Thursday October 28 2:00 PM – Thursday October 28 2:30 PM in Talks II

Computations as Assets - a New Approach to Reproducibility and Transparency

Anders Berkeman, Carl Drougge, Sofia Hörberg

Prior knowledge:
Previous knowledge expected
some coding experience


The ExAx open source project from eBay provides reproducibility, transparency, and fast parallel processing in Python.

This talk will show how reproducibility by design actually leads to a simpler and faster development process.

To make our examples more interesting, we will use relatively large datasets such as those from NYC Taxi and Backblaze.


Have you ever been struggling to keep order in an increasing set of temporary data files, holding intermediate results corresponding to different steps and versions of the processing?

Have you ever been in a situation where you have tried playing with parameters and small code changes to see how it affects the program's performance, and then cannot remember exactly which setting that performed the best?

Have you ever re-run your complete processing pipeline just to "make sure" that the graph you are looking at actually comes from the data and source code you thought it did?

The ExAx project is designed to avoid problems like these. It treats computations as assets, tagging computed results with links to input data and source code, and stores them permanently on disk in a way that can be easily looked up and retrieved later. In addition, ExAx provides a simple way to parallel process large datasets in Python on a single computer.

ExAx is open source from eBay. It runs on anything from laptops to rack servers, it can be used in a production environment with multiple users, and it can easily handle datasets with tens of billions of rows.