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From "Ballas, Ryan W" <>
Subject Issues with large schema tables
Date Wed, 07 Mar 2018 18:34:50 GMT
Hello All,

Our team is having a lot of issues with the Spark API particularly with large schema tables.
We currently have a program written in Scala that utilizes the Apache spark API to create
two tables from raw files. We have one particularly very large raw data file that contains
around ~4700 columns and ~200,000 rows. Every week we get a new file that shows the updates,
inserts and deletes that happened in the last week. Our program will create two files –
a master file and a history file. The master file will be the most up to date version of this
table while the history table shows all changes inserts and updates that happened to this
table and showing what changed. For example, if we have the following schema where A and B
are unique:

Week 1                                                                                  Week
A             B             C                                                            
 A             B             C
1              2              3                                                          
   1              2              4

Then the master table will now be
A             B             C
1              2              4

and History table will be
A             B             change_column  change_type        old_value              new_value
1              2              C                              Update                  3   

This process is working flawlessly for shorter schema tables. We have a table that has 300
columns but over 100,000,000 rows and this code still runs. The process above for the larger
schema table runs for around 15 hours, and then crashes with the following error:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.StackOverflowError
        at scala.collection.generic.Growable$class.loop$1(Growable.scala:52)
        at scala.collection.generic.Growable$class.$plus$plus$eq(Growable.scala:57)
        at scala.collection.mutable.ListBuffer.$plus$plus$eq(ListBuffer.scala:183)
        at scala.collection.mutable.ListBuffer.$plus$plus$eq(ListBuffer.scala:45)
        at scala.collection.TraversableLike$$anonfun$flatMap$1.apply(TraversableLike.scala:241)
        at scala.collection.TraversableLike$$anonfun$flatMap$1.apply(TraversableLike.scala:241)
        at scala.collection.immutable.List.foreach(List.scala:381)
        at scala.collection.TraversableLike$class.flatMap(TraversableLike.scala:241)
        at scala.collection.immutable.List.flatMap(List.scala:344)

Some other notes… This is running on a very large MAPR cluster. We have tried running the
job with upwards of ½ a TB of RAM and this still happens. All of our other smaller schema
tables run except for this one.

Here is a code example that takes around 4 hours to run for this larger table, but runs in
20 seconds for other tables:

var dataframe_result = dataframe1.join(broadcast(dataframe2), Seq(listOfUniqueIds:_*)).repartition(100).cache()

We have tried all of the following with no success:

  *   Using hash broad-cast joins (dataframe2 is smaller, dataframe1 is huge)
  *   Repartioining on different numbers, as well as not repartitioning at all
  *   Caching the result of the dataframe (we originally did not do this).

What is causing this error and how do we go about fixing it? This code just takes in 1 parameter
(the table to run) so it’s the exact same code for every table. It runs flawlessly for every
other table except for this one. The only thing different between this table and all the other
ones is the number of columns. This has the most columns at 4700 where the second most is

If anyone has any ideas on how to fix this it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance
for the help!!

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