Providing Streaming Joins as a Service at Facebook

International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB)


Stream processing applications reduce the latency of batch data pipelines and enable engineers to quickly identify production issues. Many times, a service can log data to distinct streams, even if they relate to the same real-world event (e.g., a search on Facebook’s search bar). Furthermore, the logging of related events can appear on the server side with different delay, causing one stream to be significantly behind the other in terms of logged event times for a given log entry. To be able to stitch this information together with low latency, we need to be able to join two different streams where each stream may have its own characteristics regarding the degree in which its data is out-of-order. Doing so in a streaming fashion is challenging as a join operator consumes lots of memory, especially with significant data volumes. This paper describes an end-to-end streaming join service that addresses the challenges above through a streaming join operator that uses an adaptive stream synchronization algorithm that is able to handle the different distributions we observe in real-world streams regarding their event times. This synchronization scheme paces the parsing of new data and reduces overall operator memory footprint while still providing high accuracy. We have integrated this into a streaming SQL system and have successfully reduced the latency of several batch pipelines using this approach.

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