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wranglesearch is a tool to extract data preparation steps from an existing collection of programs, modularize them into standalone wrangling functions, store these in a function database, and serve them to new analysts via a term-based query interface.

By mining functions from programs written to analyze the same dataset, we can learn data preparation operations that are specific to this dataset. For example, we can learn type casts (which provide semantic info about a column), we can learn human-readable labels for numeric values, we can learn common groupings of values, etc.

wranglesearch collects such snippets and organizes them into a function database, backed by a graph data model, where nodes are database columns, library functions, or extracted wrangling functions, and edges are relationships such as defines, uses, calls, or wrangles for (more detail below).

The snippets are focused on code that modifies an existing column or derives a new column.


All scripts should be run from the project root directory.

The easiest way to install wranglesearch is through a docker container. Alternatively you can run bash scripts/ if you don't want to use a container. We detail the container steps below.


First, build the container

docker build . -t wranglesearch

Next, launch the container and build the demo database.

docker run -it wranglesearch

You should see a neo4j message indicating startup. You can now build the demo database by calling

bash scripts/

You should see prints to stdout indicating what is being populated into the database.

You can then interact with wranglesearch by launching python or ipython and running

from demo import *
db = start()

which will create a database object by the name db.

In the following section, we show how to use this object to interact with wranglesearch.

Interaction with wranglesearch

We use the db object created in the prior section and show some simple usage.

  • List all columns (from the dataset) stored in the wranglesearch graph.
$ db.columns()
[(d5d4d7f:COLUMN {name:"earliest_cr_line"}), (d310d83:COLUMN {name:"term"}), ...]
  • List third-party library functions called
$ db.functions()
[(f1fa693:FUNCTION {name:""}),
 (a3f2b2c:FUNCTION {name:"pandas.core.series.Series.to_frame"}), ...]
  • List wranglesearch wrangling steps (wrapped in functions)
$ db.extracted_functions()
[(ffa9705:EXTRACTED_FUNCTION {lines_of_code:7,name:"cleaning_func_0_0"}),
 (c973819:EXTRACTED_FUNCTION {lines_of_code:9,name:"cleaning_func_1_1"}), ...]
  • List wranglesearch code snippets that define a column
$ db.defines('loan_status')
[(ef26c4c:EXTRACTED_FUNCTION {lines_of_code:7,name:"cleaning_func_2_104"}),
 (faaa7fa:EXTRACTED_FUNCTION {lines_of_code:7,name:"cleaning_func_0_96"}), ...]

and then we can get the source code for one of these snippets

$ print(db.get_code(db.defines('loan_status')[0]))
def cleaning_func_2(data):
	# core cleaning code
	import pandas as pd
	# data = pd.read_csv('../input/loan.csv')
	bad_indicators = ['Charged Off ', 'Default', 'Does not meet the credit policy. Status:Charged Off', 'In Grace Period', 'Default Receiver', 'Late (16-30 days)', 'Late (31-120 days)']
	data.loc[(data.loan_status.isin(bad_indicators), 'bad_loan')] = 1
	return data
  • List a wranglesearch code snippets that use a column (and print its code)
$ print(db.get_code(db.uses('emp_length')[5]))
def cleaning_func_1(df):
	# additional context code from user definitions

	def emp_length_class(text):
	    if ((text == '< 1 year') or (text == '1 year') or (text == '2 years') or (text == '3 years')):
	        return '<=3 years'
	    elif ((text == '4 years') or (text == '5 years') or (text == '6 years')):
	        return '4-6 years'
	    elif ((text == '7 years') or (text == '8 years') or (text == '9 years')):
	        return '7-9 years'
	    elif (text == '10+ years'):
	        return '>=10 years'
	        return None

	# core cleaning code
	import pandas as pd
	# df = pd.read_csv('../input/loan.csv')
	df['emp_length_class'] = df['emp_length'].apply(emp_length_class)
	return df
  • List code snippets that are used before calling a third party function (i.e. they wrangle data for that call).
$ import pandas as pd
$ db.wrangles_for(pd.DataFrame.groupby)
def cleaning_func_22(df):
	# core cleaning code
	import pandas as pd
	# df = pd.read_csv('../input/loan.csv', low_memory=False)
	df = df.rename(columns={'loan_amnt': 'loan_amount', 'funded_amnt': 'funded_amount', 'funded_amnt_inv': 'investor_funds', 'int_rate': 'interest_rate', 'annual_inc': 'annual_income'})
	group_dates = df.groupby(['complete_date', 'region'], as_index=False).sum()
	return group_dates

Note that we passed in the python function object pd.DataFrame.groupby to the wrangles_for call.

  • List wranglesearch code snippets that make a call to a particular third-party library function.
$ print(db.get_code(db.calls(pd.DataFrame.fillna)[0]))
def cleaning_func_12(dataset):
	# core cleaning code
	import pandas as pd
	# dataset = pd.read_csv('../input/loan.csv', low_memory=False)
	dataset = dataset.fillna(0)
	dataset['grade'] = dataset['grade'].astype('category')
	return dataset

Note that like in wrangles_for we pass in the actual python function object to db.calls.

  • Executable code snippets

A goal of wranglesearch is that the code snippets produced are executable. So we can try that out as follows:

$ fn = db.get_executable(db.uses("emp_length")[5])
$ import pandas as pd
$ df = pd.read_csv("demo-data/loan.csv", nrows=1000)
$ df["emp_length"].value_counts()
10+ years    234
2 years      110
5 years       97
3 years       91
4 years       90
1 year        82
< 1 year      81
6 years       63
7 years       58
8 years       44
9 years       33

$ fn(df.copy())["emp_length_class"].value_counts()
<=3 years     364
4-6 years     250
>=10 years    234
7-9 years     135

Note that not every function is going to execute successfully, but it is certainly our goal to have that be the case. Additionally, note that the function executed has intermediate steps/variables created by wranglesearch during analysis/extraction, while the source code printed through db.get_code does some string replacement to remove these (since they reduce readability).

wranglesearch in IPython

If you use IPython (or Jupyter), you can load the transfer magics extension by running

%load_ext wranglesearch.magic

You can then use the magic

%tquery <query terms> [result position]

to produce a new cell with the resulting snippets source code.


<query terms>
[result position]

If no result_position is provided, we assume you want the top result.

wranglesearch.magic loads the sample_db.pkl created at the root of the project by running bash scripts/

Extracting your own functions

You can extract functions from your own set of scripts (rather than our pre-extracted ones) and create a database. To do so, you can run the script

bash scripts/

Note that this will prompt you for confirmation before deleting your current neo4j database (if any). Note that this cannot be undone, so make sure you want to proceed.

You can modify scripts/ to point to your own scripts of interest.

Once the script runs, you can follow the previous portions of the demo to interact with wranglesearch.

Extracting functions from our datasets

Please see the in runner/ which discusses how to build an (isolated) environment for executing the third party Kaggle scripts from which we extract functions.


  • I'm having issues with query results not returning their corresponding code, etc.
    • neo4j can be a bit annoying some times, particularly because we are using an older version of it. Your best bet is to delete the data storage for neo4j (you can get where it is storing info with neo4j console), restarting neo4j, and rebuilding your database.


Extracting common code from collection of scripts targeting same data set







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