Parameterize Jupyter notebooks in Julia
Author marius311
4 Stars
Updated Last
1 Year Ago
Started In
March 2021



Turn a Jupyter notebook or specific sections within a Jupyter notebook into a general purpose Julia function which can be run repeatedly from the same or other Julia sessions with different input arguments.


Requires Julia 1.6 or above. From the Julia package prompt:

pkg> add ParameterizedNotebooks


Best demonstrated with an example:

There are no limitations on what the notebook contains or how complex it is, only that the arguments which will be parameterized over are marked with @nbparam name = val. The @nbparam macro does nothing special when running the notebook normally in Jupyter, so above seed is set to 1 and execution proceeds as usual.

You can mark code which should only run in Jupyter but will otherwise be skipped in the parameterized call (e.g. visualization) with @nbonly.

You can return a value from the notebook with the @nbreturn macro. @nbreturn is also useful to return the parameterized call somewhere before the end of your notebook. Code cells below this are not run and can contain other code, even triggering the parameterized call itself from the same kernel/notebook, as in the above example.


You can also select only certain sections from the notebook to run with the keyword argument sections. Sections should be delineated in the notebook with typical markdown headings. For example:

ParameterizedNotebook("mynotebook.ipynb", sections=("Initialization", "Compute result"))

will run all code in the sections "Initialization" and "Compute result" and all of their subsections. If recursing into the subsections is undesired, also pass recursive=false. The sections argument should be a string matching a heading title exactly or a regex which matches a heading title, or a tuple of strings/regexs for matching multiple sections.

When sections is provided, printing the ParameterizedNotebook shows a tree which can be used to verify the expected code will be run, e.g. you might see something like this:

julia> ParameterizedNotebook("mynotebook.ipynb", sections=("Init", "Section B"), recursive=false)

ParameterizedNotebook("mynotebook.ipynb") with parameters: (param1, param2)
□ ~
  ☒ Init
    ☒ …
  □ Section A
    □ Subsection A
  ☒ Section B
    ☒ …
    □ Subsection B


The package is extremely simple and just reads the notebook file from disk and repeatedly eval's all or a subset of the cells into Main (just as if you had run the cells in Jupyter), replacing @nbparam expressions with the appropriate value, skipping @nbonly expressions, and returning if it hits a @nbreturn.


Similar to takluyver/nbparameterise, tritemio/nbrun, and nteract/papermill, but more powerful because arbitrary objects, not just string representations, can be passed as parameters and returned from the notebooks. Also, much simpler to use and only requires decorating a few lines with macros. However, lacks the ability to generate "reports" with outputs filled in. Also similar to stevengj/NBInclude.jl which I discovered after making this, which has some nice orthogonal features, but doesn't let you parameterize.

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