SGD in Spark's MLlib by reusing data partition for multiple times within a single iteration to find better candidate weights in a more efficient way. Whether using multiple local iterations within each partition is dynamically decided by the 68-95-99.7 rule. We also design a variant of momentum algorithm to optimize step size in every iteration. This method uses a new adaptive rule that decreases the step size whenever neighboring gradients show differing directions of significance. Experiments show that our adaptive algorithm is more efficient and can be 7 times faster compared to the original MLlib's SGD. At last, on the application layer, we present a scalable and distributed geographic information system, called Dart, based on Hadoop and HBase. Dart provides a hybrid table schema to store spatial data in HBase so that the Reduce process can be omitted for operations like calculating the mean center and the median center. It employs reasonable pre-splitting and hash techniques to avoid data imbalance and hot region problems. It also supports massive spatial data analysis like K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN) and Geometric Median Distribution. In our experiments, we evaluate the performance of Dart by processing 160 GB Twitter data on an Amazon EC2 cluster. The experimental results show that Dart is very scalable and efficient.

Graduation Date





Wang, Liqiang


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Computer Science

Degree Program

Computer Science









Release Date

August 2018

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)