Enabling factor analysis on thousand-subject neuroimaging datasets

Michael J. Anderson, Mihai Capota, Javier S. Turek, Xia Zhu, Theodore L. Willke, Yida Wang, Po Hsuan Chen, Jeremy R. Manning, Peter Jeffrey Ramadge, Kenneth Andrew Norman

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

6 Scopus citations


The scale of functional magnetic resonance image data is rapidly increasing as large multi-subject datasets are becoming widely available and high-resolution scanners are adopted. The inherent low-dimensionality of the information in this data has led neuroscientists to consider factor analysis methods to extract and analyze the underlying brain activity. In this work, we consider two recent multi-subject factor analysis methods: the Shared Response Model and the Hierarchical Topographic Factor Analysis. We perform analytical, algorithmic, and code optimization to enable multi-node parallel implementations to scale. Single-node improvements result in 99χ and 2062x speedups on the two methods, and enables the processing of larger datasets. Our distributed implementations show strong scaling of 3.3x and 5.5χ respectively with 20 nodes on real datasets. We demonstrate weak scaling on a synthetic dataset with 1024 subjects, equivalent in size to the biggest fMRI dataset collected until now, on up to 1024 nodes and 32,768 cores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2016 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2016
EditorsRonay Ak, George Karypis, Yinglong Xia, Xiaohua Tony Hu, Philip S. Yu, James Joshi, Lyle Ungar, Ling Liu, Aki-Hiro Sato, Toyotaro Suzumura, Sudarsan Rachuri, Rama Govindaraju, Weijia Xu
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781467390040
StatePublished - 2016
Event4th IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2016 - Washington, United States
Duration: Dec 5 2016Dec 8 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2016 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2016


Other4th IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


  • Factor Analysis
  • Multi-subject Analysis
  • Scaling
  • functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging


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