Emma Programming Guide

This guide is based on the OpenFlights.org data as described in the Meet Emma presentation. For an interactive version of this document, checkout the the emma-tutorial project and run the Programming Guide Jupyter notebook.

Basic API

Emma programs require the following import.

import org.emmalanguage.api._

DataBag Basics

Parallel computation in Emma is represented by expressions over a generic type DataBag[A]. The type represents a distributed collection of elements of type A that do not have particular order and may contain duplicates.

DataBag instances are constructed in two ways, either from a Scala Seq

val squaresSeq = 1 to 42 map { x => (x, x * x) }
val squaresBag = DataBag(squaresSeq)

or by reading from a supported source, e.g. CSV or Parquet.

val csv = CSV(delimiter = ',')
val airports = DataBag.readCSV[Airport](file("airports.dat").toString, csv)
val airlines = DataBag.readCSV[Airline](file("airlines.dat").toString, csv)
val routes = DataBag.readCSV[Route](file("routes.dat").toString, csv)

Conversely, a DataBag can be converted to a Seq

val squaresSeq = squaresBag.collect()

or written to a supported file system.

airports.writeCSV(file("airports.copy.dat").toString, csv)
airlines.writeCSV(file("airlines.copy.dat").toString, csv)
routes.writeCSV(file("routes.copy.dat").toString, csv)

Declarative Dataflows

In contrast to other distributed collection types such as Spark’s RDD and Flink’s DataSet, Emma’s DataBag type is a proper monad. This means that joins and cross products in Emma can be declared using for-comprehension syntax in a manner akin to Select-From-Where expressions known from SQL.

val flightsFromBerlin = for {
  ap <- airports 
  if ap.city == Some("Berlin")
  rt <- routes
  if rt.srcID == Some(ap.id)
  al <- airlines
  if rt.airlineID == Some(al.id)
} yield (rt.src, rt.dst, al.name)

In addition to comprehension syntax, the DataBag interface offers some combinators.

You can sample N elemens using reservoir sampling.

val samples = routes.map(_.src).sample(3)

You can combine two DataBag[A] instances by taking their (duplicate preserving) union, which corresponds to UNION ALL clause in SQL.

val srcs = routes.map(_.src) 
val dsts = routes.map(_.dst)
val locs = srcs union dsts

You can eliminate duplicates with distinct, corresponds to the DISTINCT clause in SQL.

val dupls = locs.collect().size
val dists = locs.distinct.collect().size

You can extend all elements in a DataBag with a unique index.

val iroutes = routes.map(_.src).zipWithIndex

Structural Recursion (Folds)

In addition to the API illustrated above, the core processing primitive provided by DataBag[A] is a generic pattern for parallel collection processing called structural recursion on bags in union representation.

To decode the meaning behind these terms, assume that instances of DataBag[A] are constructed exclusively by the following constructors:

  1. Empty denotes the empty bag,
  2. Singleton(x) denotes a singleton bag with exactly one element x,
  3. Union(xs, ys) denotes the union of two existing bags xs and ys.

The assumption implies that each bag xs can be represented as a binary tree of constructor applications. The inner nodes of the tree are applications of the Union constructor, while the leafs are applications of Empty or Singleton.

Structural recursion on bags in union representation works by

  1. systematically deconstructing the input DataBag[A] instance,
  2. replacing the constructors with corresponding user-defined functions, and
  3. evaluating the resulting expression.

Formally, the above procedure can be specified second-order function called fold as follows.

def fold[B](zero: B)(init: A => B, plus: (B, B) => B): B = this match {
  case Empty         => zero
  case Singleton(x)  => init(x)
  case Union(xs, ys) => plus(xs.fold(e)(s, u), ys.fold(e)(s, u))

Note how

  1. Empty constructors are substituted by zero applications,
  2. Singleton(x) constructors are substituted by init(x) applications, and
  3. Union(xs, ys) constructors are substituted by plus(xs, ys) applications.

A particular combination of zero, init, and plus function therefore defines a specific function. For example,

val dupls = locs.fold(0L)(_ => 1L, _ + _)

is another way to compute the number of elements of dupls. Note that this expression will be evaluated in parallel, while the version we used above

val dupls = locs.collect().size

first converts the DataBag dupls into a local Seq[String] and then counts the number of elements on the local machine.

A convenient way to bundle a specific combination of functions passed to a fold is through a dedicated trait.

