Stream Sampling for Frequency Cap Statistics

28 Jun 2015  ·  Cohen Edith ·

Unaggregated data, in streamed or distributed form, is prevalent and come from diverse application domains which include interactions of users with web services and IP traffic. Data elements have {\em keys} (cookies, users, queries) and elements with different keys interleave... Analytics on such data typically utilizes statistics stated in terms of the frequencies of keys. The two most common statistics are {\em distinct}, which is the number of active keys in a specified segment, and {\em sum}, which is the sum of the frequencies of keys in the segment. Both are special cases of {\em cap} statistics, defined as the sum of frequencies {\em capped} by a parameter $T$, which are popular in online advertising platforms. Aggregation by key, however, is costly, requiring state proportional to the number of distinct keys, and therefore we are interested in estimating these statistics or more generally, sampling the data, without aggregation. We present a sampling framework for unaggregated data that uses a single pass (for streams) or two passes (for distributed data) and state proportional to the desired sample size. Our design provides the first effective solution for general frequency cap statistics. Our $\ell$-capped samples provide estimates with tight statistical guarantees for cap statistics with $T=\Theta(\ell)$ and nonnegative unbiased estimates of {\em any} monotone non-decreasing frequency statistics. An added benefit of our unified design is facilitating {\em multi-objective samples}, which provide estimates with statistical guarantees for a specified set of different statistics, using a single, smaller sample. read more

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