Split Spark Dataframe string column into multiple columns

72

I've seen various people suggesting that Dataframe.explode is a useful way to do this, but it results in more rows than the original dataframe, which isn't what I want at all. I simply want to do the Dataframe equivalent of the very simple:

rdd.map(lambda row: row + [row.my_str_col.split('-')])

which takes something looking like:

col1 | my_str_col
-----+-----------
  18 |  856-yygrm
 201 |  777-psgdg

and converts it to this:

col1 | my_str_col | _col3 | _col4
-----+------------+-------+------
  18 |  856-yygrm |   856 | yygrm
 201 |  777-psgdg |   777 | psgdg

I am aware of pyspark.sql.functions.split(), but it results in a nested array column instead of two top-level columns like I want.

Ideally, I want these new columns to be named as well.

This question is tagged with apache-spark pyspark apache-spark-sql spark-dataframe pyspark-sql

~ Asked on 2016-08-30 19:32:59

The Best Answer is


123

pyspark.sql.functions.split() is the right approach here - you simply need to flatten the nested ArrayType column into multiple top-level columns. In this case, where each array only contains 2 items, it's very easy. You simply use Column.getItem() to retrieve each part of the array as a column itself:

split_col = pyspark.sql.functions.split(df['my_str_col'], '-')
df = df.withColumn('NAME1', split_col.getItem(0))
df = df.withColumn('NAME2', split_col.getItem(1))

The result will be:

col1 | my_str_col | NAME1 | NAME2
-----+------------+-------+------
  18 |  856-yygrm |   856 | yygrm
 201 |  777-psgdg |   777 | psgdg

I am not sure how I would solve this in a general case where the nested arrays were not the same size from Row to Row.

~ Answered on 2016-08-30 19:32:59


39

Here's a solution to the general case that doesn't involve needing to know the length of the array ahead of time, using collect, or using udfs. Unfortunately this only works for spark version 2.1 and above, because it requires the posexplode function.

Suppose you had the following DataFrame:

df = spark.createDataFrame(
    [
        [1, 'A, B, C, D'], 
        [2, 'E, F, G'], 
        [3, 'H, I'], 
        [4, 'J']
    ]
    , ["num", "letters"]
)
df.show()
#+---+----------+
#|num|   letters|
#+---+----------+
#|  1|A, B, C, D|
#|  2|   E, F, G|
#|  3|      H, I|
#|  4|         J|
#+---+----------+

Split the letters column and then use posexplode to explode the resultant array along with the position in the array. Next use pyspark.sql.functions.expr to grab the element at index pos in this array.

import pyspark.sql.functions as f

df.select(
        "num",
        f.split("letters", ", ").alias("letters"),
        f.posexplode(f.split("letters", ", ")).alias("pos", "val")
    )\
    .show()
#+---+------------+---+---+
#|num|     letters|pos|val|
#+---+------------+---+---+
#|  1|[A, B, C, D]|  0|  A|
#|  1|[A, B, C, D]|  1|  B|
#|  1|[A, B, C, D]|  2|  C|
#|  1|[A, B, C, D]|  3|  D|
#|  2|   [E, F, G]|  0|  E|
#|  2|   [E, F, G]|  1|  F|
#|  2|   [E, F, G]|  2|  G|
#|  3|      [H, I]|  0|  H|
#|  3|      [H, I]|  1|  I|
#|  4|         [J]|  0|  J|
#+---+------------+---+---+

Now we create two new columns from this result. First one is the name of our new column, which will be a concatenation of letter and the index in the array. The second column will be the value at the corresponding index in the array. We get the latter by exploiting the functionality of pyspark.sql.functions.expr which allows us use column values as parameters.

df.select(
        "num",
        f.split("letters", ", ").alias("letters"),
        f.posexplode(f.split("letters", ", ")).alias("pos", "val")
    )\
    .drop("val")\
    .select(
        "num",
        f.concat(f.lit("letter"),f.col("pos").cast("string")).alias("name"),
        f.expr("letters[pos]").alias("val")
    )\
    .show()
#+---+-------+---+
#|num|   name|val|
#+---+-------+---+
#|  1|letter0|  A|
#|  1|letter1|  B|
#|  1|letter2|  C|
#|  1|letter3|  D|
#|  2|letter0|  E|
#|  2|letter1|  F|
#|  2|letter2|  G|
#|  3|letter0|  H|
#|  3|letter1|  I|
#|  4|letter0|  J|
#+---+-------+---+

Now we can just groupBy the num and pivot the DataFrame. Putting that all together, we get:

df.select(
        "num",
        f.split("letters", ", ").alias("letters"),
        f.posexplode(f.split("letters", ", ")).alias("pos", "val")
    )\
    .drop("val")\
    .select(
        "num",
        f.concat(f.lit("letter"),f.col("pos").cast("string")).alias("name"),
        f.expr("letters[pos]").alias("val")
    )\
    .groupBy("num").pivot("name").agg(f.first("val"))\
    .show()
#+---+-------+-------+-------+-------+
#|num|letter0|letter1|letter2|letter3|
#+---+-------+-------+-------+-------+
#|  1|      A|      B|      C|      D|
#|  3|      H|      I|   null|   null|
#|  2|      E|      F|      G|   null|
#|  4|      J|   null|   null|   null|
#+---+-------+-------+-------+-------+

~ Answered on 2018-08-03 21:29:51


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