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Quickstart
In this tutorial we will
  1. 1.
    Deploy a local feature store with a Parquet file offline store and Sqlite online store.
  2. 2.
    Build a training dataset using our time series features from our Parquet files.
  3. 3.
    Ingest batch features ("materialization") and streaming features (via a Push API) into the online store.
  4. 4.
    Read the latest features from the offline store for batch scoring
  5. 5.
    Read the latest features from the online store for real-time inference.
  6. 6.
    Explore the (experimental) Feast UI

Overview

In this tutorial, we'll use Feast to generate training data and power online model inference for a ride-sharing driver satisfaction prediction model. Feast solves several common issues in this flow:
  1. 1.
    Training-serving skew and complex data joins: Feature values often exist across multiple tables. Joining these datasets can be complicated, slow, and error-prone.
    • Feast joins these tables with battle-tested logic that ensures point-in-time correctness so future feature values do not leak to models.
  2. 2.
    Online feature availability: At inference time, models often need access to features that aren't readily available and need to be precomputed from other data sources.
    • Feast manages deployment to a variety of online stores (e.g. DynamoDB, Redis, Google Cloud Datastore) and ensures necessary features are consistently available and freshly computed at inference time.
  3. 3.
    Feature and model versioning: Different teams within an organization are often unable to reuse features across projects, resulting in duplicate feature creation logic. Models have data dependencies that need to be versioned, for example when running A/B tests on model versions.
    • Feast enables discovery of and collaboration on previously used features and enables versioning of sets of features (via feature services).
    • (Experimental) Feast enables light-weight feature transformations so users can re-use transformation logic across online / offline use cases and across models.

