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Joblib: Running Python Functions as Pipeline Jobs


Joblib is a set of tools to provide lightweight pipelining in Python. In particular:

  1. transparent disk-caching of functions and lazy re-evaluation (memoize pattern)
  2. easy simple parallel computing

Joblib is optimized to be fast and robust in particular on large data and has specific optimizations for numpy arrays. It is BSD-licensed.

Documentation: https://www.tutorialdocs.com/tutorial/joblib/home.html
Download: http://pypi.python.org/pypi/joblib#downloads
Source code: http://github.com/joblib/joblib
Report issues: http://github.com/joblib/joblib/issues


The vision is to provide tools to easily achieve better performance and reproducibility when working with long running jobs.

  • Avoid computing twice the same thing: code is rerun over an over, for instance when prototyping computational-heavy jobs (as in scientific development), but hand-crafted solution to alleviate this issue is error-prone and often leads to unreproducible results
  • Persist to disk transparently: persisting in an efficient way arbitrary objects containing large data is hard. Using joblib's caching mechanism avoids hand-written persistence and implicitly links the file on disk to the execution context of the original Python object. As a result, joblib's persistence is good for resuming an application status or computational job, eg after a crash.

Joblib addresses these problems while leaving your code and your flow control as unmodified as possible (no framework, no new paradigms).

Main features

Transparent and fast disk-caching of output value: a memoize or make-like functionality for Python functions that works well for arbitrary Python objects, including very large numpy arrays. Separate persistence and flow-execution logic from domain logic or algorithmic code by writing the operations as a set of steps with well-defined inputs and outputs: Python functions. Joblib can save their computation to disk and rerun it only if necessary:

>>> from joblib import Memory
>>> cachedir = 'your_cache_dir_goes_here'
>>> mem = Memory(cachedir)
>>> import numpy as np
>>> a = np.vander(np.arange(3)).astype(np.float)
>>> square = mem.cache(np.square)
>>> b = square(a)                                   
[Memory] Calling square...
square(array([[0., 0., 1.],
       [1., 1., 1.],
       [4., 2., 1.]]))
___________________________________________________________square - 0...s, 0.0min

>>> c = square(a)
>>> # The above call did not trigger an evaluation

Embarrassingly parallel helper: to make it easy to write readable parallel code and debug it quickly:

>>> from joblib import Parallel, delayed
>>> from math import sqrt
>>> Parallel(n_jobs=1)(delayed(sqrt)(i**2) for i in range(10))
[0.0, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0]

Fast compressed Persistence: a replacement for pickle to work efficiently on Python objects containing large data ( joblib.dump & joblib.load ).

User manual

  • Why joblib: project goals
    • Benefits of pipelines
    • Joblib's approach
    • Design choices
  • Installing joblib
    • Using pip
    • Using distributions
    • The manual way
  • On demand recomputing: the Memory class
    • Use case
    • Using with numpy
    • Shelving: using references to cached values
    • Gotchas
    • Ignoring some arguments
    • Reference documentation of the Memory class
    • Useful methods of decorated functions
  • Embarrassingly parallel for loops
    • Common usage
    • Thread-based parallelism vs process-based parallelism
    • Shared-memory semantics
    • Reusing a pool of workers
    • Working with numerical data in shared memory (memmapping)
    • Custom backend API (experimental)
    • Old multiprocessing backend
    • Bad interaction of multiprocessing and third-party libraries
    • Parallel reference documentation
  • Persistence
    • Use case
    • A simple example
    • Persistence in file objects
    • Compressed joblib pickles
  • Examples
    • General examples
    • Parallel examples
  • Module Reference
    • Memory
    • Parallel
    • dump
    • load
    • hash

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