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Pandas and PyArrow

Because Lance is built on top of Apache Arrow, LanceDB is tightly integrated with the Python data ecosystem, including Pandas and PyArrow. The sequence of steps in a typical workflow is shown below.

Create dataset

First, we need to connect to a LanceDB database.

import lancedb

db = lancedb.connect("data/sample-lancedb")

We can load a Pandas DataFrame to LanceDB directly.

import pandas as pd

data = pd.DataFrame({
    "vector": [[3.1, 4.1], [5.9, 26.5]],
    "item": ["foo", "bar"],
    "price": [10.0, 20.0]
table = db.create_table("pd_table", data=data)

Similar to the pyarrow.write_dataset() method, LanceDB's db.create_table() accepts data in a variety of forms.

If you have a dataset that is larger than memory, you can create a table with Iterator[pyarrow.RecordBatch] to lazily load the data:

from typing import Iterable
import pyarrow as pa

def make_batches() -> Iterable[pa.RecordBatch]:
    for i in range(5):
        yield pa.RecordBatch.from_arrays(
                pa.array([[3.1, 4.1], [5.9, 26.5]]),
                pa.array(["foo", "bar"]),
                pa.array([10.0, 20.0]),
            ["vector", "item", "price"])

    pa.field("vector", pa.list_(pa.float32())),
    pa.field("item", pa.utf8()),
    pa.field("price", pa.float32()),

table = db.create_table("iterable_table", data=make_batches(), schema=schema)

You will find detailed instructions of creating a LanceDB dataset in Getting Started and API sections.

We can now perform similarity search via the LanceDB Python API.

# Open the table previously created.
table = db.open_table("pd_table")

query_vector = [100, 100]
# Pandas DataFrame
df =
    vector     item  price    _distance
0  [5.9, 26.5]  bar   20.0  14257.05957

If you have a simple filter, it's faster to provide a where clause to LanceDB's search method. For more complex filters or aggregations, you can always resort to using the underlying DataFrame methods after performing a search.

# Apply the filter via LanceDB
results =[100, 100]).where("price < 15").to_pandas()
assert len(results) == 1
assert results["item"].iloc[0] == "foo"

# Apply the filter via Pandas
df = results =[100, 100]).to_pandas()
results = df[df.price < 15]
assert len(results) == 1
assert results["item"].iloc[0] == "foo"