Interview Dean Abbott Abbott Analytics

Here is an interview with noted Analytics Consultant and trainer Dean Abbott. Dean is scheduled to take a workshop on Predictive Analytics at PAW (Predictive Analytics World Conference)  Oct 18 , 2010 in Washington D.C

Ajay-  Describe your upcoming hands on workshop at Predictive Analytics World and how it can help people learn more predictive modeling.


Dean- The hands-on workshop is geared toward individuals who know something about predictive analytics but would like to experience the process. It will help people in two regards. First, by going through the data assessment, preparation, modeling and model assessment stages in one day, the attendees will see how predictive analytics works in reality, including some of the pain associated with false starts and mistakes. At the same time, they will experience success with building reasonable models to solve a problem in a single day. I have found that for many, having to actually build the predictive analytics solution if an eye-opener. Seeing demonstrations show the capabilities of a tool, but greater value for an end-user is the development of intuition of what to do at each each stage of the process that makes the theory of predictive analytics real.

Second, they will gain experience using a top-tier predictive analytics software tool, Enterprise Miner (EM). This is especially helpful for those who are considering purchasing EM, but also for those who have used open source tools and have never experienced the additional power and efficiencies that come with a tool that is well thought out from a business solutions standpoint (as opposed to an algorithm workbench).

Ajay-  You are an instructor with software ranging from SPSS, S Plus, SAS Enterprise Miner, Statistica and CART. What features of each software do you like best and are more suited for application in data cases.

Dean- I’ll add Tibco Spotfire Miner, Polyanalyst and Unica’s Predictive Insight to the list of tools I’ve taught “hands-on” courses around, and there are at least a half dozen more I demonstrate in lecture courses (JMP, Matlab, Wizwhy, R, Ggobi, RapidMiner, Orange, Weka, RandomForests and TreeNet to name a few). The development of software is a fascinating undertaking, and each tools has its own strengths and weaknesses.

I personally gravitate toward tools with data flow / icon interface because I think more that way, and I’ve tired of learning more programming languages.

Since the predictive analytics algorithms are roughly the same (backdrop is backdrop no matter which tool you use), the key differentiators are

(1) how data can be loaded in and how tightly integrated can the tool be with the database,

(2) how well big data can be handled,

(3) how extensive are the data manipulation options,

(4) how flexible are the model reporting options, and

(5) how can you get the models and/or predictions out.

There are vast differences in the tools on these matters, so when I recommend tools for customers, I usually interview them quite extensively to understand better how they use data and how the models will be integrated into their business practice.

A final consideration is related to the efficiency of using the tool: how much automation can one introduce so that user-interaction is minimized once the analytics process has been defined. While I don’t like new programming languages, scripting and programming often helps here, though some tools have a way to run the visual programming data diagram itself without converting it to code.

Ajay- What are your views on the increasing trend of consolidation and mergers and acquisitions in the predictive analytics space. Does this increase the need for vendor neutral analysts and consultants as well as conferences.

Dean- When companies buy a predictive analytics software package, it’s a mixed bag. SPSS purchasing of Clementine was ultimately good for the predictive analytics, though it took several years for SPSS to figure out what they wanted to do with it. Darwin ultimately disappeared after being purchased by Oracle, but the newer Oracle data mining tool, ODM, integrates better with the database than Darwin did or even would have been able to.

The biggest trend and pressure for the commercial vendors is the improvements in the Open Source and GNU tools. These are becoming more viable for enterprise-level customers with big data, though from what I’ve seen, they haven’t caught up with the big commercial players yet. There is great value in bringing both commercial and open source tools to the attention of end-users in the context of solutions (rather than sales) in a conference setting, which is I think an advantage that Predictive Analytics World has.

As a vendor-neutral consultant, flux is always a good thing because I have to be proficient in a variety of tools, and it is the breadth that brings value for customers entering into the predictive analytics space. But it is very difficult to keep up with the rapidly-changing market and that is something I am weighing myself: how many tools should I keep in my active toolbox.

