Titian: Data Provenance Support in Spark

Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment (PVLDB), 9(3): 216-227, November 2015.
Selected for The VLDB Journal's Special Issue on VLDB 2016
Matteo Interlandi, Kshitij Shah, Sai Deep Tetali, Muhammad Ali Gulzar, Seunghyun Yoo, Miryung Kim, Todd Millstein, Tyson Condie
Debugging data processing logic in Data-Intensive Scalable Computing (DISC) systems is a difficult and time consuming effort. Today's DISC systems offer very little tooling for debugging programs, and as a result programmers spend countless hours collecting evidence (e.g., from log files) and performing trial and error debugging. To aid this effort, we built Titian, a library that enables data provenance -- tracking data through transformations -- in Apache Spark. Data scientists using the Titian Spark extension will be able to quickly identify the input data at the root cause of a potential bug or outlier result. Titian is built directly into the Spark platform and offers data provenance support at interactive speeds -- orders-of-magnitude faster than alternative solutions -- while minimally impacting Spark job performance; observed overheads for capturing data lineage rarely exceed 30% above the baseline job execution time.

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