Java Machine Learning Connector (JMLC)
Java Machine Learning Connector (JMLC) API is a programmatic interface for interacting with SystemML
in an embedded fashion. To use JMLC, the small footprint “in-memory” SystemML jar file needs to be included on the
classpath of the Java application, since JMLC invokes SystemML in an existing Java Virtual Machine. Because
of this, JMLC allows access to SystemML’s optimizations and fast linear algebra, but the bulk performance
gain from running SystemML on a large Spark or Hadoop cluster is not available. However, this embeddable nature
allows SystemML to be part of a production pipeline for tasks such as scoring.
The primary purpose of JMLC is as a scoring API, where your scoring function is expressed using SystemML’s DML (Declarative Machine Learning) language. Scoring occurs on a single machine in a single JVM on a relatively small amount of input data which produces a relatively small amount of output data. For consistency, it is important to be able to express a scoring function in the same DML language used for training a model, since different implementations of linear algebra (for instance MATLAB and R) can deliver slightly different results.
In addition to scoring, embedded SystemML can be used for tasks such as unsupervised learning (for example, clustering) in the context of a larger application running on a single machine.
Performance penalties include startup costs, so JMLC has facilities to perform some startup tasks once, such as script precompilation. Due to startup costs, it tends to be best practice to do batch scoring, such as scoring 1000 records at a time. For large amounts of data, it is recommended to run DML in one of SystemML’s distributed modes, such as Spark batch mode or Hadoop batch mode, to take advantage of SystemML’s distributed computing capabilities. JMLC offers embeddability at the cost of performance, so its use is dependent on the nature of the business use case being addressed.
JMLC is patterned loosely after JDBC. To interact with SystemML via JMLC, we can begin by creating a
object. We can then prepare (precompile) a DML script by calling the
which returns a
PreparedScript object. We can then call the
executeScript method on the
object to invoke this script.
Here, we see a “hello world” example, which invokes SystemML via JMLC and prints “hello world” to the console.
Next, let’s consider a more practical example. Consider the following DML script. It takes input data matrix
and input model matrix
W. Scores are computed, and it returns a (n x 1) matrix
predicted_y consisting of the
column indexes of the maximum values of each row in the
scores matrix. Note that since values are being read
in and out programmatically, we can ignore the parameters in the
In the Java below, we initialize SystemML by obtaining a
Connection object. Next, we read in the above DML script
"scoring-example.dml") as a
String. We precompile this script by calling the
prepareScript method on the
Connection object with the names of the inputs (
"X") and outputs (
"predicted_y") to register.
Following this, we set matrix
"W" and we set a matrix of input data
"X". We execute the script and read
"predicted_y" matrix. We repeat this process. When done, we close the SystemML
For additional information regarding programmatic access to SystemML, please see the Spark MLContext Programming Guide.