Nikhil J Joshi Nikhil J Joshi - 1 month ago 5
Scala Question

Dropping a nested column from Spark DataFrame

I have a

DataFrame
with the schema

root
|-- label: string (nullable = true)
|-- features: struct (nullable = true)
| |-- feat1: string (nullable = true)
| |-- feat2: string (nullable = true)
| |-- feat3: string (nullable = true)


While, I am able to filter the data frame using

val data = rawData
.filter( !(rawData("features.feat1") <=> "100") )


I am unable to drop the columns using

val data = rawData
.drop("features.feat1")


Is it something that I am doing wrong here? I also tried (unsuccessfully) doing
drop(rawData("features.feat1"))
, though it does not make much sense to do so.

Thanks in advance,

Nikhil

Answer

It is just a programming exercise but you can try something like this:

import org.apache.spark.sql.{DataFrame, Column}
import org.apache.spark.sql.types.{StructType, StructField}
import org.apache.spark.sql.{functions => f}
import scala.util.Try

case class DFWithDropFrom(df: DataFrame) {
  def getSourceField(source: String): Try[StructField] = {
    Try(df.schema.fields.filter(_.name == source).head)
  }

  def getType(sourceField: StructField): Try[StructType] = {
    Try(sourceField.dataType.asInstanceOf[StructType])
  }

  def genOutputCol(names: Array[String], source: String): Column = {
    f.struct(names.map(x => f.col(source).getItem(x).alias(x)): _*)
  }

  def dropFrom(source: String, toDrop: Array[String]): DataFrame = {
    getSourceField(source)
      .flatMap(getType)
      .map(_.fieldNames.diff(toDrop))
      .map(genOutputCol(_, source))
      .map(df.withColumn(source, _))
      .getOrElse(df)
  }
}

Example usage:

scala> case class features(feat1: String, feat2: String, feat3: String)
defined class features

scala> case class record(label: String, features: features)
defined class record

scala> val df = sc.parallelize(Seq(record("a_label",  features("f1", "f2", "f3")))).toDF
df: org.apache.spark.sql.DataFrame = [label: string, features: struct<feat1:string,feat2:string,feat3:string>]

scala> DFWithDropFrom(df).dropFrom("features", Array("feat1")).show
+-------+--------+
|  label|features|
+-------+--------+
|a_label| [f2,f3]|
+-------+--------+


scala> DFWithDropFrom(df).dropFrom("foobar", Array("feat1")).show
+-------+----------+
|  label|  features|
+-------+----------+
|a_label|[f1,f2,f3]|
+-------+----------+


scala> DFWithDropFrom(df).dropFrom("features", Array("foobar")).show
+-------+----------+
|  label|  features|
+-------+----------+
|a_label|[f1,f2,f3]|
+-------+----------+

Add an implicit conversion and you're good to go.

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