Step 1: Install Feast

Install the Feast SDK and CLI using pip:
Bash
pip install feast

Step 2: Create a feature repository

Bootstrap a new feature repository using feast init from the command line.
Bash
feast init my_project
cd my_project/feature_repo
Output
Creating a new Feast repository in /home/Jovyan/my_project.
Let's take a look at the resulting demo repo itself. It breaks down into
  • data/ contains raw demo parquet data
  • example_repo.py contains demo feature definitions
  • feature_store.yaml contains a demo setup configuring where data sources are
  • test_workflow.py showcases how to run all key Feast commands, including defining, retrieving, and pushing features. You can run this with python test_workflow.py.
feature_store.yaml
example_repo.py
project: my_project
# By default, the registry is a file (but can be turned into a more scalable SQL-backed registry)
registry: data/registry.db
# The provider primarily specifies default offline / online stores & storing the registry in a given cloud
provider: local
online_store:
type: sqlite
path: data/online_store.db
entity_key_serialization_version: 2
# This is an example feature definition file
from datetime import timedelta
import pandas as pd
from feast import (
Entity,
FeatureService,
FeatureView,
Field,
FileSource,
PushSource,
RequestSource,
)
from feast.on_demand_feature_view import on_demand_feature_view
from feast.types import Float32, Float64, Int64
# Define an entity for the driver. You can think of entity as a primary key used to
# fetch features.
driver = Entity(name="driver", join_keys=["driver_id"])
# Read data from parquet files. Parquet is convenient for local development mode. For
# production, you can use your favorite DWH, such as BigQuery. See Feast documentation
# for more info.
driver_stats_source = FileSource(
name="driver_hourly_stats_source",
path="%PARQUET_PATH%",
timestamp_field="event_timestamp",
created_timestamp_column="created",
)
# Our parquet files contain sample data that includes a driver_id column, timestamps and
# three feature column. Here we define a Feature View that will allow us to serve this
# data to our model online.
driver_stats_fv = FeatureView(
# The unique name of this feature view. Two feature views in a single
# project cannot have the same name
name="driver_hourly_stats",
entities=[driver],
ttl=timedelta(days=1),
# The list of features defined below act as a schema to both define features
# for both materialization of features into a store, and are used as references
# during retrieval for building a training dataset or serving features
schema=[
Field(name="conv_rate", dtype=Float32),
Field(name="acc_rate", dtype=Float32),
Field(name="avg_daily_trips", dtype=Int64),
],
online=True,
source=driver_stats_source,
# Tags are user defined key/value pairs that are attached to each
# feature view
tags={"team": "driver_performance"},
)
# Defines a way to push data (to be available offline, online or both) into Feast.
driver_stats_push_source = PushSource(
name="driver_stats_push_source",
batch_source=driver_stats_source,
)
# Define a request data source which encodes features / information only
# available at request time (e.g. part of the user initiated HTTP request)
input_request = RequestSource(
name="vals_to_add",
schema=[
Field(name="val_to_add", dtype=Int64),
Field(name="val_to_add_2", dtype=Int64),
],
)
# Define an on demand feature view which can generate new features based on
# existing feature views and RequestSource features
@on_demand_feature_view(
sources=[driver_stats_fv, input_request],
schema=[
Field(name="conv_rate_plus_val1", dtype=Float64),
Field(name="conv_rate_plus_val2", dtype=Float64),
],
)
def transformed_conv_rate(inputs: pd.DataFrame) -> pd.DataFrame:
df = pd.DataFrame()
df["conv_rate_plus_val1"] = inputs["conv_rate"] + inputs["val_to_add"]
df["conv_rate_plus_val2"] = inputs["conv_rate"] + inputs["val_to_add_2"]
return df
# This groups features into a model version
driver_activity_v1 = FeatureService(
name="driver_activity_v1",
features=[
driver_stats_fv[["conv_rate"]], # Sub-selects a feature from a feature view
transformed_conv_rate, # Selects all features from the feature view
],
)
driver_activity_v2 = FeatureService(
name="driver_activity_v2", features=[driver_stats_fv, transformed_conv_rate]
)
The feature_store.yaml file configures the key overall architecture of the feature store.
The provider value sets default offline and online stores.
  • The offline store provides the compute layer to process historical data (for generating training data & feature values for serving).
  • The online store is a low latency store of the latest feature values (for powering real-time inference).
Valid values for provider in feature_store.yaml are:
  • local: use a SQL registry or local file registry. By default, use a file / Dask based offline store + SQLite online store
  • gcp: use a SQL registry or GCS file registry. By default, use BigQuery (offline store) + Google Cloud Datastore (online store)
  • aws: use a SQL registry or S3 file registry. By default, use Redshift (offline store) + DynamoDB (online store)
Note that there are many other offline / online stores Feast works with, including Spark, Azure, Hive, Trino, and PostgreSQL via community plugins. See Third party integrations for all supported data sources.
A custom setup can also be made by following Customizing Feast.

Inspecting the raw data

The raw feature data we have in this demo is stored in a local parquet file. The dataset captures hourly stats of a driver in a ride-sharing app.
import pandas as pd
pd.read_parquet("data/driver_stats.parquet")
Demo parquet data: data/driver_stats.parquet

Step 3: Run sample workflow

There's an included test_workflow.py file which runs through a full sample workflow:
  1. 1.
    Register feature definitions through feast apply
  2. 2.
    Generate a training dataset (using get_historical_features)
  3. 3.
    Generate features for batch scoring (using get_historical_features)
  4. 4.
    Ingest batch features into an online store (using materialize_incremental)
  5. 5.
    Fetch online features to power real time inference (using get_online_features)
  6. 6.
    Ingest streaming features into offline / online stores (using push)
  7. 7.
    Verify online features are updated / fresher
We'll walk through some snippets of code below and explain

Step 3a: Register feature definitions and deploy your feature store

The apply command scans python files in the current directory for feature view/entity definitions, registers the objects, and deploys infrastructure. In this example, it reads example_repo.py and sets up SQLite online store tables. Note that we had specified SQLite as the default online store by configuring online_store in feature_store.yaml.
Bash
feast apply
Output
Created entity driver
Created feature view driver_hourly_stats
Created on demand feature view transformed_conv_rate
Created feature service driver_activity_v1
Created feature service driver_activity_v2
Created sqlite table my_project_driver_hourly_stats

Step 3b: Generating training data or powering batch scoring models

To train a model, we need features and labels. Often, this label data is stored separately (e.g. you have one table storing user survey results and another set of tables with feature values). Feast can help generate the features that map to these labels.
Feast needs a list of entities (e.g. driver ids) and timestamps. Feast will intelligently join relevant tables to create the relevant feature vectors. There are two ways to generate this list:
  1. 1.
    The user can query that table of labels with timestamps and pass that into Feast as an entity dataframe for training data generation.
  2. 2.
    The user can also query that table with a SQL query which pulls entities. See the documentation on feature retrieval for details
  • Note that we include timestamps because we want the features for the same driver at various timestamps to be used in a model.

