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22.5 Ragged Inputs and Outputs

The previous examples included rectangular data structures and single outputs. Despite the name, this is not technically required by map_rect.

Ragged Inputs

If each group has a different number of observations, then the rectangular data structures for predictors and outcomes will need to be padded out to be rectangular. In addition, the size of the ragged structure will need to be passed as integer data. This holds for shards with varying numbers of parameters as well as varying numbers of data points.

Ragged Outputs

The output of each mapped function is concatenated in order of inputs to produce the output of map_rect. When every shard returns a singleton (size one) array, the result is the same size as the number of shards and is easy to deal with downstream. If functions return longer arrays, they can still be structured using the to_matrix function if they are rectangular.

If the outputs are of varying sizes, then there will have to be some way to convert it back to a usable form based on the input, because there is no way to directly return sizes or a ragged structure.