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Cell and pool structure

Cells and pools are both persistent storage, but cells are global variables that cannot be created or destroyed at runtime (only reassigned) and pools are like environments in R: collections of key-value pairs that can be created and destroyed at runtime, and the granularity of concurrent access is at the level of a single pool item.

Cells and pools are both specified as JSON objects with the same fields, though init is required for cells and not for pools.

Name Default Constraints Description
type required Avro type The type of the value in the cell or the type of a single pool item.
init required for cells, {} for pools JSON matching type or string If source is embedded, the contents are the initial value of the cell or pool. Otherwise, the contents are a string URL pointing to a resource containing the initial value.
shared false boolean If true, all scoring engines derived from this PFA file share a common, consistent value in the cell or pool.
rollback false boolean If true, the value in the cell or pool reverts to the value it had at the beginning of an action when an action raises an exception. Incompatible with shared.
source "embedded" "embedded", "json", or "avro" If "embedded", the initial value is located within this PFA file (in init). Otherwise, init is a URL pointing to the data (including "file://" prefix for local files) with "json" or "avro" format.

Example 1

The following is repeated from example 2 above: a global variable that stores an array of strings. The initial value is [], but it could also be ["one", "two", "three"].

"cells": {"accumulate": {"type": {"type": "array", "items": "string"},
                        "init": []}}

Example 2

Pool types are implicitly maps— the following maps a counter name to an integer. Counters can be created or destroyed at runtime.

"pools": {"counters": {"type": "int", "shared": "true"}}