Friday, June 19, 2015

Teradata Data type abbreviation - described

Teradata data types (as reported in DBC.Columns.ColumnType can be cryptic and not always easy to remember.  Here's a ready reckoner - 

Equivalent English :)
UDT Type 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hadoop Meetup on the sidelines of Strata Hadoop Conference - Part 2

Read part 1 of this here

Day 2 of the meetup was equally exciting, if not better.  Lined up were talks from Qubit and Google, William Hill (a surprise for me - more later on that) and then PostCodeAnywhere, all very exciting from the synopsis.

Google & Qubit showcased basically a stream processing engine, with pluggable components, many of them can be written in different technologies and programming languages.

Of course Google Cloud Data flow is much more than just a stream processing engine, however, for real time data ingestion perspective, that feature is pretty significant.  

A completely managed system, it woks on the publish-subscribe (pub-sub) model.  As Reza put it, “pub-sub is not just data delivery mechanism, its used as a glue to hold the complete system together”.  Pluggable components is another differentiator for Google’s offering, in today’s demo they showcased bigtable as one of the consumers at the end.

From my own knowledge of stream processing, which is not significant in anyway, i could relate to many similarities with IBM’s info sphere streams and some with apache kafka.  However, a question around comparisons with these sites remained unanswered from Google (though in very good spirit, in a chat with the speaker Reza later on, it came out as more of a philosophical question avoidance than anything else).

The william hill talk (by Peter Morgan, their head of engineering), was a genuine surprise, at least for me.  Perhaps due to my ignorance, due to which i didn't realize, their systems are far more sophisticated and load bearing than I would have imagined.  As an example, they process 160TB of data through their systems on a daily basis.

Including many complexities managed through their system are their main components, the betting engine, the settlement engine among others. 

William Hill supports an open API as well, enabling app developers to pick up data elements and innovate. However, for obvious reasons, very limited data is thrown open in the public domain.  Would that be a deterrent for app developers ? not having enough data ?   For example, if i would want to report in an app, who’s betting on a  certain game, cross referenced with geo location data .. I cant do that, since William hill doesn't publish demographic data.  I personally feel alright with it, there are possibilities that many of those data elements can be used in ways to influence the betting system itself, becoming counter-productive.

I would imagine their IT systems to be one of the top notch systems around the place, to be able to manage such data volumes, with such speeds and accuracy. Commendable job.  I would probably write exclusively on their architecture once i get my hands on the presentation slides (couple of days may be).

The talk from PostCodeAnywhere was more educative to me, personally.  Got to understand a bit about Markov Models, chains and how they can be used for machine Learning.  Very interesting stuff there too.

Apache Spark is being seen more and more as the tool to be perform analytics on the fly, specially on large volumes of data.  It would be very interesting to see how R and python analytical capabilities compare with what spark offers.

Speaking to another attendee today, it came out the people prefer to use R more and more for massaging and cleansing purposes, however, its not seen as fit for heavy lifting required for performing real analytic and/or predictive pieces. For these areas, people still prefer to use Python.

IBM’s bigR is a possible contender for the job, where they talk about having optimised R for a hadoop cluster and have enabled it to work on top of hdfs.  However, bigR is not open source and that could be its biggest challenge in adoption.

Hadoop Meetup on the sidelines of Strata Hadoop Conference - Part 1

Not being able to make it up to the Main conference (Strata Hadoop London 2015), the evening meet-ups were the consolation pieces of getting in touch as much as possible.

In my view, these conferences/events often help one to get to know about the recent developments in the space, mostly showcasing whats being done with a given technology, whats coming up (future developments, innovations) and people's experiences with the technology, both good (the famous savings use cases) and bad (challenges faced in achieving production readiness, if ever).

Last evening, on day 1 of the conference, I ended up attending one of the meet-ups.  It was particularly useful for me, for couple of reasons.

There was a talk on the new execution engine for hive, i.e. hive running on spark. Always keen on internal workings of a complex piece of software (or hardware for that matter), i was very happy to be able to listen in directly from the person responsible for much of development on hive.  I have an audio recording of the whole talk, though I am hopeful that the conference organizers shall put up the video on their website anyway.

