Bootstrapping is commonly used as a tool for non-parametric statistical inference to assess the quality of estimators in variable selection models. However, for a massive dataset, the computational requirement when using bootstrapping in variable selection models (BootVS) can be crucial. In this study, we propose a novel framework using a bag of little bootstraps variable selection (BLBVS) method with a ridge hybrid procedure to assess the quality of estimators in generalized linear models with a regularized term, such as lasso and group lasso penalties. The proposed method can be easily and naturally implemented with distributed computing, and thus has significant computational advantages for massive datasets. The simulation results show that our novel BLBVS method performs excellently in both accuracy and efficiency when compared with BootVS. Real data analyses including regression on a bike sharing dataset and classification of a lending club dataset are presented to illustrate the computational superiority of BLBVS in large-scale datasets.
Journal:Journal of Data Science
Volume 20, Issue 3 (2022): Special Issue: Data Science Meets Social Sciences, pp. 413–436
This paper provides an overview of how to use “big data” for social science research (with an emphasis on economics and finance). We investigate the performance and ease of use of different Spark applications running on a distributed file system to enable the handling and analysis of data sets which were previously not usable due to their size. More specifically, we explain how to use Spark to (i) explore big data sets which exceed retail grade computers memory size and (ii) run typical statistical/econometric tasks including cross sectional, panel data and time series regression models which are prohibitively expensive to evaluate on stand-alone machines. By bridging the gap between the abstract concept of Spark and ready-to-use examples which can easily be altered to suite the researchers need, we provide economists and social scientists more generally with the theory and practice to handle the ever growing datasets available. The ease of reproducing the examples in this paper makes this guide a useful reference for researchers with a limited background in data handling and distributed computing.