Ajay-  Describe your career and how you came into the Predictive Analytics space. What are your views on various MS Analytics offered by Universities.

Dean- After getting a masters degree in Applied Mathematics, my first job was at a small aerospace engineering company in Charlottesville, VA called Barron Associates, Inc. (BAI); it is still in existence and doing quite well! I was working on optimal guidance algorithms for some developmental missile systems, and statistical learning was a key part of the process, so I but my teeth on pattern recognition techniques there, and frankly, that was the most interesting part of the job. In fact, most of us agreed that this was the most interesting part: John Elder (Elder Research) was the first employee at BAI, and was there at that time. Gerry Montgomery and Paul Hess were there as well and left to form a data mining company called AbTech and are still in analytics space.

After working at BAI, I had short stints at Martin Marietta Corp. and PAR Government Systems were I worked on analytics solutions in DoD, primarily radar and sonar applications. It was while at Elder Research in the 90s that began working in the commercial space more in financial and risk modeling, and then in 1999 I began working as an independent consultant.

One thing I love about this field is that the same techniques can be applied broadly, and therefore I can work on CRM, web analytics, tax and financial risk, credit scoring, survey analysis, and many more application, and cross-fertilize ideas from one domain into other domains.

Regarding MS degrees, let me first write that I am very encouraged that data mining and predictive analytics are being taught in specific class and programs rather than as just an add-on to an advanced statistics or business class. That stated, I have mixed feelings about analytics offerings at Universities.

I find that most provide a good theoretical foundation in the algorithms, but are weak in describing the entire process in a business context. For those building predictive models, the model-building stage nearly always takes much less time than getting the data ready for modeling and reporting results. These are cross-discipline tasks, requiring some understanding of the database world and the business world for us to define the target variable(s) properly and clean up the data so that the predictive analytics algorithms to work well.

The programs that have a practicum of some kind are the most useful, in my opinion. There are some certificate programs out there that have more of a business-oriented framework, and the NC State program builds an internship into the degree itself. These are positive steps in the field that I’m sure will continue as predictive analytics graduates become more in demand.


DEAN ABBOTT is President of Abbott Analytics in San Diego, California. Mr. Abbott has over 21 years of experience applying advanced data mining, data preparation, and data visualization methods in real-world data intensive problems, including fraud detection, response modeling, survey analysis, planned giving, predictive toxicology, signal process, and missile guidance. In addition, he has developed and evaluated algorithms for use in commercial data mining and pattern recognition products, including polynomial networks, neural networks, radial basis functions, and clustering algorithms, and has consulted with data mining software companies to provide critiques and assessments of their current features and future enhancements.

Mr. Abbott is a seasoned instructor, having taught a wide range of data mining tutorials and seminars for a decade to audiences of up to 400, including DAMA, KDD, AAAI, and IEEE conferences. He is the instructor of well-regarded data mining courses, explaining concepts in language readily understood by a wide range of audiences, including analytics novices, data analysts, statisticians, and business professionals. Mr. Abbott also has taught both applied and hands-on data mining courses for major software vendors, including Clementine (SPSS, an IBM Company), Affinium Model (Unica Corporation), Statistica (StatSoft, Inc.), S-Plus and Insightful Miner (Insightful Corporation), Enterprise Miner (SAS), Tibco Spitfire Miner (Tibco), and CART (Salford Systems).

Red Hat worth 7.8 Billion now

I was searching for a Linux install of Revolution’s latest enterprise version, but it seems version 4 will be available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux only by Decemebr 2010. Also even though Revolution once opted for co branding with Canonical’s Karmic Koala, they seem to have ignored Ubuntu from the Enterprise version of Revolution R.