When Phill talked about his experiences on getting hadoop on its feet and how they orchestrated hadoop as a PaaS within BT was something  insightful, (they seem to call it HaaS there).  it showed two things to me - architects' always have to "find the funding" for innovations and new tech to be brought in to the organization :) Also, Security on hadoop is "doable", as his use case proved to be.  There are reliable tools and solutions which can help achieve Enterprise level security for a hadoop cluster.

Another interesting talk was Dato's.  Dato is a machine learning/modelling tool, which claims to be fairly quick than many others, allows the data to be consumed in-place (like hadoop) and supports hdfs integration.  I am sure to follow up on Dato with the organization.  for me its one of the key problems of the future, where data is too much and the modelling algorithm has to be enabled to consume data for training sets in-place, since its just not practical to move tera/petabytes of data to where program is.  IBM BigR is doing something similar as well.

Finally, another interesting talk was from Big Data Boards team.  they talked about how they are building cluster hardware for hosting small hadoop clusters. Interesting proposition there, to have your own hadoop cluster running on a desk in a corner of your office.  no need of going over to the likes of aws for hosting the cluster.  They say that many universities etc are already using the clusters they made for real life experiments.  very interesting space for me.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Data Sets

Some of the publicly available datasets are listed here.  This is a continuously evolving page, and therefore might not always be 100% up-to-date.  For licensing information, please refer to each datasets’ own licensing page.  I take no responsibility for the licensing/distribution of the datasets.

1. Amazon’s Ratings dataset

2. imdb movies dataset

Monday, March 30, 2015

Kaka's imagination - his first story

Vinayak, my year old has started weaving his own stories.  Here is one, probably the first documented one.  Its his imagination, his narration, i have just been a scribe, verbatim - its all his his words, as written on a sheet of paper 

ones upon a time there was a Lion called Don. He was the baddest King in the forest. He ate everyone in the forest.  Then a empire had a rule.  He said to Don that whenever  He saw somebody He will say to him that he will eat Him the next week.
Everybody was happy.  they cheered. Soon somebody was going his home the week had begin
One clever rabbit had an idea. He had 4 friends.  one was the crocodile called Likey, an elephant called Wes, and a tiger called lotty  and shonny the deer. they made an idea to make the lion a good lion.

the plan was that the rabbit came to behave as dead first but he said to the lion to close his eyes. Then the elephant will come to squash his neck with his trunk. then the crocodile will come to eat this legs. then when the lion would open his eyes the tiger right away jumped on his tummy and would not let him see them.  then the tiger will become good so that forest can be saved.

when his idea worked the Lion said sorry to everyone. 

============= the end ===================

Thursday, February 26, 2015

dedicated to daughters

..पीहर आती है..
..अपनी जड़ों को सींचने के लिए..
..तलाशने आती हैं भाई की खुशियाँ..
..वे ढूँढने आती हैं अपना सलोना बचपन..
..वे रखने आतीं हैं..
..आँगन में स्नेह का दीपक..
..बेटियाँ कुछ लेने नहीं आती हैं पीहर..
..ताबीज बांधने आती हैं दरवाजे पर..
..कि नज़र से बचा रहे घर..
..वे नहाने आती हैं ममता की निर्झरनी में..
..देने आती हैं अपने भीतर से थोड़ा-थोड़ा सबको..
..बेटियाँ कुछ लेने नहीं आती हैं पीहर..
..जब भी लौटती हैं ससुराल..
..बहुत सारा वहीं छोड़ जाती हैं..
..तैरती रह जाती हैं..
..घर भर की नम आँखों में..
..उनकी प्यारी मुस्कान..
..जब भी आती हैं वे, लुटाने ही आती हैं अपना वैभव..
..बेटियाँ कुछ लेने नहीं आती हैं पीहर..
Dear Papa....

