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Functions Cells

One annotation we’ve not yet discussed is the Functions cell type. Kale provides this cell type to enable you to identify blocks of code containing:

  • Functions used later in your machine learning pipeline.
  • Global variable definitions (other than pipeline parameters) and code that initializes lists, dictionaries, objects, and other values used throughout your pipeline.

Functions cells help Kale identify all dependencies for pipeline steps. As you know, Kale prepends the code in every cell annotated with Imports to the code in the cells you’ve annotated with Pipeline Step. In addition, Kale also prepends the code in every Functions cell as part of this process.

Kale executes each pipeline step as if it were a notebook composed of all Imports cells in your notebook followed by all Functions cells, and then followed by the cells annotated with Pipeline Step for the specific step in question. Therefore all imports, variable declarations and setup statements included in each Imports cell and all functions and other declarations found in all Functions cells will execute before the core code for the pipeline step.

Organizing functions together and annotating those cells with the Functions label ensures that Kale can organize the code for each step and set up its execution environment correctly.

Follow Along

Please follow along and make the corresponding changes in your own copy of our notebook.

Let’s get some experience with Functions cells by abstracting out the scoring and output functionality from our evaluation steps. The last several lines for each of our evaluation steps are nearly identical.




Let’s write two functions to handle this logic and place them in a cell we’ll annotate using the Functions label.

We’ll place this cell at the very top of the Build Models subsection


Then let's modify each of our evaluation steps accordingly.

update eval_lgbm

update eval_lgbm

update eval_lgbm

This simple example illustrates the purpose of Functions cells and how to create and annotate them. In later modules, we’ll make greater use of Functions cells.