Inspecting all pipelines in a repository

Pipelines are your experiments

All pipelines within a ZenML repository are tracked centrally. In order to access information about your ZenML repository in code, you need to access the ZenML Repository instance. This object is a Singleton and can be fetched any time from within your Python code simply by executing:

from zenml.repo import Repository
# We recommend to add the type hint for auto-completion in your IDE/Notebook
repo: Repository = Repository.get_instance()

Now the repo object can be used to fetch all pipelines:

# Get all pipelines
pipelines = repo.get_pipelines() # returns a list of BasePipeline sub-classed objects

Depending on the type of the pipeline, you can then use its functions to inspect the pipeline, so for example to evaluate it or see its statistics.

If you are looking for a particular pipeline, there are more refined functions:

# Get all names of pipelines
names = get_pipeline_names()
# Get pipeline by name
pipeline = get_pipeline_by_name(name='Experiment 1')
# Get pipeline by type (Each pipeline has a PIPELINE_TYPE defined as a string)
pipelines = get_pipelines_by_type(type_filter=['training'])
# Get pipeline by datasource
datasources = repo.get_datasources()
pipelines = repo.get_pipelines_by_datasource(datasources[0])

Using these commands, one can always look back at what pipelines have been registered and run in this repository.

It is important to note that most of the methods listed above involve parsing the config YAML files in your Pipelines Directory. Therefore, by changing the pipelines directory or manipulating it, you may lose a lot of valuable information regarding how the repository developed over time.

Pipeline Properties

Each pipeline has an associated metadata store, artifact store and step_config. The step_config is a dictionary that defines which steps are running in the pipeline.

In order to see the status of a pipeline:


This queries the associated metadata_store, and returns either NotStarted, Suceeded , Running or Failed depending on the status of the pipeline.

Apart from the status, pipelines can have additional properties and helper functions that one can use to inspect it closely. For example, a TrainingPipeline has the get_hyperparameters() method to return the hyper-parameters used in the preprocesser and trainer steps.

Regardless of type, a ZenML pipeline is represented by a declarative config written in YAML. A sample config looks like this:

version: '1'
artifact_store: /path/to/artifact/store
args: {}
source: zenml.backends.orch[email protected]zenml_0.2.0
type: orchestrator
uri: /path/to/metadata.db
type: sqlite
name: training_1611737166_ea2acded-5273-4f56-969f-087f8b03d7b8
type: training
source: [email protected]_0.2.0
enable_cache: true
id: be68f872-c90c-450b-92ee-f65463d9e1a4
name: Pima Indians Diabetes 3
source: [email protected]_0.2.0
path: gs://zenml_quickstart/diabetes.csv
schema: null
source: [email protected]_0.2.0
- binary_crossentropy
- binary_accuracy
- - has_diabetes
args: &id001
autoscaling_algorithm: THROUGHPUT_BASED
disk_size_gb: 50
job_name: zen_1611737163
machine_type: n1-standard-4
max_num_workers: 10
num_workers: 4
project: core-engine
region: europe-west1
staging_location: gs://zenmlartifactstore/dataflow_processing/staging
temp_location: null
source: zenml.backends.p[email protected]zenml_0.2.0
type: processing
source: [email protected]_0.2.0
- times_pregnant
- pgc
- dbp
- tst
- insulin
- bmi
- pedigree
- age
- has_diabetes
- method: no_transform
parameters: {}
args: *id001
source: zenml.backends.p[email protected]zenml_0.2.0
type: processing
source: zenml.steps.preprocesser.s[email protected]zenml_0.2.0
eval: 0.3
train: 0.7
args: *id001
source: zenml.backends.p[email protected]zenml_0.2.0
type: processing
source: [email protected]_0.2.0
batch_size: 8
dropout_chance: 0.2
epochs: 20
hidden_activation: relu
hidden_layers: null
last_activation: sigmoid
loss: binary_crossentropy
lr: 0.001
- accuracy
output_units: 1
source: zenml.ste[email protected]zenml_0.2.0

The config above can be split into 5 distinct keys:

  • version: The version of the YAML standard to maintain backward compatibility.

  • artifact_store: The path where the artifacts produced by the pipelines are stored.

  • backend: The orchestrator backend for the pipeline.

  • metadata: The metadata store config to store information of pipeline runs.

  • pipeline: A global key that contains information regarding the pipeline run itself:

    • source: Path to pipeline code source code.

    • args: Individual args of the pipeline like name etc.

    • datasource: Details of the datasource used in the pipeline.

    • steps:: Details of each step used in the pipeline.

Manipulating a pipeline after it has been run

After pipelines are run, they are marked as being immutable. This means that the internal Steps of these pipelines can no longer be changed. However, a common pattern in Machine Learning is to re-use logical components across the entire lifecycle. And that is, after all, the whole purpose of creating steps in the first place.

In order to re-use logic from another pipeline in ZenML, it is as simple as to execute:

from zenml.repo.repo import Repository
# Get a reference in code to the current repo
repo = Repository()
pipeline_a = repo.get_pipeline_by_name('Pipeline A')
# Make a copy with a unique name
pipeline_b = pipeline_a.copy(new_name='Pipeline B')
# Change steps, metadata store, artifact store, backends etc freely.

Ensuring that run pipelines are immutable is crucial to maintain reproducibility in the ZenML design. Using the copy() paradigm allows the freedom of re-using steps with ease and keeps reproducibility intact.


The copy() paradigm also helps in the reusability of code across pipelines. E.g. If now only the TrainerStep is changed in pipeline_b above, then the corresponding pipeline_b pipeline run will skip splitting, preprocessing, and re-use all the artifacts already produced by pipeline_a.