notes24 - MapReduce In the past functional programming and...

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MapReduce In the past, functional programming, and higher-order functions in particular, have been considered esoteric and unimportant by most programmers. But the advent of highly parallel computation is changing that, because functional programming has the very useful property that the different pieces of a program don’t interfere with each other, so it doesn’t matter in what order they are invoked. Later this semester, when we have more sophisticated functional mechanisms to work with, we’ll be examining one famous example of functional programming at work: the MapReduce programming paradigm developed by Google that uses higher-order functions to allow a programmer to process large amount of data in parallel on many computers. Much of the computing done at Google consists of relatively simple algorithms applied to massive amounts of data, such as the entire World Wide Web. It’s routine for them to use clusters consisting of many thousands
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