Generating training data

Python
from datetime import datetime
import pandas as pd
from feast import FeatureStore
# Note: see https://docs.feast.dev/getting-started/concepts/feature-retrieval for
# more details on how to retrieve for all entities in the offline store instead
entity_df = pd.DataFrame.from_dict(
{
# entity's join key -> entity values
"driver_id": [1001, 1002, 1003],
# "event_timestamp" (reserved key) -> timestamps
"event_timestamp": [
datetime(2021, 4, 12, 10, 59, 42),
datetime(2021, 4, 12, 8, 12, 10),
datetime(2021, 4, 12, 16, 40, 26),
],
# (optional) label name -> label values. Feast does not process these
"label_driver_reported_satisfaction": [1, 5, 3],
# values we're using for an on-demand transformation
"val_to_add": [1, 2, 3],
"val_to_add_2": [10, 20, 30],
}
)
store = FeatureStore(repo_path=".")
training_df = store.get_historical_features(
entity_df=entity_df,
features=[
"driver_hourly_stats:conv_rate",
"driver_hourly_stats:acc_rate",
"driver_hourly_stats:avg_daily_trips",
"transformed_conv_rate:conv_rate_plus_val1",
"transformed_conv_rate:conv_rate_plus_val2",
],
).to_df()
print("----- Feature schema -----\n")
print(training_df.info())
print()
print("----- Example features -----\n")
print(training_df.head())
Output
----- Feature schema -----
<class 'pandas.core.frame.DataFrame'>
Int64Index: 3 entries, 0 to 2
Data columns (total 6 columns):
# Column Non-Null Count Dtype
--- ------ -------------- -----
0 event_timestamp 3 non-null datetime64[ns, UTC]
1 driver_id 3 non-null int64
2 label_driver_reported_satisfaction 3 non-null int64
3 conv_rate 3 non-null float32
4 acc_rate 3 non-null float32
5 avg_daily_trips 3 non-null int32
dtypes: datetime64[ns, UTC](1), float32(2), int32(1), int64(2)
memory usage: 132.0 bytes
None
----- Example features -----
event_timestamp driver_id ... acc_rate avg_daily_trips
0 2021-08-23 15:12:55.489091+00:00 1003 ... 0.077863 741
1 2021-08-23 15:49:55.489089+00:00 1002 ... 0.074327 113
2 2021-08-23 16:14:55.489075+00:00 1001 ... 0.105046 347
[3 rows x 6 columns]

Run offline inference (batch scoring)

To power a batch model, we primarily need to generate features with the get_historical_features call, but using the current timestamp
Python
entity_df["event_timestamp"] = pd.to_datetime("now", utc=True)
training_df = store.get_historical_features(
entity_df=entity_df,
features=[
"driver_hourly_stats:conv_rate",
"driver_hourly_stats:acc_rate",
"driver_hourly_stats:avg_daily_trips",
"transformed_conv_rate:conv_rate_plus_val1",
"transformed_conv_rate:conv_rate_plus_val2",
],
).to_df()
print("\n----- Example features -----\n")
print(training_df.head())
Output
----- Example features -----
driver_id event_timestamp ... acc_rate avg_daily_trips conv_rate_plus_val1
0 1001 2022-08-08 18:22:06.555018+00:00 ... 0.864639 359 1.663844
1 1002 2022-08-08 18:22:06.555018+00:00 ... 0.695982 311 2.151189
2 1003 2022-08-08 18:22:06.555018+00:00 ... 0.949191 789 3.769165

