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From "Aljoscha Krettek (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (BEAM-644) Primitive to shift the watermark while assigning timestamps
Date Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:11:20 GMT


Aljoscha Krettek commented on BEAM-644:

Yes, as a replacement for {{outputWithTimestamp}} and {{withAllowedTimestampSkew}} this new
proposal is perfect.

[~kenn], I was just thinking about {{SplittableDoFn}} and what happens in the absence of data.
Say you have some data that you emit form the DoFn that is clustered around timestamp {{t}},
then you have no data for a while and then you get data that is clustered around {{t + 100}}.
In order for that data to not be late the watermark has to be held at {{t + 100}} but you
cannot know that until you actually see the newer data. Holding back by some constant {{D}}
would not help in that case. Or I might be missing something, of course.

> Primitive to shift the watermark while assigning timestamps
> -----------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: BEAM-644
>                 URL:
>             Project: Beam
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>          Components: beam-model
>            Reporter: Kenneth Knowles
>            Assignee: Kenneth Knowles
> There is a general need, especially important in the presence of SplittableDoFn, to be
able to assign new timestamps to elements without making them late or droppable.
>  - DoFn.withAllowedTimestampSkew is inadequate, because it simply allows one to produce
late data, but does not allow one to shift the watermark so the new data is on-time.
>  - For a SplittableDoFn, one may receive an element such as the name of a log file that
contains elements for the day preceding the log file. The timestamp on the filename must currently
be the beginning of the log. If such elements are constantly flowing, it may be OK, but since
we don't know that element is coming, in that absence of data, the watermark may advance.
We need a way to keep it far enough back even in the absence of data holding it back.
> One idea is a new primitive ShiftWatermark / AdjustTimestamps with the following pieces:
>  - A constant duration (positive or negative) D by which to shift the watermark.
>  - A function from TimestampedElement<T> to new timestamp that is >= t + D
> So, for example, AdjustTimestamps(<-60 minutes>, f) would allow f to make timestamps
up to 60 minutes earlier.
> With this primitive added, outputWithTimestamp and withAllowedTimestampSkew could be
removed, simplifying DoFn.
> Alternatively, all of this functionality could be bolted on to DoFn.
> This ticket is not a proposal, but a record of the issue and ideas that were mentioned.

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