Base R Revolution R Community Revolution R Enterprise
Buy Now
Target Use Open Source Product Evaluation & Simple Prototyping Business, Research & Academics
100% Compatible with R language X X X
Certified for Stability X X
Command-Line Programming X X X
Getting Started Guide X X
Performance & Scalability
Analyze larger data sets with 64-bit RAM X X
Optimized for Multi-processor workstations X X
Multi-threaded Math libraries X X
Parallel Programming (Single Workstation) X X
Out-of-the-Box Cluster-Ready X
“Big Data” Analysis
Terabyte-Class File Structures X
Specialized “Big Data” Algorithms X
Integrated Web Services
Scalable Web Services Platform X*
User Interface
Visual IDE X
Comprehensive Data Analysis GUI X*
Technical Support
Discussion Forums X X X
Online Support Mailing List Forum X
Email Support X
Phone Support X
Support for Base & Recommended R Packages X X X
Authorized Training & Consulting X
Single User X X X
Multi-User Server X X
32-bit Windows X X X
64-bit Windows X X
Mac OS X X X
Ubuntu Linux X X
Red Hat Enterprise Linux X
Cloud-Ready X

and though the page on RED HAT’s Partner page for Revolution seems old/not so updated;#productId=188

, I was still curious to see what the buzz about Red Hat is all about.

And one of the answers is Red Hat is now a 7.8 Billion Dollar Company.

Red Hat Reports Second Quarter Results

  • Revenue of $220 million, up 20% from the prior year
  • GAAP operating income up 24%, non-GAAP operating income up 25% from the prior year
  • Deferred revenue of $650 million, up 12% from the prior year

RALEIGH, NC – Sept 22, 2010 – Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced financial results for its fiscal year 2011 second quarter ended August 31, 2010.

Total revenue for the quarter was $219.8 million, an increase of 20% from the year ago quarter. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $186.2 million, up 19% year-over-year.

and the stock goes zoom 48 % up for the year;NASDAQ:ORCL;NASDAQ:MSFT;NYSE:IBM&cmptdms=0;0;0;0&q=NYSE:RHT&ntsp=0

(Note to Google- please put the URL shortener on Google Finance as well)

The software is also reasonably priced starting from 80$ onwards.

Basic Subscription

Web support, 2 business day response, unlimited incidents
1 Year
Multi-OS with Basic SubscriptionWeb support, 2 business day response, unlimited incidents
1 Year
Workstation with Basic Subscription
Web support, 2 business day response, unlimited incidents
1 Year
Workstation and Multi-OS with Basic Subscription
Web support, 2 business day response, unlimited incidents
1 Year
Workstation with Standard Subscription
Business Hours phone support, web support, unlimited incidents
1 Year
Workstation and Multi-OS with Standard Subscription
Business Hours phone support, web support, unlimited incidents
1 Year
That should be a good enough case for open source as a business model.

Making NeW R

Tal G in his excellent blog piece talks of “Why R Developers  should not be paid”

His argument of love is not very original though it was first made by these four guys

I am going to argue that “some” R developers should be paid, while the main focus should be volunteers code. These R developers should be paid as per usage of their packages.

Let me expand.

Imagine the following conversation between Ross Ihaka, Norman Nie and Peter Dalgaard.

Norman- Hey Guys, Can you give me some code- I got this new startup.

Ross Ihaka and Peter Dalgaard- Sure dude. Here is 100,000 lines of code, 2000 packages and 2 decades of effort.

Norman- Thanks guys.

Ross Ihaka- Hey, What you gonna do with this code.

Norman- I will better it. Sell it. Finally beat Jim Goodnight and his **** Proc GLM and **** Proc Reg.

Ross- Okay, but what will you give us? Will you give us some code back of what you improve?

Norman – Uh, let me explain this open core …

Peter D- Well how about some royalty?

Norman- Sure, we will throw parties at all conferences, snacks you know at user groups.

Ross – Hmm. That does not sound fair. (walks away in a huff muttering)-He takes our code, sells it and wont share the code

Peter D- Doesnt sound fair. I am back to reading Hamlet, the great Dane, and writing the next edition of my book. I am glad I wrote a book- Ross didnt even write that.

