Now, for each song, we want to compute a list of the songs that users most frequently play after that song.

The entire pipeline for this computation is a little more complex. It includes the following steps:

  • Read the column "info:track_plays" from rows in a Kiji table.
  • Transform the history of songs played into bigrams of songs.
  • Count the occurrences of every unique song pair.
  • Pack the pair of 'song_id and 'count fields into a SongCount record.
  • Sort the nextSongs associated with each first_song.
  • Do some final processing on the tuples.
  • Write top_next_songs to the “info:top_next_songs” column in the Kiji table.

The following sections walk through the pipeline line-by-line and describe the custom functions as they appear. The entire file is available at the end of the page.

Read "info:track_plays" from a Kiji table

The first line reads all values in the “info:track_plays” column from the Kiji table “users-table” into the field ‘playlist. Recall that the “info:track_plays” column contains, for each user row, each track played by that user, at the timestamp it was played.

          .withColumn("info", "track_plays")
          .build -> 'play

Transform songs histories into bigrams of songs

The next line maps ‘playlist (all songs a user has played) to bigrams of songs that were played in that order. bigrams is our first user-defined function in the pipeline, and it’s an important one:

  * Transforms a slice of song ids into a collection of tuples `(s1, s2)` signifying that `s2`
  * appeared after `s1` in the slice, chronologically.
  * @param slice of song ids representing a user's play history.
  * @return a list of song bigrams.
def bigrams(slice: Seq[FlowCell[String]]): List[(String, String)] = {
      .sortBy { _.version }
      .map { itr => itr.iterator }
      .map { itr => (, }

bigrams takes as an argument a slice of the table, and transforms it into a collection of tuples. Each tuple is a pair of songs where the second song was played directly after the first, that is, the function outputs a sequence of every two adjacent songs in the input. Bigrams are common in many types of statistical analysis, see the Wikipedia article on bigrams for more. As in the previous section, we use a flatMap, since the bigrams method produces a list of song pairs from each playlist.

    .flatMap('playlist -> ('first_song, 'song_id)) { bigrams }

Count the occurrences of every unique song pair

To count the occurrences of every unique song bigram, we use the groupBy and size functions. Here we group by a pair of fields, first_song and song_id:

    .groupBy(('first_song, 'song_id)) { _.size('count) }

The tuples coming out of this function have three fields: 'first_song, 'song_id, and 'count.

Pack the pair of ‘song_id and ‘count into a SongCount record

Next we convert every tuple into a SongCount Avro record, which contains a song_id and the corresponding count. The pack creates these records, specifying the fields (in this case, 'song_id and 'count) with which to construct the records, and the field ('song_count) into which to place the records:

    .pack[SongCount](('song_id, 'count) -> 'song_count)

We define the SongCount Avro record using the following Avro AVDL:

record SongCount {
  string song_id;
  long count;

Learn more about Kiji and Avro.

Sort the nextSongs associated with each first_song

We will now determine, for each song our users have played, the most common song they played next. To do so, we group by first_song and then sort by nextSong:

    .groupBy('first_song) { sortNextSongs }

You've seen groupBy operations before, with functions inline such as _.size('count) earlier in this script. Here, sortNextSongs is another function we have defined:

 * Transforms a group of tuples into a group containing a list of song count records,
 * sorted by count.
 * @param nextSongs is the group of tuples containing song count records.
 * @return a group containing a list of song count records, sorted by count.
def sortNextSongs(nextSongs: GroupBuilder): GroupBuilder = {
  nextSongs.sortBy('count).reverse.toList[SongCount]('songCount -> 'top_songs)

A Scalding GroupBuilder is basically a group of named tuples, which have been grouped by a field, and upon which you can operate inside a grouping operation. Here, we've grouped by the first_song field, and we sort the group by the number of times the second song has been played. The result is a list of songs in the order from most to least played, in the field top_songs.

top_songs contains the data we want: the next top songs, sorted by popularity, that follow any particular song. The last few lines are the machinery required to put that into our songs table.

Do some additional processing on the tuples

Next, we convert the tuple in top_songs to an Avro record with one field top_next_songs.

    .map('top_songs -> 'top_songs) { ts: List[SongCount] => ts.asJava }
    .pack[TopSongs]('top_songs -> 'top_next_songs)

The call to asJava converts our Scala List into a Java List for Avro serialization (Avro requires a Java List.) The Avro definition for TopSongs follows:

record TopSongs {
  array<SongCount> top_songs;

Write the top_next_songs field to the “info:top_next_songs” column in the Kiji table

Finally, we create entity IDs using the first_song field and put it in the entityId, then write the top_next_songs field to the "info:top_next_songs" column in our table.

    .map('first_song -> 'entityId) { first_song: String => EntityId(first_song) }
        .withColumnSpecs('top_next_songs -> QualifiedColumnOutputSpec.builder
            .withColumn("info", "top_next_songs")

Running TopNextSongs

  • To run the TopNextSongs job:
express job --libjars "${MUSIC_EXPRESS_HOME}/lib/*" \
    ${MUSIC_EXPRESS_HOME}/lib/kiji-express-music-1.0.1.jar \ --users-table ${KIJI}/users \
    --songs-table ${KIJI}/songs --hdfs

Verify the Output

  • To see the output from the job:
kiji scan ${KIJI}/songs --max-rows=2

You should see:

Scanning kiji table: kiji://localhost:2181/kiji_express_music/songs/
entity-id=['song-32'] [1365549351598] info:metadata
    {"song_name": "song name-32", "artist_name": "artist-2", "album_name": "album-0", "genre": "genre1.0", "tempo": 120, "duration": 180}
entity-id=['song-32'] [1365550614616] info:top_next_songs
    {"top_songs": [{"song_id": "song-31", "count": 8}, {"song_id": "song-30", "count": 8}, {"song_id": "song-33", "count": 6}, {"song_id": "song-32", "count": 6}, {"song_id": "song-38", "count": 4}, {"song_id": "song-37", "count": 4}, {"song_id": "song-39", "count": 2}, {"song_id": "song-8", "count": 2}, {"song_id": "song-6", "count": 1}, {"song_id": "song-34", "count": 1}, {"song_id": "song-29", "count": 1}, {"song_id": "song-24", "count": 1}, {"song_id": "song-23", "count": 1}, {"song_id": "song-0", "count": 1}]}
entity-id=['song-49'] [1365549353027] info:metadata
    {"song_name": "song name-49", "artist_name": "artist-3", "album_name": "album-1", "genre": "genre4.0", "tempo": 150, "duration": 180}
entity-id=['song-49'] [1365550613461] info:top_next_songs
    {"top_songs": [{"song_id": "song-38", "count": 1}, {"song_id": "song-8", "count": 1}, {"song_id": "song-31", "count": 1}, {"song_id": "song-10", "count": 1}, {"song_id": "song-6", "count": 1}]}

Notice that for each of these songs, there is now a info:top_next_songs column, which contains a record “top_songs”, the list of top songs played after each of these, in order of popularity. We now have the data necessary for a song recommendation model based on the most popular next songs.

Top Next Songs Job Content

Here's the entire TopNextSongs job: