Map Tasks#

Tags: Intermediate

Map Task Blog Post

A map task allows you to execute a pod task or a regular task on a series of inputs within a single workflow node. This enables you to execute numerous instances of the task without having to create a node for each instance, resulting in significant performance improvements.

Map tasks find application in various scenarios, including:

  • When multiple inputs require running through the same code logic.

  • Processing multiple data batches concurrently.

  • Conducting hyperparameter optimization.

Now, letโ€™s delve into an example!

First, import the libraries.

from typing import List

from flytekit import Resources, map_task, task, workflow

Define a task to be used in the map task.


A map task can only accept one input and produce one output.

def a_mappable_task(a: int) -> str:
    inc = a + 2
    stringified = str(inc)
    return stringified

Also define a task to reduce the mapped output to a string.

def coalesce(b: List[str]) -> str:
    coalesced = "".join(b)
    return coalesced

To repeat the execution of the a_mappable_task across a collection of inputs, use the map_task() function from flytekit. In this example, the input a is of type List[int]. The a_mappable_task is executed for each element in the list.

You can utilize the with_overrides function to set resources specifically for individual map tasks. This allows you to customize resource allocations such as memory usage.

def my_map_workflow(a: List[int]) -> str:
    mapped_out = map_task(a_mappable_task)(a=a).with_overrides(
    coalesced = coalesce(b=mapped_out)
    return coalesced

Finally, you can run the workflow locally.

if __name__ == "__main__":
    result = my_map_workflow(a=[1, 2, 3, 4, 5])

When defining a map task, avoid calling other tasks in it. Flyte canโ€™t accurately register tasks that call other tasks. While Flyte will correctly execute a task that calls other tasks, it will not be able to give full performance advantages. This is especially true for map tasks.

In this example, the map task suboptimal_mappable_task would not give you the best performance.

def upperhalf(a: int) -> int:
    return a / 2 + 1

def suboptimal_mappable_task(a: int) -> str:
    inc = upperhalf(a=a)
    stringified = str(inc)
    return stringified

By default, the map task utilizes the Kubernetes Array plugin for execution. However, map tasks can also be run on alternate execution backends. For example, you can configure the map task to run on AWS Batch, a provisioned service that offers scalability for handling large-scale tasks.

Map a Task with Multiple Inputs#

You might need to map a task with multiple inputs.

For instance, consider a task that requires three inputs.

def multi_input_task(quantity: int, price: float, shipping: float) -> float:
    return quantity * price * shipping

In some cases, you may want to map this task with only the quantity input, while keeping the other inputs unchanged. Since a map task accepts only one input, you can achieve this by partially binding values to the map task. This can be done using the functools.partial() function.

import functools

def multiple_workflow(list_q: List[int] = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], p: float = 6.0, s: float = 7.0) -> List[float]:
    partial_task = functools.partial(multi_input_task, price=p, shipping=s)
    return map_task(partial_task)(quantity=list_q)

Another possibility is to bind the outputs of a task to partials.

def get_price() -> float:
    return 7.0

def multiple_workflow_with_task_output(list_q: List[int] = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], s: float = 6.0) -> List[float]:
    p = get_price()
    partial_task = functools.partial(multi_input_task, price=p, shipping=s)
    return map_task(partial_task)(quantity=list_q)

You can also provide multiple lists as input to a map_task.

def multiple_workflow_with_lists(
    list_q: List[int] = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], list_p: List[float] = [6.0, 9.0, 8.7, 6.5, 1.2], s: float = 6.0
) -> List[float]:
    partial_task = functools.partial(multi_input_task, shipping=s)
    return map_task(partial_task)(quantity=list_q, price=list_p)


It is important to note that you cannot provide a list as an input to a partial task.