Norman-Uh Oh. (picks his phone)- Hey David Smith, We need to write some blog articles pronto – these open source guys ,man…

———–I think that sums what has been going on in the dynamics of R recently. If Ross Ihaka and R Gentleman had adopted an open core strategy- meaning you can create packages to R but not share the original where would we all be?

At this point if he is reading this, David Smith , long suffering veteran of open source  flameouts is rolling his eyes while Tal G is wondering if he will publish this on R Bloggers and if so when or something.

Lets bring in another R veteran-  Hadley Wickham who wrote a book on R and also created ggplot. Thats the best quality, most often used graphics package.

In terms of economic utilty to end user- the ggplot package may be as useful if not more as the foreach package developed by Revolution Computing/Analytics.

Now says that foreach is licensed under

However lets come to open core licensing ( read it here ) which is where the debate is- Revolution takes code- enhances it (in my opinion) substantially with new formats XDF for better efficieny, web services API, and soon coming next year a GUI (thanks in advance , Dr Nie and guys)

and sells this advanced R code to businesses happy to pay ( they are currently paying much more to DR Goodnight and HIS guys)

Why would any sane customer buy it from Revolution- if he could download exactly the same thing from

Hence the business need for Revolution Analytics to have an enhanced R- as they are using a product based software model not software as a service model.

If Revolution gives away source code of these new enhanced codes to R core team- how will R core team protect the above mentioned intelectual property- given they have 2 decades experience of giving away free code , and back and forth on just code.

Now Revolution also has a marketing budget- and thats how they sponsor some R Core events, conferences, after conference snacks.

How would people decide if they are being too generous or too stingy in their contribution (compared to the formidable generosity of SAS Institute to its employees, stakeholders and even third party analysts).

Would it not be better- IF Revolution can shift that aspect of relationship to its Research and Development budget than it’s marketing budget- come with some sort of incentive for “SOME” developers – even researchers need grants and assistantships, scholarships, make a transparent royalty formula say 17.5 % of the NEW R sales goes to R PACKAGE Developers pool, which in turn examines usage rate of packages and need/merit before allocation- that would require Revolution to evolve from a startup to a more sophisticated corporate and R Core can use this the same way as John M Chambers software award/scholarship

Dont pay all developers- it would be an insult to many of them – say Prof Harrell creator of HMisc to accept – but can Revolution expand its dev base (and prospect for future employees) by even sponsoring some R Scholarships.

And I am sure that if Revolution opens up some more code to the community- they would the rest of the world and it’s help useful. If it cant trust people like R Gentleman with some source code – well he is a board member.


Now to sum up some technical discussions on NeW R

1)  An accepted way of benchmarking efficiencies.

2) Code review and incorporation of efficiencies.

3) Multi threading- Multi core usage are trends to be incorporated.

4) GUIs like R Commander E Plugins for other packages, and Rattle for Data Mining to have focussed (or Deducer). This may involve hiring User Interface Designers (like from Apple 😉  who will work for love AND money ( Even the Beatles charge royalty for that song)

5) More support to cloud computing initiatives like Biocep and Elastic R – or Amazon AMI for using cloud computers- note efficiency arguements dont matter if you just use a Chrome Browser and pay 2 cents a hour for an Amazon Instance. Probably R core needs more direct involvement of Google (Cloud OS makers) and Amazon as well as even (for creating Apps). Note even more corporates here need to be involved as cloud computing doesnot have any free and open source infrastructure (YET)


Debates will come and go. This is an interesting intellectual debate and someday the liitle guys will win the Revolution-

From Hugh M of Gaping Void-



“If something goes wrong with Microsoft, I can phone Microsoft up and have it fixed. With Open Source, I have to rely on the community.”

And the community, as much as we may love it, is unpredictable. It might care about your problem and want to fix it, then again, it may not. Anyone who has ever witnessed something online go “viral”, good or bad, will know what I’m talking about.

and especially-


Kind of sums up why the open core licensing is all about.

Analytics and Journals

Some good journals for reading on analytics-

1) JSS

present research that demonstrates the joint evolution of computational and statistical methods and techniques.  Implementations can use languages such as C, C++, S, Fortran, Java, PHP, Python and Ruby or environments such as Mathematica, MATLAB, R, S-PLUS, SAS, Stata, and XLISP-STAT.

There are currently 370 articles, 23 code snippets, 86 book reviews, 4 software reviews, and 7 special volumes in archives

2) R Journal

The  Journal

3) Pharma Programming

Pharmaceutical Programming is the official journal of the Pharmaceutical Users Software Exchange (PhUSE), a non-profit membership society with the objective of educating programmers and their managers working in the pharmaceutical industry. Available both in print and online, Pharmaceutical Programming is an international journal with focus on programming in the regulated environment of the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry.

4) SAS Papers – User Groups

4569 SAS papers presented
at SGF/SUGI 1996-2010.
1343 SAS papers presented
at PharmaSUG 2000-2010.
1810 SAS papers presented
at NESUG 1997-2009.
1191 SAS papers presented
at SESUG 1999-2009.
463 SAS papers presented
at PhUSE 2005-2009.
787 SAS papers presented
at WUSS 2003-2009.
337 SAS papers presented
at MWSUG 2001, 2004-2009.
188 SAS papers presented
at PNWSUG 2004-2009.
246 SAS papers presented
at SCSUG 2003-2007, 2009.
221 SAS papers related to CDISC.
Easy access to the CDISC Forum.


Magazine by

6) Data Mining Journals

Academic Journals

Journals relevant to Data Mining

KXEN Update

Update from a very good data mining software company, KXEN –

  1. Longtime Chairman and founder Roger Haddad is retiring but would be a Board Member. See his interview with Decisionstats here (note images were hidden due to migration from .com to )
  2. New Members of Leadership are as-
John Ball, CEOJohn Ball
Chief Executive Officer

John Ball brings 20 years of experience in enterprise software, deep expertise in business intelligence and CRM applications, and a proven track record of success driving rapid growth at highly innovative companies.

Prior to joining KXEN, Mr. Ball served in several executive roles at, the leading provider of SaaS applications. Most recently, John served as VP & General Manager, Analytics and Reporting Products, where he spearheaded’s foray into CRM analytics and business intelligence. John also served as VP & General Manager, Service and Support Applications at, where he successfully grew the business to become the second largest and fastest growing product line at Before, Ball was founder and CEO of Netonomy, the leading provider of customer self-service solutions for the telecommunications industry. Ball also held a number of executive roles at Business Objects, including General Manager, Web Products, where delivered to market the first 3 versions of WebIntelligence. Ball has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and a master’s degree in electric

I hope John atleast helps build a KXEN application- there are only 2 data mining apps there on App Exchange. Also on the wish list  more social media presence, a Web SaaS/Amazon API for KXEN, greater presence in American/Asian conferences, and a solution for SME’s (which cannot afford the premium pricing of the flagship solution. An alliance with bigger BI vendors like Oracle, SAP or IBM  for selling the great social network analysis.

Bill Russell as Non Executive Chairman-

Bill Russell as Non-executive Chairman of the Board, effective July 16 2010. Russell has 30 years of operational experience in enterprise software, with a special focus on business intelligence, analytics, and databases.Russell held a number of senior-level positions in his more than 20 years at Hewlett-Packard, including Vice President and General Manager of the multi-billion dollar Enterprise Systems Group. He has served as Non-executive Chairman of the Board for Sylantro Systems Corporation, webMethods Inc., and Network Physics, Inc. and has served as a board director for Cognos Inc. In addition to KXEN, Russell currently serves on the boards of Saba, PROS Holdings Inc., Global 360, ParAccel Inc., and B.T. Mancini Company.

