python dask DataFrame, support for (trivially parallelizable) row apply?


You can apply your function to all of the partitions of your dataframe with the map_partitions function.

df.map_partitions(func, columns=...)

Note that func will be given only part of the dataset at a time, not the entire dataset like with pandas apply (which presumably you wouldn’t want if you want to do parallelism.)

map / apply

You can map a function row-wise across a series with map

You can map a function row-wise across a dataframe with apply

df.apply(func, axis=1)

Threads vs Processes

As of version 0.6.0 dask.dataframes parallelizes with threads. Custom Python functions will not receive much benefit from thread-based parallelism. You could try processes instead

df = dd.read_csv(...)

df.map_partitions(func, columns=...).compute(scheduler="processes")

But avoid apply

However, you should really avoid apply with custom Python functions, both in Pandas and in Dask. This is often a source of poor performance. It could be that if you find a way to do your operation in a vectorized manner then it could be that your Pandas code will be 100x faster and you won’t need dask.dataframe at all.

Consider numba

For your particular problem you might consider numba. This significantly improves your performance.

In [1]: import numpy as np
In [2]: import pandas as pd
In [3]: s = pd.Series([10000]*120)

In [4]: %paste
def slow_func(k):
    A = np.random.normal(size = k) # k = 10000
    s = 0
    for a in A:
        if a > 0:
            s += 1
            s -= 1
    return s
## -- End pasted text --

In [5]: %time _ = s.apply(slow_func)
CPU times: user 345 ms, sys: 3.28 ms, total: 348 ms
Wall time: 347 ms

In [6]: import numba
In [7]: fast_func = numba.jit(slow_func)

In [8]: %time _ = s.apply(fast_func)  # First time incurs compilation overhead
CPU times: user 179 ms, sys: 0 ns, total: 179 ms
Wall time: 175 ms

In [9]: %time _ = s.apply(fast_func)  # Subsequent times are all gain
CPU times: user 68.8 ms, sys: 27 µs, total: 68.8 ms
Wall time: 68.7 ms

Disclaimer, I work for the company that makes both numba and dask and employs many of the pandas developers.

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