You're Invited:Meet the Socket Team at BlackHat and DEF CON in Las Vegas, Aug 7-8.RSVP
Sign inDemoInstall


Package Overview
File Explorer

Advanced tools

Install Socket

Detect and block malicious and high-risk dependencies



A proof of concept asynchronous actions for PySpark using concurent.futures




|Build Status| |PyPI version|

A proof of concept asynchronous actions for PySpark using concurent.futures <>. Originally developed as proof-of-concept solution for SPARK-20347 <>.

How does it work?

The package patches RDD <>, Estimator <>, DataFrame <>__ and DataFrameWriter <>__ classes by adding thin wrappers to the commonly used action methods.

Methods are patched by retrieving shared ThreadPoolExecutor <>__ (attached to SparkContext) and applying its submit method:

.. code:: python

def async_action(f):
    def async_action_(self, *args, **kwargs):
        executor = get_context(self)._get_executor()
        return executor.submit(f, self, *args, **kwargs)
    return async_action_

The naming convention for the patched methods is methodNameAsync, for example:

  • RDD.countRDD.countAsync
  • DataFrame.takeRDD.takeAsync
  • DataFrameWriter.saveDataFrameWriter.saveAsync

Number of threads is determined as follows:

  • spark.driver.cores if is set.
  • 2 otherwise.


To patch existing classes just import the package:

.. code:: python

>>> import asyncactions
>>> from pyspark.sql import SparkSession
>>> spark = SparkSession.builder.getOrCreate()

All *Async methods return concurrent.futures.Future <>__:

.. code:: python

>>> rdd = spark.sparkContext.range(100)
>>> f = rdd.countAsync()
>>> f
<Future at ... state=running>
>>> type(f)
>>> f.add_done_callback(lambda f: print(f.result()))

and the result can be used whenever Future is expected.


The package is available on PYPI:

.. code:: bash

pip install pyspark-asyncactions

Installation is required only on the driver node.


The package supports Python 3.6 or later and requires no external dependencies.

Do it yourself

Define actions dictionary which maps from the method name to the docstring:

.. code:: python

>>> actions = {"evaluate": """Asynchronously evaluates the output with optional parameters.
...         :param dataset: a dataset that contains labels/observations and
...                         predictions
...         :param params: an optional param map that overrides embedded
...                        params
...         :return: :py:class:`concurrent.futures.Future` of metric
...         """}

Call asyncactions.utils.patch_all method with class and actions as the arguments

.. code:: Python

>>> import asyncactions.utils
>>> from import Evaluator, RegressionEvaluator
>>> asyncactions.utils.patch_all(Evaluator, actions)

Enjoy your new asynchronous method

.. code:: python

>>> import asyncactions
>>> df = spark.createDataFrame([(1.0, 1.0), (1.0, -1.0), (0.0, 1.0)], ("label", "prediction"))
>>> metrics = RegressionEvaluator().evaluateAsync(df)
>>> metrics.result()  # Note that result is blocking


  • Why would I need that? Processing in Spark is already distributed.

    As explained in the Job Scheduling documentation_

    (...) within each Spark application, multiple “jobs” (Spark actions) may be running concurrently if they were submitted by different threads.

    However all PySpark actions are blocking. This means that, even if there are free resources on the cluster, each jobs will be executed sequentially (paraphrasing XKCD <>__, I am not slacking off, just fitting a Pipeline).

    It is perfectly possible to achieve the same result using threads <>__ or concurrent.futures directly, but the resulting code but resulting can be quite verbose, especially when used in an interactive environment. The goal of this package is to make this process as streamlined as possible by hiding all the details (creating and stopping thread pool, job submission).

  • What about GIL_?

    The goal of the package is to enable non-blocking submission of jobs (see above) while the actual processing is handled by the Spark cluster. Since heavy lifting is performed by JVM or Python workers as standalone processes, interpreter lock is of lesser concern.

    Because final merging process is applied on the driver, GIL might affect jobs depending heavily on computationally expensive Accumulators or reduce-like (reduce, fold, aggregate) jobs with computationally expensive function. The latter problem can be partially addressed using treeReduce_.

  • Why not merge this into PySpark?

    TL;DR There was not enough consensus if the feature is essential enough, and if it is, what implementation should be used (piggyback onto JVM AsyncRDDActions_ vs. native Python implementation). For details see corresponding PR <>_.

    Keeping a separate package gives more freedom (we can add a number of methods not present in the Scala API) and better integration with plain Python code, at expense of some more advanced features (most notably support for canceling running Spark jobs).

  • When not to use this package?

    This package is intended primarily to achieve small scale concurrent job execution when working with interactive environments. While theoretically it should be possible to use it to submit hundreds of independent jobs, it will is likely to stress driver process and Py4j gateway and crash the application.

    Therefore I strongly recommend against using it as substitute for a workflow management software.

  • Is this package actively maintained?

    In general, it has been designed to be as lean as possible, and piggyback on top of standard library, and allow users to add necessary wrappers when needed. Hence, it is pretty much maintenance free and seen almost no activity since its initial release.

    Nonetheless, I consider it actively maintained, and please open an issue if you experience any problems or have feature (like new built-in wrappers) request.


Apache Spark, Spark, PySpark, Apache, and the Spark logo are trademarks <>__ of The Apache Software Foundation <>__. This project is not owned, endorsed, or sponsored by The Apache Software Foundation.

.. |Build Status| image:: :target: .. |PyPI version| image:: :target: .. _Job Scheduling documentation: .. _GIL: .. _AsyncRDDActions: .. _treeReduce:


Did you know?


Socket for GitHub automatically highlights issues in each pull request and monitors the health of all your open source dependencies. Discover the contents of your packages and block harmful activity before you install or update your dependencies.


Related posts

SocketSocket SOC 2 Logo


  • Package Alerts
  • Integrations
  • Docs
  • Pricing
  • FAQ
  • Roadmap
  • Changelog


Stay in touch

Get open source security insights delivered straight into your inbox.

  • Terms
  • Privacy
  • Security

Made with ⚡️ by Socket Inc