// defined in `org.emmalanguage.api.alg`
trait Alg[-A, B] extends Serializable {
  val zero: B
  val init: A => B
  val plus: (B, B) => B

and overload fold as follows:

def fold[B](zero: B)(init: A => B, plus: (B, B) => B): B = this match {
  case Empty         => zero
  case Singleton(x)  => init(x)
  case Union(xs, ys) => plus(xs.fold(e)(s, u), ys.fold(e)(s, u))

With this extension, we can name commonly used triples as specific Alg instances.

object Size extends Alg[Any, Long] {
  val zero: Long = 0
  val init: Any => Long = const(1)
  val plus: (Long, Long) => Long = _ + _

and define corresponding aliases for the corresponding fold(alg) calls.

def size: Long = this.fold(Size)

The following methods DataBag are pre-defined in the DataBag trait and delegate to to a fold with a specific Alg instance.

// cardinality tests
locs.size      // counts the number of elements
locs.nonEmpty  // checks if empty
locs.isEmpty   // checks if not empty
// based on an implicit `Ordering`
locs.min       // minimum
locs.max       // maximum
locs.top(3)    // top-K
locs.bottom(3) // bottom-K
// arithmetic operations
DataBag(1 to 5).product
// predicate testing
routes.count(_.stops < 3)
routes.forall(_.stops < 3)
routes.exists(r => r.src == "FRA" && r.dst == "SFO")
routes.find(r => r.src == "FRA" && r.dst == "SFO")
// reducers
DataBag(1 to 5).reduce(1)(_ * _)
DataBag(1 to 5).reduceOption(_ * _)
DataBag(Seq.empty[Int]).reduceOption(_ * _)

Code Parallelisation

To parallelise Emma code, you need to do two things

  1. Setup a parallel dataflow framework (Flink or Spark)
  2. Enclose the code fragment you want to parallelize in an emma.onSpark or emma.onFlink quote.

Parallel Dataflow Backend Setup

Depending on the backend you want to use, run one of the two options below.

Option 1: Spark

// `emma.onSpark` macro
import $ivy.`org.emmalanguage:emma-spark:0.2.3`
// `provided` dependencies expected by `emma-spark`
import $ivy.`org.apache.spark::spark-sql:2.1.0`
// required spark imports
import org.apache.spark.sql.SparkSession
// implicit Spark environment
implicit val backend = SparkSession.builder()
    .appName("Emma Programming Guide")
    .config("spark.sql.warehouse.dir", Paths.get(sys.props("java.io.tmpdir"), "spark-warehouse").toUri.toString)
import $ivy.`org.emmalanguage:emma-flink:0.2.3`
import $ivy.`org.apache.flink::flink-scala:1.2.1`
import $ivy.`org.apache.flink::flink-clients:1.2.1`
import org.apache.flink.api.scala.ExecutionEnvironment
implicit val backend = ExecutionEnvironment.getExecutionEnvironment
// Include flink target classes in the classpath
val codegenDir = org.emmalanguage.compiler.RuntimeCompiler.default.instance.codeGenDir


Once you have an implicit SparkSession or ExecutionEnvironment instance in scope, you can wrap code that you want to run in parallel in an emma.onSpark or emma.onFlink quote.

The wrapped is optimized holistically by the Emma compiler, and DataBag expressions are offloaded to the corresponding parallel exeuction engine.

For convenience, we alias of the quote used in the examples below to emma.onSpark. Change the alias to emma.onFlink and re-evaluate the following code snippets to parallelize them on Flink.

val quote = emma.onSpark // or emma.onFlink
// evaluates as map and filter
val berlinAirports = quote {
  for {
    a <- airports
    if a.latitude > 52.3
    if a.latitude < 52.6
    if a.longitude > 13.2
    if a.longitude < 13.7
  } yield Location(
// evaluates as cascasde of joins
val rs = quote {
  for {
    ap <- airports
    rt <- routes
    al <- airlines
    if rt.srcID == Some(ap.id)
    if rt.airlineID == Some(al.id)
  } yield (al.name, ap.country)
// evaluates using partial aggregates (reduce / reduceByKey)
val aggs = quote {
  for {
    Group(k, g) <- routes.groupBy(_.src)
  } yield {
    val x = g.count(_.airline == "AB")
    val y = g.count(_.airline == "LH")
    k -> (x, y)

Code Modularity

To build domain-specific libraries based on Emma, enclose your function definitions in a top-level object and annotate this object with the @emma.lib annotation.

object hubs {
  def apply(M: Int) = {
    val rs = for {
      Group(k, g) <- ({
      } union {
      }).groupBy(x => x)
      if g.size < M
    } yield k


object reachable {
  def apply(N: Int)(hubs: Set[String]) = {
     val hubroutes = routes
       .withFilter(r => hubs(r.src) && hubs(r.dst))

     var paths = hubroutes
       .map(r => Path(r.src, r.dst))
     for (_ <- 0 until N) {
       val delta = for {
         r <- hubroutes; p <- paths if r.dst == p.src
       } yield Path(r.src, p.dst)
       paths = (paths union delta).distinct

// evaluates as Spark RDD reduceByKey
val rs = quote {