Coresets for k-Segmentation of Streaming Data

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)

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Guy Rosman, Mikhail Volkov, Dan Feldman, John W. Fisher III, Daniela Rus


Life-logging video streams, financial time series, and Twitter tweets are a few examples of high-dimensional signals over practically unbounded time. We consider the problem of computing optimal segmentation of such signals by k-piecewise linear function, using only one pass over the data by maintaining a coreset for the signal. The coreset enables fast further analysis such as automatic summarization and analysis of such signals. A coreset (core-set) is a compact representation of the data seen so far, which approximates the data well for a specific task -- in our case, segmentation of the stream. We show that, perhaps surprisingly, the segmentation problem admits coresets of cardinality only linear in the number of segments k, independently of both the dimension d of the signal, and its number n of points. More precisely, we construct a representation of size O(klog n /eps^2) that provides a (1+eps)-approximation for the sum of squared distances to any given k-piecewise linear function. Moreover, such coresets can be constructed in a parallel streaming approach. Our results rely on a novel eduction of statistical estimations to problems in computational geometry. We empirically evaluate our algorithms on very large synthetic and real data sets from GPS, video and financial domains, using 255 machines in Amazon cloud.