Enabling scientific data storage and processing on big-data systems

Saman Biookaghazadeh, Yiqi Xu, Shujia Zhou, Ming Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Big-data systems are increasingly important for solving the data-driven problems in many science domains including geosciences. However, existing big-data systems cannot support the self-describing data formats such as NetCDF which are commonly used by scientific communities for data distribution and sharing. This limitation presents a serious hurdle to the further adoption of big-data systems by science domains and prevents scientific users from leveraging these systems to improve their productivity. This paper presents a solution to this problem by enabling big-data systems to directly store and process scientific data. Specifically, it enables Hadoop to efficiently store NetCDF data on HDFS and process them in MapReduce using convenient APIs. It also enables Hive to support standard queries on NetCDF data, transparently to users. The paper also presents an evaluation of the proposed solution using several representative queries on a typical geoscientific dataset. The results show that the proposed approach achieves substantial speedup (up to 20 times) and space saving (83% reduction), compared to the traditional approach which has to convert NetCDF data to CSV format for Hadoop and Hive to use them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2015 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE Big Data 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781479999255
StatePublished - Dec 22 2015
Event3rd IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE Big Data 2015 - Santa Clara, United States
Duration: Oct 29 2015Nov 1 2015


Other3rd IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE Big Data 2015
CountryUnited States
CitySanta Clara


  • big data
  • Hadoop
  • NetCDF
  • Scientific data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Software

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Enabling scientific data storage and processing on big-data systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this