Xavier Haffreingue as senior vice president, worldwide professional services and solutions.
He has almost 20 years of international enterprise software experience gained in the CRM, BI, Web and database sectors. Haffreingue joins KXEN from software provider Axway where he was VP global support operations. Prior to Axway, he held various leadership roles in the software industry, including VP self service solutions at Comverse Technologies and VP professional services and support at Netonomy, where he successfully delivered multi-million dollar projects across Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Before that he was with Business Objects and Sybase, where he ran support and services in southern Europe managing over 2,500 customers in more than 20 countries.

David Guercio  as senior vice president, Americas field operations. Guercio brings to the role more than 25 years experience of building and managing high-achieving sales teams in the data mining, business intelligence and CRM markets. Guercio comes to KXEN from product lifecycle management vendor Centric Software, where he was EVP sales and client services. Prior to Centric, he was SVP worldwide sales and client services at Inxight Software, where he was also Chairman and CEO of the company’s Federal Systems Group, a subsidiary of Inxight that saw success in the US Federal Government intelligence market. The success in sales growth and penetration into the federal government led to the acquisition of Inxight by Business Objects in 2007, where Guercio then led the Inxight sales organization until Business Objects was acquired by SAP. Guercio was also a key member of the management team and a co-founder at Neovista, an early pioneer in data mining and predictive analytics. Additionally, he held the positions of director of sales and VP of professional services at Metaphor Computer Systems, one of the first data extraction solutions companies, which was acquired by IBM. During his career, Guercio also held executive positions at Resonate and SiGen.

3) Venture Capital funding to fund expansion-

It has closed $8 million in series D funding to further accelerate its growth and international expansion. The round was led by NextStage and included participation from existing investors XAnge Capital, Sofinnova Ventures, Saints Capital and Motorola Ventures.

This was done after John Ball had joined as CEO.

4) Continued kudos from analysts and customers for it’s technical excellence.

KXEN was named a leader in predictive analytics and data mining by Forrester Research (1) and was rated highest for commercial deployments of social network analytics by Frost & Sullivan (2)

Also it became an alliance partner of Accenture- which is also a prominent SAS partner as well.

In Database Optimization-

In KXEN V5.1, a new data manipulation module (ADM) is provided in conjunction with scoring to optimize database workloads and provide full in-database model deployment. Some leading data mining vendors are only now beginning to offer this kind of functionality, and then with only one or two selected databases, giving KXEN a more than five-year head start. Some other vendors are only offering generic SQL generation, not optimized for each database, and do not provide the wealth of possible outputs for their scoring equations: For example, real operational applications require not only to generate scores, but decision probabilities, error bars, individual input contributions – used to derive reasons of decision and more, which are available in KXEN in-database scoring modules.

Since 2005, KXEN has leveraged databases as the data manipulation engine for analytical dataset generation. In 2008, the ADM (Analytical Data Management) module delivered a major enhancement by providing a very easy to use data manipulation environment with unmatched productivity and efficiency. ADM works as a generator of optimized database-specific SQL code and comes with an integrated layer for the management of meta-data for analytics.

KXEN Modeling Factory- (similar to SAS’s recent product Rapid Predictive Modeler and

KXEN Modeling Factory (KMF) has been designed to automate the development and maintenance of predictive analytics-intensive systems, especially systems that include large numbers of models, vast amounts of data or require frequent model refreshes. Information about each project and model is monitored and disseminated to ensure complete management and oversight and to facilitate continual improvement in business performance.

Main Functions

Schedule: creation of the Analytic Data Set (ADS), setup of how and when to score, setup of when and how to perform model retraining and refreshes …

: Monitormodel execution over time, Track changes in model quality over time, see how useful one variable is by considering its multiple instance in models …

: Rather than having to wade through pages of event logs, KMF Department allows users to manage by exception through notifications.

Other products from KXEN have been covered here before , including Structural Risk Minimization-

Thats all for the KXEN update- all the best to the new management team and a splendid job done by Roger Haddad in creating what is France and Europe’s best known data mining company.

Note- Source –

Kill R? Wait a sec

1) Is R efficient? (scripting wise, and performance wise) _ Depends on how you code it- some Packages like foreach can help but basic efficiency come from programmer. XDF formats from Revoscalar -the non open R package further improve programming efficiency

2) Should R be written from scratch?