"बेटी" बनकर आई हु माँ-बाप के जीवन में,
बसेरा होगा कल मेरा किसी और के आँगन में,
क्यों ये रीत "रब" ने बनाई होगी,
"कहते" है आज नहीं तो कल तू "पराई" होगी,
"देके" जनम "पाल-पोसकर" b
जिसने हमें बड़ा किया,
और "वक़्त" आया तो उन्ही हाथो ने हमें "विदा" किया,
"टूट" के बिखर जाती हे हमारी "ज़िन्दगी " वही,
पर फिर भी उस "बंधन" में प्यार मिले "ज़रूरी" तो नहीं,
क्यों "रिश्ता" हमारा इतना "अजीब" होता है,
क्या बस यही "बेटियो" का "नसीब" होता हे??

"Papa" Says"...
बहुत "चंचल" बहुत
"खुशनुमा " सी होती है "बेटिया".
"नाज़ुक" सा "दिल" रखती है "मासूम" सी होती है "बेटिया".
"बात" बात पर रोती है
"नादान" सी होती है "बेटिया".
"रेहमत" से "भरपूर"
"खुदा" की "Nemat" है "बेटिया".
"घर" महक उठता है
जब "मुस्कराती" हैं "बेटिया".
"अजीब" सी "तकलीफ" होती है\
जब "दूसरे" घर जाती है "बेटियां".
"घर" लगता है सूना सूना "कितना" रुला के "जाती" है "बेटियां"
"ख़ुशी" की "झलक"
"बाबुल" की "लाड़ली" होती है "बेटियां"
ये "हम" नहीं "कहते"
यह तो "रब " कहता है. . क़े जब मैं बहुत खुश होता हु तो "जनम" लेती है
"प्यारी सी बेटियां"

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weighted trust graph for authentication

During the hackathon (discussed in earlier post), I met with Gary.  He had come in to be play mentor, but since he couldn't devote enough time, ended up being a guest.

After engaging Neo4J in few meetups and understanding the database a bit, i was contemplating using Graph databases for authentication.  It might have consequent applications in fraud analytics too, where graph databases are used already[1]

During the discussion on the idea, Gary suggested to mould the idea differently and possibly using Trust networks/graphs, wherein each node (entities i.e. people, organisations etc) are related to each other through weighted directed relationships.  The weight of this relationship can be deduced in multiple ways, e.g. by periodic algorithms similar to search engine ranking algorithms or by asking people their trust level of others on a scale of 1 to x. x being a hypothetical standard scale that can be used as a yardstick across the network for determining level of trust.

While researching some more, I found that similar research has been done in this space [2], though applications are few to come by.

It was also pointed out in the discussion that banks don't really have a huge interest in preventing this crime.  the view was, since banks already provision for certain amount in their balance sheets for these "potential" thefts, they don't really bother so much.

I believe that the financial institutions as a single unit need to attack these fraud crimes by joining hands and leveraging best of research and technology for minimising the crime.  The technology exists for providing unto the moment information on these events, some more innovation and research is needed that can bring together the whole picture and look like a "solution"


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ganesh ji aarati - Shendur laal chaadaayo

शेंदुर  लाल  चढायो  अच्छा  गजमुख  को
दोंदिल  लाल  बिराजे  सुत  गौरीहर  को
हाथ  लिए  गुण लड्डू  साई सुरवर को
महिमा  कहे  न  जाए  लागत  हूँ  पद  को 
जय देव जय देव

जय देव जय देव
जय  जय जी गणराज विद्यासुखदाता
धन्य तुम्हारोदर्शन मेरा मन रमता
जय देव जय देव
जय देव जय देव

भावभगत से कोई शरणागत आवे
सम्पति संतति सबही भरपूर पावे
ऐसे तुम महाराज मुझको अति भावे
गोसावीनंदन निशिदिन गुण गावे
जय देव जय देव

जय देव जय देव
जय  जय जी गणराज विद्यासुखदाता
धन्य तुम्हारोदर्शन मेरा मन रमता
जय देव जय देव
जय देव जय देव

