What is Kubeflow Pipelines?

Kubeflow Pipelines (KFP) is a platform for building and deploying portable, scalable machine learning workflows using Docker containers.

To get started quickly with a KFP deployment and usage example, see the Quickstart guide.


Kubeflow Pipelines' primary objectives are to enable:

  • End-to-end orchestration of machine learning workflows
  • Pipeline composability through reusable components and pipelines
  • Easy management, tracking, and visualization of pipeline definitions, pipeline runs, experiments, and machine learning artifacts
  • Efficient use of compute resources by eliminating redundant executions through caching
  • Cross-platform pipeline portability through a platform-neutral IR YAML pipeline definition

KFP is available as a core component of Kubeflow or as a standalone installation.

What is a pipeline?

A pipeline is a description of an workflow with one or more steps, where each step is defined by a single container execution. Each step, or task, is parameterized by inputs and outputs, enabling pipeline authors to form a computational directed acyclic graph (DAG) of tasks by specifying the output of one task as the input to another.

Pipelines are written in Python to enable an easy authoring experience, compiled to YAML for portability, and executed on Kubernetes for scalability.

What does using KFP look like?

At a high level, a typical KFP user experience is as follows:

  1. Author a pipeline with one or more components using the Python KFP SDK’s domain-specific language (DSL). You may wish to author your own components or use prebuilt components provided by other authors.
  2. Compile the pipeline to YAML using the KFP SDK’s DSL compiler.
  3. Submit the pipeline to run on the KFP backend, which orchestrates the Kubernetes Pod creation and data passing required to execute your workflow.
  4. View your runs, experiments, and machine learning artifacts on the KFP Dashboard.

Next steps


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Last modified September 15, 2022: Pipelines v2 content: KFP SDK (#3346) (3f6a118c)