Skip to main content

Dynamic Workflows GoToimage

To dynamically create an electron based on the output of another electron, use a sublattice.


A sublattice is a lattice decorated with an electron. All the restrictions of a lattice apply to a sublattice. Most importantly, computations, especially result-dependent ones, should be carried out inside electrons to reduce the danger of an error when constructing the transport graph.

Since it is also an electron, a sublattice is executed as a part of the workflow. Because of this dual identity, dynamic code can be run inside a sublattice which would otherwise be impossible in the Covalent framework. For example, sublattices provide a way to handle result-dependent loops and if/else statements.

Best Practice

A sublattice enables you to compose and encapsulate arbitrarily complex code. Use a sublattice (a lattice decorated with an electron) to encapsulate dynamic code that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to execute correctly in the Covalent paradigm. Use the same best practices in building a sublattice that you would for any other lattice: Do all calculations in electrons; don’t create unnecessary executors; and so on.

You can nest sublattices to any level.


Contrast the two examples below.

Example 1: Incorrect

The following example contains code in the workflow_1 lattice that is not inside electrons: in this case, an if/else decision and a for loop. The workflow fails when Covalent tries to build the transport graph.

import covalent as ct

# Technique 1: Incorrect

def task_1(x):
return x * 3

def task_2(x):
return x ** 2

def workflow_1(a):

res = task_1(a)

# An if/else decision and a result-dependent loop with no enclosing electron
if res < 10:
final_res = []
for _ in range(res):
final_res = res

return final_res

# Uncomment these three lines to see the workflow fail:
# id = ct.dispatch(workflow_1)(2)
# res = ct.get_result(id, wait=True)
# print(res)

Example 2: Correct

The following code corrects the previous example by enclosing the if/else decision and the for loop in the sub_workflow sublattice.

# Technique 2: Correct

# Define a sublattice that implements all the dynamic code
def sub_workflow(res):

if res < 10:
final_res = []
for i in range(res):
final_res = res

return final_res

def workflow_2(a):
res_1 = task_1(a)
return sub_workflow(res_1) # Nothing to see here. Just an electron consuming the output of another electron.

id = ct.dispatch(workflow_2)(2)
res = ct.get_result(id, wait=True)
Lattice Result
result: [0, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25]
input args: ['2']
input kwargs: {}
error: None

start_time: 2023-03-16 19:16:18.195332
end_time: 2023-03-16 19:16:18.926844

results_dir: /Users/dave/.local/share/covalent/data
dispatch_id: 0441d942-a8ab-4cb7-9373-1ef632ec395f

Node Outputs
task_1(0): 6
:parameter:2(1): 2
:sublattice:sub_workflow(2): [0, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25]

See Also

Result-Dependent Loops

Result-Dependent If-Else