You got to be kidding- It depends on how you define scratch after 2 million users

This has been done with S, then S Plus and now R.

3) What should be the license of R (if it was made a new)?

GPL license is fine. You need to do a better job of executing the license. Currently interfaces to R exist from SPSS, SAS, KXEN , other companies as well. To my knowledge royalty payments as well as formal code sharing does not agree.

R core needs to do a better job of protecting the work of 2500 package-creators rather than settling for a few snacks at events, sponsorships, Corporate Board Membership for Prof Gentleman, and 4-5 packages donated to it. The only way R developers can currently support their research is write a book (ny Springer mostly)

Eg GGplot and Hmisc are likely to be used more by average corporate user. Do their creators deserve royalty if creators of RevoScalar are getting it?

If some of 2 million users gave 1 $ to R core (compared to 9 million in last round of funding in Revolution Analytics)- you would have enough money to create a 64 bit optimized R for Linux (missing in Enterprise R), Amazon R APIs (like Karim Chine’s efforts), R GUIs (like Rattle’s commercial version) etc etc

The developments are not surprising given that Microsoft and Intel are funding Revolution Analytics

R controversies come and go (this has happened before including the NYT article and shakeup at Revo)

An interesting debate on whether R should be killed to make an upgrade to a more efficient language.

From Tal (creator R Bloggers) and on R help list-

There is currently a (very !) lively discussions happening around the web, surrounding the following topics:
1) Is R efficient? (scripting wise, and performance wise)
2) Should R be written from scratch?
3) What should be the license of R (if it was made a new)?

Very serious people have taken part in the debates so far.  I hope to let you know of the places I came by, so you might be able to follow/participate
in these (IMHO) important discussions.

The discussions started in the response for the following blog post on
Xi’An’s blog:

Followed by the (short) response post by Ross Ihaka:

Other discussions started to appear on Andrew Gelman’s blog:

And (many) more responses started to appear in the hackers news website:

I hope these discussions will have fruitful results for our community,

Contact me: |  972-52-7275845
Read me: (Hebrew) | (Hebrew) | (English)

My 0 cents ( see it would 2 cents but it;s free)

Google moving on from MapReduce: rest of world still catching up

Apparently it is true as per the Register, but details in a paper next month- It is called Google Caffeine.

Caffeine expands on BigTable to create a kind of database programming model that lets the company make changes to its web index without rebuilding the entire index from scratch. “[Caffeine] is a database-driven, Big Table–variety indexing system,” Lipkovitz tells The Reg, saying that Google will soon publish a paper discussing the system. The paper, he says, will be delivered next month at the USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI).

and interestingly

MapReduce, he says, isn’t suited to calculations that need to occur in near real-time.

MapReduce is a sequence of batch operations, and generally, Lipkovits explains, you can’t start your next phase of operations until you finish the first. It suffers from “stragglers,” he says. If you want to build a system that’s based on series of map-reduces, there’s a certain probability that something will go wrong, and this gets larger as you increase the number of operations. “You can’t do anything that takes a relatively short amount of time,” Lipkovitz says, “so we got rid of it.”

With Caffeine, Google can update its index by making direct changes to the web map already stored in BigTable. This includes a kind of framework that sits atop BigTable, and Lipkovitz compares it to old-school database programming and the use of “database triggers.”

but most importantly

In 2004, Google published research papers on GFS and MapReduce that became the basis for the open source Hadoop platform now used by Yahoo!, Facebook, and — yes — Microsoft. But as Google moves beyond GFS and MapReduce, Lipokovitz stresses that he is “not claiming that the rest of the world is behind us.”

But oh no!

“We’re in business of making searches useful,” he says. “We’re not in the business of selling infrastructure

But I say why not- Search is good and advertising is okay

There is more (not evil) money in infrastructure (of big data) as there is in advertising. But the advertising guys disagree