Constructing a Task from C Code#

Workflows can incorporate functions written in different languages, for example when a compiled C function is used to optimize performance. This example demonstrates how to construct a Lepton from a compiled C function.


Writing a Covalent lepton for a C function presupposes that you have a compiled C function that you want to call from within a Python session. This example creates a simple C program for that purpose.

  1. Write C source and header files for the program:

c_source = """
#include "test.h"

void test_entry(int x, int *y, int *z)
        *y += x;
        *z = 5;

c_header = """
void test_entry(int x, int *y, int *z);

with open("test.c", "w") as f:

with open("test.h", "w") as f:
  1. Compile the C source into a shared library:

!gcc -shared -fPIC -o test.c


  1. Construct a task that interfaces with the compiled function using a Covalent lepton object:

import covalent as ct
from ctypes import POINTER, c_int32
import os

library_path = os.path.join(os.getcwd(),"")

task = ct.Lepton(
    language = "C",
    library_name = library_path,
    function_name = "test_entry",
    argtypes = [                     # Type conversion info required by the lepton object
        (c_int32, ct.Lepton.INPUT),
        (POINTER(c_int32), ct.Lepton.INPUT_OUTPUT),
        (POINTER(c_int32), ct.Lepton.OUTPUT)
  1. Use the lepton in the context of a lattice:

def workflow(x: int, y: int) -> int:
    return task(x, y)

dispatch_id = ct.dispatch(workflow)(1, 2)
result = ct.get_result(dispatch_id, wait=True)
(3, 5)

Note that the return values consist of input-output and output-only variables. Output-only variables can only be scalars, since there is no way to to determine an output-only variable’s array size. To return an array, declare it as an input-output variable and initialize it appropriately before passing it to the lepton.

See Also#

Constructing a Lepton

Covalent API: Lepton

Constructing Tasks from Bash Scripts