घालिन लोताङ्गन  वंदिन चरण डोळ्यांनी पाहीं रूप तुझे ।
प्रेम आलिङ्गिन आनंदन पूजिन भावें ओवाळीं म्हाने नमा  । ।

त्वमेव  माता पिता त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव ।
त्वमेव विद्या  द्रविणं त्वमेव, त्वमेव सर्वं मम देव देव । ।

काएं वाच मनसेंद्रियैर्वा बुद्ध्यात्मना वा प्रकृतिस्वभावा ।
करोमि यद्यत् सकलं पारसमई नारायणायेति समर्पयामि । ।

अच्युतम केशवं रामनारायणं कृष्ण दामोदरं वासुदेवं हरि  ।
श्रीधरम माधवं गोपिकावल्लभं जानकीनायकं रामधरान्द्रम भजे  । ।

हरे राम हरे राम, राम राम हरे हरे 
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण, कृष्ण कृष्ण  हरे हरे  । 

हरे राम हरे राम, राम राम हरे हरे 
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण, कृष्ण कृष्ण  हरे हरे  ।

हरे राम हरे राम, राम राम हरे हरे 
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण, कृष्ण कृष्ण  हरे हरे  । 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hackathon - Fintechathon

A hackathon is a hacking marathon wherein many people are invited to attack problems around a theme.

I recently attended a hackathon over the valentines weekend.  Organised by StartupBootCamp Fintech, it was attended by about 100 people. Many ideas, many teams, some partners i.e. corporates with their own challenges.

I was initially team less, but then found some others who were in in my situation.  We formed a team,  around my favourite topic, data analytics.  We had two business development guys, Adam and Oksana, two java programmers, Nelson and Nick, and a mobile app developer Vlad.  

Hackathon teams are formed around ideas, wherein someone with an idea takes on the ownership, and the collects the team around it.  Things are focussed from moment one, and the march forward is fairly disciplined and fast, thats why the name hackathon... keep hacking, for long, long days and nights.

We, had the other way round.. all of us were teamless and therefore put together as a team. We had no idea to start with.  As a result of that, we spent better part of the friday evening and saturday zeroing on the problem to attack.  

Finally we decided to go ahead with an data analytics piece. I won't chalk out the details here, but its something that the marketing guys always love and like.  To know when their customers are off to a life event, and therefore could be offered some product.

By Sunday morning, we had lost two team members, one to a different idea and one to sleep. Vlad hadn't slept in 4 nights, so he kept sleeping much of Sunday.

As a result, we ended up a team without anyone who could do any UI design, and therefore only some backend API calls, some analytics pieces and nothing to show off.

The result was that, we couldn't show any working model in our pitch presentation and had to contend with a presentation only, which tried to describe our idea to the judges.

Of course we lost, but then it was a very nicely spent weekend, met some very nice people, made some contacts, and possibly a future for the idea.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Playing with R

Since early 2013, when I got to know of possible online learning for R through, I have been a fan of this language.

My teachers in college would probably not like to hear this, but I was never  a great Statistics student, it was always a "passing" requirement during my studies. However, when I learned about R and did some experimental work with R, i found that stats is indeed a very interesting and powerful mathematical tool. And with R i found it fun too, which in my personal opinion is the root of an ongoing learning process.  If learning is not fun, it stops.  

For me, laying my hands on RStudio was the best thing that happened to me around the statistics learning curve.  The tool makes your R learning curve so much more easy and possible, the college could never do that.

As an example, in college we could never realise real life examples and uses of regression, curve fitting etc.  However, now using R, it all makes so much more sense and with lot of ease. 

I can't put a finger on the clear reason, whether the years have added that capacity to understand the subject, or the very fact that today these kinds of tools exist which let you explore that area with so much straightforward ease, but the fact remains. It has become so much easy, relatively, to get your hands on the power of statistics and analytics with tools like.

Thats probably one reason, why i am getting more and more inclined towards data analytics. Its a very powerful and interesting area, with huge potential towards shaping our future.