Quick Start#

This guide is meant to provide a quick-start tutorial for interacting with RAFT’s C++ & Python APIs.

RAPIDS Memory Manager (RMM)#

RAFT relies heavily on the RMM library which eases the burden of configuring different allocation strategies globally across the libraries that use it.

Multi-dimensional Spans and Arrays#

Most of the APIs in RAFT accept mdspan multi-dimensional array view for representing data in higher dimensions similar to the ndarray in the Numpy Python library. RAFT also contains the corresponding owning mdarray structure, which simplifies the allocation and management of multi-dimensional data in both host and device (GPU) memory.

The mdarray is an owning object that forms a convenience layer over RMM and can be constructed in RAFT using a number of different helper functions:

#include <raft/core/device_mdarray.hpp>

int n_rows = 10;
int n_cols = 10;

auto scalar = raft::make_device_scalar<float>(handle, 1.0);
auto vector = raft::make_device_vector<float>(handle, n_cols);
auto matrix = raft::make_device_matrix<float>(handle, n_rows, n_cols);

The mdspan is a lightweight non-owning view that can wrap around any pointer, maintaining shape, layout, and indexing information for accessing elements.

We can construct mdspan instances directly from the above mdarray instances:

// Scalar mdspan on device
auto scalar_view = scalar.view();

// Vector mdspan on device
auto vector_view = vector.view();

// Matrix mdspan on device
auto matrix_view = matrix.view();

Since the mdspan is just a lightweight wrapper, we can also construct it from the underlying data handles in the mdarray instances above. We use the extent to get information about the mdarray or mdspan’s shape.

#include <raft/core/device_mdspan.hpp>

auto scalar_view = raft::make_device_scalar_view(scalar.data_handle());
auto vector_view = raft::make_device_vector_view(vector.data_handle(), vector.extent(0));
auto matrix_view = raft::make_device_matrix_view(matrix.data_handle(), matrix.extent(0), matrix.extent(1));

Of course, RAFT’s mdspan/mdarray APIs aren’t just limited to the device. You can also create host variants:

#include <raft/core/host_mdarray.hpp>
#include <raft/core/host_mdspan.hpp>

int n_rows = 10;
int n_cols = 10;

auto scalar = raft::make_host_scalar<float>(handle, 1.0);
auto vector = raft::make_host_vector<float>(handle, n_cols);
auto matrix = raft::make_host_matrix<float>(handle, n_rows, n_cols);

auto scalar_view = raft::make_host_scalar_view(scalar.data_handle());
auto vector_view = raft::make_host_vector_view(vector.data_handle(), vector.extent(0));
auto matrix_view = raft::make_host_matrix_view(matrix.data_handle(), matrix.extent(0), matrix.extent(1));

And managed variants:

#include <raft/core/device_mdspan.hpp>

int n_rows = 10;
int n_cols = 10;

auto matrix = raft::make_managed_mdspan(managed_ptr, raft::make_matrix_extents(n_rows, n_cols));

You can also create strided mdspans:

#include <raft/core/device_mdspan.hpp>

int n_elements = 10;
int stride = 10;

auto vector = raft::make_device_vector_view(vector_ptr, raft::make_vector_strided_layout(n_elements, stride));

C++ Example#

Most of the primitives in RAFT accept a raft::handle_t object for the management of resources which are expensive to create, such CUDA streams, stream pools, and handles to other CUDA libraries like cublas and cusolver.

The example below demonstrates creating a RAFT handle and using it with device_matrix and device_vector to allocate memory, generating random clusters, and computing pairwise Euclidean distances:

#include <raft/core/handle.hpp>
#include <raft/core/device_mdarray.hpp>
#include <raft/random/make_blobs.cuh>
#include <raft/distance/distance.cuh>

raft::handle_t handle;

int n_samples = 5000;
int n_features = 50;

auto input = raft::make_device_matrix<float>(handle, n_samples, n_features);
auto labels = raft::make_device_vector<int>(handle, n_samples);
auto output = raft::make_device_matrix<float>(handle, n_samples, n_samples);

raft::random::make_blobs(handle, input.view(), labels.view());

auto metric = raft::distance::DistanceType::L2SqrtExpanded;
raft::distance::pairwise_distance(handle, input.view(), input.view(), output.view(), metric);

Python Example#

The pylibraft package contains a Python API for RAFT algorithms and primitives. pylibraft integrates nicely into other libraries by being very lightweight with minimal dependencies and accepting any object that supports the __cuda_array_interface__, such as CuPy’s ndarray. The number of RAFT algorithms exposed in this package is continuing to grow from release to release.

The example below demonstrates computing the pairwise Euclidean distances between CuPy arrays. Note that CuPy is not a required dependency for pylibraft.

import cupy as cp

from pylibraft.distance import pairwise_distance

n_samples = 5000
n_features = 50

in1 = cp.random.random_sample((n_samples, n_features), dtype=cp.float32)
in2 = cp.random.random_sample((n_samples, n_features), dtype=cp.float32)

output = pairwise_distance(in1, in2, metric="euclidean")

The output array in the above example is of type raft.common.device_ndarray, which supports cuda_array_interface making it interoperable with other libraries like CuPy, Numba, and PyTorch that also support it. CuPy supports DLPack, which also enables zero-copy conversion from raft.common.device_ndarray to JAX and Tensorflow.

Below is an example of converting the output pylibraft.common.device_ndarray to a CuPy array:

cupy_array = cp.asarray(output)

And converting to a PyTorch tensor:

import torch

torch_tensor = torch.as_tensor(output, device='cuda')

When the corresponding library has been installed and available in your environment, this conversion can also be done automatically by all RAFT compute APIs by setting a global configuration option:

import pylibraft.config
pylibraft.config.set_output_as("cupy")  # All compute APIs will return cupy arrays
pylibraft.config.set_output_as("torch") # All compute APIs will return torch tensors

You can also specify a callable that accepts a pylibraft.common.device_ndarray and performs a custom conversion. The following example converts all output to numpy arrays:

pylibraft.config.set_output_as(lambda device_ndarray: return device_ndarray.copy_to_host())

pylibraft also supports writing to a pre-allocated output array so any __cuda_array_interface__ supported array can be written to in-place:

import cupy as cp

from pylibraft.distance import pairwise_distance

n_samples = 5000
n_features = 50

in1 = cp.random.random_sample((n_samples, n_features), dtype=cp.float32)
in2 = cp.random.random_sample((n_samples, n_features), dtype=cp.float32)
output = cp.empty((n_samples, n_samples), dtype=cp.float32)

pairwise_distance(in1, in2, out=output, metric="euclidean")