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

Nodes are the building blocks of pipelines, and represent tasks. Pipelines are used to combine nodes to build workflows, which range from simple machine learning workflows to end-to-end (E2E) production workflows.

You must first 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

How to create a 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 function has two inputs (x and y) and a single output (the sum of the inputs).

Here is how a node is created with this function:

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

Here is the output:

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")

This gives the following output:

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

Let’s break down the node definition:

  • add is the Python function that will execute when the node runs

  • ['a', 'b'] specify the input variable names

  • sum specifies the return variable name. The value returned by add will be bound in this variable

  • name is an optional label for the node, which can be used to provide description of the business logic it provides

Node definition syntax

A syntax describes function inputs and outputs. This syntax allows different Python functions to be reused in nodes, and supports dependency resolution in pipelines.

Syntax for input variables

Input syntax


Example function parameters

How function is called when node runs


No input

def f()



Single input

def f(arg1)


['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


Example return statement


No output

Does not return


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 must be provided).

**kwargs-only node functions

Sometimes, when creating reporting nodes for instance, you need to know the names of the datasets that your node receives, but you might not have this information in advance. This can be solved by defining a **kwargs-only function:

def reporting(**kwargs):
    result = []
    for name, data in kwargs.items():
        res = example_report(name, data)
    return combined_report(result)

Then, when it comes to constructing the Node, simply pass a dictionary to the node inputs:

from kedro.pipeline import node

uk_reporting_node = node(
    inputs={"uk_input1": "uk_input1", "uk_input2": "uk_input2", ...},

ge_reporting_node = node(
    inputs={"ge_input1": "ge_input1", "ge_input2": "ge_input2", ...},

Alternatively, you can also make use of a helper function that creates the mapping for you, so you can reuse it across your codebase.

 from kedro.pipeline import node

+mapping = lambda x: {k: k for k in x}
 uk_reporting_node = node(
-    inputs={"uk_input1": "uk_input1", "uk_input2": "uk_input2", ...},
+    inputs=mapping(["uk_input1", "uk_input2", ...]),

 ge_reporting_node = node(
-    inputs={"ge_input1": "ge_input1", "ge_input2": "ge_input2", ...},
+    inputs=mapping(["ge_input1", "ge_input2", ...]),

How to tag a node

Tags might be useful to run part of a pipeline 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:

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.

How to run a node

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

The output is as follows:

Out[2]: {'sum': 5}


You can also call a node as a regular Python function: adder_node(dict(a=2, b=3)). This will call, b=3)) behind the scenes.

How to use generator functions in a node

Generator functions were introduced with PEP 255. They are a special kind of function that returns lazy iterators but do not store their entire contents in memory all at once.

The following code uses a pandas chunksize generator to process large datasets within the pandas-iris starter. First set up a project by following the get started guide to create a Kedro project with the pandas-iris starter example code.

Create a custom dataset called ChunkWiseCSVDataSet in src/YOUR_PROJECT_NAME/extras/datasets/ for your pandas-iris project. This dataset is a simplified version of the pandas.CSVDataSet where the main change is to the _save method which should save the data in append-or-create mode, a+.

Click to expand
from copy import deepcopy
from io import BytesIO
from pathlib import PurePosixPath
from typing import Any, Dict

import fsspec
import pandas as pd

from import (

class ChunkWiseCSVDataSet(AbstractVersionedDataSet[pd.DataFrame, pd.DataFrame]):
    """``ChunkWiseCSVDataSet`` loads/saves data from/to a CSV file using an underlying
    filesystem. It uses pandas to handle the CSV file.

