CPU and GPU Modules with Dask

NeMo Curator provides GPU-accelerated modules alongside its CPU modules. These modules are based on RAPIDS to enable scaling workflows to massive dataset sizes. The remaining modules are CPU based and rely on Dask to scale to multi-node clusters. When working with these different modules, it’s important to understand how to properly set up your Dask cluster and how to manage where your dataset is stored in memory.

NeMo Curator provides a simple function get_client that can be used to start a local Dask cluster or connect to an existing one. All of the examples/ use it to set up a Dask cluster.

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import argparse from nemo_curator.utils.distributed_utils import get_client from nemo_curator.utils.script_utils import add_distributed_args def main(args): # Set up Dask client client = get_client(args, args.device) # Perform some computation... def attach_args(parser=argparse.ArgumentParser(formatter_class=argparse.ArgumentDefaultsHelpFormatter)): return add_distributed_args(parser) if __name__ == "__main__": main(attach_args().parse_args())

In this short example, you can see that get_client takes an argparse object with options configured in the corresponding add_distributed_args.

  • --device controls what type of Dask cluster to create. “cpu” will create a CPU based local Dask cluster, while “gpu” will create a GPU based local cluster. If “cpu” is specified, the number of processes started with the cluster can be specified with the --n-workers argument. By default, this argument is set to os.cpu_count(). If “gpu” is specified, one worker is started per GPU. It is possible to run entirely CPU-based workflows on a GPU cluster, though the process count (and therefore the number of parallel tasks) will be limited by the number of GPUs on your machine.

  • --scheduler-address and --scheduler-file are used for connecting to an existing Dask cluster. Supplying one of these is essential if you are running a Dask cluster on SLURM or Kubernetes. All other arguments are ignored if either of these are passed, as the cluster configuration will be done when you create the schduler and works on your cluster.

As mentioned in the DocumentDataset documentation, the underlying storage format for datasets in NeMo Curator is just a Dask dataframe. For the CPU modules, Dask uses pandas dataframes to hold dataframe partitions. Most modules in NeMo Curator are CPU based. Therefore, the default behavior for reading and writing datasets is to operate on them in CPU memory with a pandas backend. The following two functions calls are equivalent.

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books = DocumentDataset.read_json(files, add_filename=True) books = DocumentDataset.read_json(files, add_filename=True, backend="pandas")

The following NeMo Curator modules are GPU based.

  • Exact Deduplication

  • Fuzzy Deduplication

  • Distributed Data Classification

    • Domain Classification

    • Quality Classification

GPU modules store the DocumentDataset using a cudf backend instead of a pandas one. To read a dataset into GPU memory, one could use the following function call.

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gpu_books = DocumentDataset.read_json(files, add_filename=True, backend="cudf")

Even if you start a GPU dask cluster, you can’t operate on datasets that use a pandas backend. The DocuemntDataset must either have been originally read in with a cudf backend, or it must be transferred during the script.

We provide an example SLURM script pipeline in examples/slurm. This pipeline has a script start-slurm.sh that provides configuration options similar to what get_client provides. Every SLURM cluster is different, so make sure you understand how your SLURM cluster works so the scripts can be easily adapted. start-slurm.sh calls containter-entrypoint.sh which sets up a Dask scheduler and workers across the cluster.

Our Python examples are designed to work such that they can be run locally on their own, or easily substituted into the start-slurm.sh to run on multiple nodes. You can adapt your scripts easily too by simply following the pattern of adding get_client with add_distributed_args.

We also provide an example guide for how to get started with NeMo Curator on a Kubernetes cluster.

Please visit Running NeMo Curator on Kubernetes for more information.

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