Parallelizing Support Vector Machines on Distributed Computers

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 20 (NIPS 2007)

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Kaihua Zhu, Hao Wang, Hongjie Bai, Jian Li, Zhihuan Qiu, Hang Cui, Edward Chang


Support Vector Machines (SVMs) suffer from a widely recognized scalability problem in both memory use and computational time. To improve scalability, we have developed a parallel SVM algorithm (PSVM), which reduces memory use through performing a row-based, approximate matrix factorization, and which loads only essential data to each machine to perform parallel computation. Let $n$ denote the number of training instances, $p$ the reduced matrix dimension after factorization ($p$ is significantly smaller than $n$), and $m$ the number of machines. PSVM reduces the memory requirement from $\MO$($n^2$) to $\MO$($np/m$), and improves computation time to $\MO$($np^2/m$). Empirical studies on up to $500$ computers shows PSVM to be effective.