Templating Manager#


The Inductiva API is all about enabling you to simulate at scale. As we have shown, with a few lines of Python code, you can send your simulations to MPI Clusters assembled from last-generation cloud hardware, letting you run much larger simulations than you would be able to use your local resources. Or you can spin up a large Machine Group, with dozens or hundreds of machines, and send a large number of simulations to be run on those machines in parallel. Such massive parallelism is precisely what you need when you want to find the optimal solution for a problem, and the only way to test each candidate’s solution is by simulating it. To do so, one needs to configure multiple simulations, each with a slightly different set of parameters. Generally speaking, the goal is to explore the largest possible extent of the design space.

In this context, the Inductiva API provides a powerful tool for exploring the design space of a problem: the templating manager. The templating manager allows you to quickly generate a large number of simulation configurations by starting from a base case and replacing some of its fixed values with variables that you can programmatically change.

The TemplateManager class#

The TemplateManager is an utility class that allows you to manage templating files and specify how to render each template into a concrete configuration file. It abstracts the rendering process, allowing the user to focus solely on defining the source of the template files, the destination directory of the rendered files, and the values of the variables to be used in the rendering process.

In the following sections, we’ll provide a basic introduction to rendering concepts and explain how to use the TemplateManager class to render different variations of template files to a destination folder. In the end, we will discuss some safety features that the TemplateManager class provides to prevent accidental overwriting of files and ensure the uniqueness of the destination directory.

Rendering basics#

To start, a template file is a file that contains labels that will be replaced with specific values during a rendering process. These labels – variables – are enclosed in double curly brackets, optionally specifying default values they might take when not explicitly set during the rendering process.

In the following example, the content of a template file defines a configuration parameter named config_parameter:

config_parameter = {{ parameter_value }}

When this file is rendered with 10 for the variable parameter_value, the resulting file will read:

config_parameter = 10

If the template file were to be defined with a default value for parameter_value:

config_parameter = {{ parameter_value | default(20) }}

and rendered without providing a value for it, the resulting file would read:

config_parameter = 20

Rendering a directory with the TemplateManager class#

For the sake of illustration, let’s consider a directory, containing three template files and a regular (non-template) file, with the following structure:

$ tree my_templates
├── config.yaml.jinja
├── readme.txt
└── objects
    ├── obj1.def.jinja
    └── obj2.def.jinja

The contents of each file are as follows:

$ cat my_templates/config.yaml.jinja
density: {{ density }}
viscosity: {{ viscosity }}
position: {{ position | default([0, 0, 0]) }}

$ cat my_templates/readme.txt
I am a non-template file. I will be copied as is.

$ cat my_templates/objects/obj1.def.jinja
type: sphere
radius: {{ sphere_radius }}

$ cat my_templates/objects/obj2.def.jinja
type: cube
side: {{ cube_side | default(1) }}

To render all files in the my_templates directory, into a target directory:

import inductiva

# render all files in the template directory specifying the values of
# the variables in the template files. Note that we are deliberately not
# providing values for the `position` or `cube_side` variables in the
# config.yaml.jinja and obj2.def.jinja files, respectively. This
# will enforce the default values to be used.


After running the code above, the my_rendered_files directory will contain the following files:

$ tree my_rendered_files
├── config.yaml
├── readme.txt
└── objects
    ├── obj1.def
    └── obj2.def

$ cat my_rendered_files/config.yaml
density: 1000
viscosity: 1e-6
position: [0, 0, 0]

$ cat my_templates/readme.txt
I am a non-template file. I will be copied as is.

$ cat my_rendered_files/objects/obj1.def
type: sphere
radius: 0.5

$ cat my_rendered_files/objects/obj2.def
type: cube
side: 1

Overwrite safety#

By default, the TemplateManager will not overwrite any existing files in the destination directory. Calls to the render_dir method will fail if any of the destination files already exist. Rendering and coping actions are transactional, meaning that the entire action will fail if any destination file exists. For example, consecutive calls to the same method will fail in the second call. This behavior is intended to prevent accidental overwriting of files that may have been generated in a previous run.

To enforce the overwriting of existing files, you can set the overwrite argument to True when calling the renderdir method.