Histogramming data streams with fast per-item processing

Sudipto Guha, Piotr Indyk, S. Muthukrishnan, Martin J. Strauss

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


    A vector A of length N can be approximately represented by a histogram H, by writing [0,N) as the non-overlapping union of B intervals Ij, assigning a value bj to Ij, and approximating A i by Hi = bj for i ∈ Ij. An optimal histogram representation Hopt consists of the choices of Ij and bj that minimize the sum-square-error ∥A - H∥22 = ∑i|Ai-H i|2. Numerous applications in statistics, signal processing and databases rely on histograms; typically B is (significantly) smaller than N and, hence, representing A by H yields substantial compression. We give a deterministic algorithm that approximates Hopt and outputs a histogram H such that ∥A -H∥22≤ (1 + ε) ∥A -Hopt22 Our algorithm considers the data items A0,A1,.. in order, i.e., in one pass, spends processing time O(1) per item, uses total space B poly(log(N), log ∥A∥, 1/ε ), and determines the histogram in time poly((B, log(N), log ∥A∥, 1/ε ). Our algorithm is suitable to emerging applications where signal is presented in a stream, size of the signal is very large, and one must construct the histogram using significantly smaller space than the signal size. In particular, our algorithm is suited to high performance needs where the per-item processing time must be minimized. Previous algorithms either used large space, i.e., Ω(N), or worked longer, i.e., N log Ω(1)(N) total time over the N data items. Our algorithm is the first that simultaneously uses small space as well as runs fast, taking O(1) worst case time for per-item processing. In addition, our algorithm is quite simple.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationAutomata, Languages and Programming - 29th International Colloquium, ICALP 2002, Proceedings
    EditorsPeter Widmayer, Stephan Eidenbenz, Francisco Triguero, Rafael Morales, Ricardo Conejo, Matthew Hennessy
    PublisherSpringer Verlag
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)3540438645, 9783540438649
    StatePublished - 2002
    Event29th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2002 - Malaga, Spain
    Duration: Jul 8 2002Jul 13 2002

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
    Volume2380 LNCS
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    Other29th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2002


    • Histograms
    • Streaming algorithms

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Theoretical Computer Science
    • General Computer Science


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