    DEFAULT_LOAD_ARGS = {}  # type: Dict[str, Any]
    DEFAULT_SAVE_ARGS = {"index": False}  # type: Dict[str, Any]

    def __init__(
        filepath: str,
        load_args: Dict[str, Any] = None,
        save_args: Dict[str, Any] = None,
        version: Version = None,
        credentials: Dict[str, Any] = None,
        fs_args: Dict[str, Any] = None,
    ) -> None:
        """Creates a new instance of ``ChunkWiseCSVDataSet`` pointing to a concrete CSV file
        on a specific filesystem.
        _fs_args = deepcopy(fs_args) or {}
        _credentials = deepcopy(credentials) or {}

        protocol, path = get_protocol_and_path(filepath, version)
        if protocol == "file":
            _fs_args.setdefault("auto_mkdir", True)

        self._protocol = protocol
        self._storage_options = {**_credentials, **_fs_args}
        self._fs = fsspec.filesystem(self._protocol, **self._storage_options)


        # Handle default load and save arguments
        self._load_args = deepcopy(self.DEFAULT_LOAD_ARGS)
        if load_args is not None:
        self._save_args = deepcopy(self.DEFAULT_SAVE_ARGS)
        if save_args is not None:

    def _describe(self) -> Dict[str, Any]:
        return {
            "filepath": self._filepath,
            "protocol": self._load_args,
            "save_args": self._save_args,
            "version": self._version,

    def _load(self) -> pd.DataFrame:
        load_path = str(self._get_load_path())
        return pd.read_csv(load_path, **self._load_args)

    def _save(self, data: pd.DataFrame) -> None:
        save_path = get_filepath_str(self._get_save_path(), self._protocol)

        buf = BytesIO()
        data.to_csv(path_or_buf=buf, **self._save_args)

        with, mode="a+") as fs_file:

Modify example_iris_data in catalog.yml by changing type to the custom dataset you created above. Add chunksize: 100 to load_args which will return an iterable object. The chunksize parameter refers to the number of rows in each chunk.

  type: YOUR_PROJECT_NAME.extras.datasets.chunkwise_dataset.ChunkWiseCSVDataSet
  filepath: data/01_raw/iris.csv
    chunksize: 100

Next, in we repurpose the split_data function to process chunk-wise data:

def split_data(
    data: pd.DataFrame, parameters: Dict[str, Any]
) -> Tuple[pd.DataFrame, pd.DataFrame, pd.Series, pd.Series]:
    """Splits data into features and target training and test sets.

        data: Data containing features and target.
        parameters: Parameters defined in parameters.yml.
        Split data.
    # Loop through data in chunks building up the training and test sets
    for chunk in data:  # Iterate over the chunks from data
        full_data = pd.concat(
        )  # Converts the TextFileReader object into list of DataFrames
        data_train = full_data.sample(
            frac=parameters["train_fraction"], random_state=parameters["random_state"]
        data_test = full_data.drop(data_train.index)

        X_train = data_train.drop(columns=parameters["target_column"])
        X_test = data_test.drop(columns=parameters["target_column"])
        y_train = data_train[parameters["target_column"]]
        y_test = data_test[parameters["target_column"]]
        yield X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test  # Use yield instead of return to get the generator object

We can now kedro run in the terminal. The output shows X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test saved in chunks:

[02/10/23 12:42:55] INFO     Loading data from 'example_iris_data' (ChunkWiseCSVDataSet)...       
                    INFO     Loading data from 'parameters' (MemoryDataSet)...                    
                    INFO     Running node: split: split_data([example_iris_data,parameters]) ->           
                    INFO     Saving data to 'X_train' (MemoryDataSet)...                          
                    INFO     Saving data to 'X_test' (MemoryDataSet)...                           
                    INFO     Saving data to 'y_train' (MemoryDataSet)...                          
                    INFO     Saving data to 'y_test' (MemoryDataSet)...                           
                    INFO     Saving data to 'X_train' (MemoryDataSet)...                          
                    INFO     Saving data to 'X_test' (MemoryDataSet)...                           
                    INFO     Saving data to 'y_train' (MemoryDataSet)...                          
                    INFO     Saving data to 'y_test' (MemoryDataSet)...                           
                    INFO     Completed 1 out of 3 tasks