Step 3c: Ingest batch features into your online store

We now serialize the latest values of features since the beginning of time to prepare for serving (note: materialize-incremental serializes all new features since the last materialize call).
Bash
CURRENT_TIME=$(date -u +"%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S")
feast materialize-incremental $CURRENT_TIME
Output
Materializing 1 feature views to 2021-08-23 16:25:46+00:00 into the sqlite online
store.
driver_hourly_stats from 2021-08-22 16:25:47+00:00 to 2021-08-23 16:25:46+00:00:
100%|████████████████████████████████████████████| 5/5 [00:00<00:00, 592.05it/s]

Step 3d: Fetching feature vectors for inference

At inference time, we need to quickly read the latest feature values for different drivers (which otherwise might have existed only in batch sources) from the online feature store using get_online_features(). These feature vectors can then be fed to the model.
Python
from pprint import pprint
from feast import FeatureStore
store = FeatureStore(repo_path=".")
feature_vector = store.get_online_features(
features=[
"driver_hourly_stats:conv_rate",
"driver_hourly_stats:acc_rate",
"driver_hourly_stats:avg_daily_trips",
],
entity_rows=[
# {join_key: entity_value}
{"driver_id": 1004},
{"driver_id": 1005},
],
).to_dict()
pprint(feature_vector)
Output
{
'acc_rate': [0.5732735991477966, 0.7828438878059387],
'avg_daily_trips': [33, 984],
'conv_rate': [0.15498852729797363, 0.6263588070869446],
'driver_id': [1004, 1005]
}

Step 3e: Using a feature service to fetch online features instead.

You can also use feature services to manage multiple features, and decouple feature view definitions and the features needed by end applications. The feature store can also be used to fetch either online or historical features using the same API below. More information can be found here.
The driver_activity_v1 feature service pulls all features from the driver_hourly_stats feature view:
from feast import FeatureService
driver_stats_fs = FeatureService(
name="driver_activity_v1", features=[driver_hourly_stats_view]
)
Python
from pprint import pprint
from feast import FeatureStore
feature_store = FeatureStore('.') # Initialize the feature store
feature_service = feature_store.get_feature_service("driver_activity_v1")
feature_vector = feature_store.get_online_features(
features=feature_service,
entity_rows=[
# {join_key: entity_value}
{"driver_id": 1004},
{"driver_id": 1005},
],
).to_dict()
pprint(feature_vector)
Output
{
'acc_rate': [0.5732735991477966, 0.7828438878059387],
'avg_daily_trips': [33, 984],
'conv_rate': [0.15498852729797363, 0.6263588070869446],
'driver_id': [1004, 1005]
}

Step 4: Browse your features with the Web UI (experimental)

View all registered features, data sources, entities, and feature services with the Web UI.
One of the ways to view this is with the feast ui command.
Bash
feast ui
Output
INFO: Started server process [66664]
08/17/2022 01:25:49 PM uvicorn.error INFO: Started server process [66664]
INFO: Waiting for application startup.
08/17/2022 01:25:49 PM uvicorn.error INFO: Waiting for application startup.
INFO: Application startup complete.
08/17/2022 01:25:49 PM uvicorn.error INFO: Application startup complete.
INFO: Uvicorn running on http://0.0.0.0:8888 (Press CTRL+C to quit)
08/17/2022 01:25:49 PM uvicorn.error INFO: Uvicorn running on http://0.0.0.0:8888 (Press CTRL+C to quit)

Step 5: Re-examine test_workflow.py

Take a look at test_workflow.py again. It showcases many sample flows on how to interact with Feast. You'll see these show up in the upcoming concepts + architecture + tutorial pages as well.

Next steps

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On this page
Overview
Step 1: Install Feast
Step 2: Create a feature repository
Inspecting the raw data
Step 3: Run sample workflow
Step 3a: Register feature definitions and deploy your feature store
Step 3b: Generating training data or powering batch scoring models
Step 3c: Ingest batch features into your online store
Step 3d: Fetching feature vectors for inference
Step 3e: Using a feature service to fetch online features instead.
Step 4: Browse your features with the Web UI (experimental)
Step 5: Re-examine test_workflow.py
Next steps