Orca in 5 minutes#


The Orca library in BigDL can seamlessly scale out your single node Python notebook across large clusters to process large-scale data.

This page demonstrates how to scale the distributed training and inference of a standard TensorFlow model to a large cluster with minimum code changes to your notebook using Orca. We use Neural Collaborative Filtering for recommendation as an example.

TensorFlow Bite-sized Example#

Before running this example, follow the steps here to prepare the environment and install Orca in your environment.

This section uses TensorFlow 2.x, and you should also install TensorFlow before running this example:

pip install tensorflow

First, initialize Orca Context:

from bigdl.orca import init_orca_context, stop_orca_context, OrcaContext

# cluster_mode can be "local", "k8s" or "yarn"
sc = init_orca_context(cluster_mode="local", cores=4, memory="10g", num_nodes=1)

Next, perform data-parallel processing in Orca (supporting standard Spark DataFrames, TensorFlow Dataset, PyTorch DataLoader, Pandas, etc.). Here to make things simple, we just generate some random data with Spark DataFrame:

import random
from pyspark.sql.types import StructType, StructField, IntegerType
from bigdl.orca import OrcaContext

spark = OrcaContext.get_spark_session()

num_users, num_items = 200, 100
rdd = sc.range(0, 512).map(
    lambda x: [random.randint(0, num_users-1), random.randint(0, num_items-1), random.randint(0, 1)])
schema = StructType([StructField("user", IntegerType(), False),
                     StructField("item", IntegerType(), False),
                     StructField("label", IntegerType(), False)])
df = spark.createDataFrame(rdd, schema)
train_df, test_df = df.randomSplit([0.8, 0.2], seed=1)

Finally, use sklearn-style Estimator APIs in Orca to perform distributed TensorFlow, PyTorch, Keras and BigDL training and inference:

from bigdl.orca.learn.tf2.estimator import Estimator

# Define the NCF model in standard TensorFlow API
def model_creator(config):
    from tensorflow import keras

    user_input = keras.layers.Input(shape=(1,), dtype="int32", name="use_input")
    item_input = keras.layers.Input(shape=(1,), dtype="int32", name="item_input")

    mlp_embed_user = keras.layers.Embedding(input_dim=config["num_users"], output_dim=config["embed_dim"],
    mlp_embed_item = keras.layers.Embedding(input_dim=config["num_items"], output_dim=config["embed_dim"],

    user_latent = keras.layers.Flatten()(mlp_embed_user)
    item_latent = keras.layers.Flatten()(mlp_embed_item)

    mlp_latent = keras.layers.concatenate([user_latent, item_latent], axis=1)
    predictions = keras.layers.Dense(1, activation="sigmoid")(mlp_latent)
    model = keras.models.Model(inputs=[user_input, item_input], outputs=predictions)
    return model

batch_size = 64
train_steps = int(train_df.count() / batch_size)
val_steps = int(test_df.count() / batch_size)

est = Estimator.from_keras(model_creator=model_creator, backend="spark",
                           config={"embed_dim": 8, "num_users": num_users, "num_items": num_items})

# Distributed training
        feature_cols=['user', 'item'],

# Distributed inference
prediction_df = est.predict(test_df,
                            feature_cols=['user', 'item'])

Stop Orca Context after you finish your program: