Data Partitioning#

When using the Lithop’s map function to run a single function over a rather large file, one might consider breaking the workload to smaller portions, handing each portion to a separate thread. We refer to said portions as chunks.

Hereinafter is an example for using a map function to read a csv. file, stored in COS, split to pre-determined sized chunks:

def line_counter_in_chunk(obj):
    counter = {}
    data =

    for line in data.decode('utf-8').split('\n'):
        if line not in counter:
            counter[line] = 1
            counter[line] += 1
    return counter

if __name__ == "__main__":
    data_location = 'cos://bucket_name/file_name.csv'
    size = int(6.7 * pow(2,20))  # ~6.7MiB - arbitrarily chosen chunk size in bytes

    fexec = lithops.FunctionExecutor(), data_location,obj_chunk_size=size)
    res = fexec.get_result()

    with open('logs/map_output', 'w') as f:
  • To take full advantage of the test above (for the next topic), use a file with a K number of rows repeating themselves as a routine. You may create a csv. example file using the following function:

    def create_routine_file():
        """ creates a ~17MB csv. file consisting of 5 lines repeating routine.  """
        # EOL = end of line identifier for ease of testing
        str_routine = """The Project Gutenberg eBook of Judgments in Vacation, by Edward Abbott Parry EOL1
    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and EOL2
    most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions EOL3
    whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms EOL4
    of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at EOL5"""
        ITERATIONS = 45000
        with open('line_integrity.csv', 'a+') as f:
            for i in range(ITERATIONS):
                if i < ITERATIONS - 1:
  • Alternatively, One may exchange the obj_chunk_size with the obj_chunk_number parameter to split the file into a known number of chunks.

  • You may tinker with the test’s parameters, such as: uploading files of different size, altering the chunk size, running a map function of your choosing, but, As written in the documentation, chunk size must be upwards of 1 MIB.

Keeping line integrity in mind#

One important feat implemented as a part of the chunking functionality, is dividing input file into chunks while making sure no chunk contains partial lines. Thus, running the test above with any (legal) configuration of parameters, will output a file consisting of entire rows solely.

In case you opted to adhere to the recommendation above (regarding the file contents) you may verify line integrity quickly by exchanging the call to the map function with the following map_reduce and adding the map_function below:

def count_total_matching_lines(results):
    final_result = {}
    for count in results:
        for line in count:
            if line not in final_result:
                final_result[line] = count[line]
                final_result[line] += count[line]

    return final_result

fexec.map_reduce(line_counter_in_chunk, data_location, count_total_matching_lines, obj_chunk_size=size)

The next part covers the main details of the chunking procedure, as it’s implemented in the Lithops project.

The Algorithm behind the scenes#

As map or map_reduce is being called, a new job is created (in lithops/job/ The relevant part of the algorithm begins when create_partitions(in lithops/job/ is called, and the job’s chunks are associated with byte range. in this stage of the algorithm each chunk simply gets its fair share + a fixed threshold, whose purpose will become apparent shortly. Said byte ranges are pickled and stored in the cloud.

Later on, each thread is aggregating (unpickling) from the cloud relevant data associated with its own chunk (in run() of lithops/worker/, which contains aforementioned byte ranges. Amongst other aggregated objects, a data_stream object that handles the line integrity is initialized and appended. finally, passes it all forwards to the map function (the very reason the function in the example receives a parameter). | When users wish to read the chunks, they may do so by calling the read function (the overriding version of lithops/, which is implemented in the following way:

  1. Store the first byte of the current chunk, unless the chunk in matter is the first / only chunk in the mapping job.

  2. Read the whole chunk and store it as a string in the variable “retval”. Sum of bytes stored is regarded as the default last_row_end_pos.

  3. Since the first byte is as a matter of fact the last byte of the former chunk, we inspect whether it’s a new line (‘’) or not. in case of the latter, it means that the current chunk started from the midst on a line belonging in its entirety to the former chunk. In such case, position first_row_start_pos at the beginning of the next line.

  4. Due to the fact that each chunk received an extra amount of bytes, i.e. the threshold previously mentioned (for the very purpose mentioned in clause 3), every chunk, apart from the last one, has to rid itself from excessive rows, by moving last_row_end_pos to the beginning of the next row within the threshold.

  5. finally, retval[first_row_start_pos : last_row_end_pos], which contains a chunk free from any split lines, is returned.