In this section we introduce the concept of a node, for which the relevant API documentation is kedro.pipeline.node.

Note: This documentation is based on Kedro 0.16.5, if you spot anything that is incorrect then please create an issue or pull request.

You will first need to import libraries from Kedro and other standard tools to run the code snippets demonstrated below.

from kedro.pipeline import *
from import *
from kedro.runner import *

import pickle
import os

Nodes are the building blocks of pipelines and represent tasks. Pipelines are used to combine nodes to build simple machine learning workflows or even build entire end-to-end production workflows.

Creating a pipeline node

A node is created by specifying a function, input variable names and output variable names. Let’s consider a simple function that adds two numbers:

def add(x, y):
    return x + y

The add function has two inputs x and y and a single output. A new node can now be created with this function:

adder_node = node(func=add, inputs=["a", "b"], outputs="sum")


Out[1]: Node(add, ['a', 'b'], 'sum', None)

You can also add labels to nodes which will be used to describe them in logs:

adder_node = node(func=add, inputs=["a", "b"], outputs="sum")

adder_node = node(func=add, inputs=["a", "b"], outputs="sum", name="adding_a_and_b")


add([a,b]) -> [sum]
adding_a_and_b: add([a,b]) -> [sum]

Let’s break down the node definition:

  • add is our function that will execute when running the node
  • ['a', 'b'] specify our input variable names, in this case, they are different from x and y
  • sum specifies the name of our return variable. The value returned by add will be bound in this variable
  • name is an optional label, which can be used to provide description of the business logic of the node

Node definition syntax

There is a special syntax for describing function inputs and outputs. This allows different Python functions to be reused in nodes and supports dependency resolution in pipelines.

Syntax for input variables

Input syntax Meaning Example function parameters How function is called when node runs
None No input def f() f()
'a' Single input def f(arg1) f(a)
['a', 'b'] Multiple inputs def f(arg1, arg2) f(a, b)
dict(arg1='x', arg2='y') Keyword inputs def f(arg1, arg2) f(arg1=x, arg2=y)

Syntax for output variables

Output syntax Meaning Example return statement
None No output Does not return
'a' Single output return a
['a', 'b'] List output return [a, b]
dict(key1='a', key2='b') Dictionary output return dict(key1=a, key2=b)

Any combinations of the above are possible, except nodes of the form node(f, None, None) (at least a single input or output needs to be provided).

Tagging nodes

Tags may be useful to run partial pipelines without changing the code. For instance, kedro run --tag=ds will only run nodes that have a ds tag attached.

To tag a node, you can simply specify the tags argument, as follows:

node(func=add, inputs=["a", "b"], outputs="sum", name="adding_a_and_b", tags="node_tag")

Moreover, you can tag all nodes in a Pipeline. If the pipeline definition contains the tags= argument, Kedro will attach the corresponding tag to every node within that pipeline.

To run a pipeline using a tag:

kedro run --tag=pipeline_tag

This will run only the nodes found within the pipeline tagged with pipeline_tag

Running nodes

To run a node, you need to instantiate its inputs. In this case, the node expects two inputs:, b=3))


Out[2]: {'sum': 5}
Note: It is also possible to call a node as a regular Python function: adder_node(dict(a=2, b=3)). This will call, b=3)) behind the scenes.