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Nearest neighbor models are conceptually just about the simplest kind of model possible. The problem is that they generally aren’t feasible to apply. Or at least, they weren’t feasible until the advent of Big Data techniques. These slides will describe some of the techniques used in the knn project to reduce thousand-year computations to a few hours. The knn project uses the Mahout math library and Hadoop to speed up these enormous computations to the point that they can be usefully applied to real problems. These same techniques can also be used to do real-time model scoring.