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SAP Data Intelligence Cloud : How to use R Kernel in Notebook?

You might already know that you can build complex Machine Learning scenarios as part of your Data Value Journey with SAP Data Intelligence . If not then look at the blog post by Andreas Forster  and Ingo Peter on how to create your first ML scenario in SAP Data Intelligence using Python & R :

SAP Data Intelligence: Create your first ML Scenario

SAP Data Intelligence: Create your first ML Scenario with R

In this blog post you will learn how to start R Kernel inside Notebook in SAP Data Intelligence Cloud to perform Data exploration and Free-Style Data Science and also to test R code before using it in the R Operator available in pipeline modeler.

Although R Kernel is not yet officially available in SAP Data Intelligence Cloud notebook (as of version 2010.29.9) , this blog post will guide you to install one using “conda” on python and will also present a way to load data sets stored in DI DATA LAKE using R library – “reticulate”.

Launch Notebook inside your ML SCENARIO

Launch a Notebook session inside your ML Scenario:

Select Python 3 Kernel :


Install R Kernel

Use below “Conda” command to install the R-Kernel :

Note -y option here is for the silent install. (else we get prompted to enter “y”/”yes” to begin the install)

!conda install -y -c  r r-irkernel

All required/dependent packages will be installed and the final summary is as below :


Install Required R Packages

Before you begin using the newly installed R kernel, remember that the base R install won’t have all packages that you need ,for example look at below R code snippet requiring dplyr, sqldf,readxl etc


Let’s first learn how to install such R packages.

Execute below command in the python 3 kernel notebook session (same as the one on which we installed R-kernel) to install “dplyr” and this is same as doing install.packages(“dplyr”) on the R kernel :

conda install r-dplyr

Follow the same for other required packages:

conda install r-reshape2
conda install r-RODBC

Launch a New Notebook with R Kernel

Select the Newly installed R-Kernel:

Or use the Launcher to create a new notebook with R kernel :

Let’s follow the IRIS R Example to use the R Kernel :

Load the Data:

names(iris) <- toupper(names(iris))

A basic Filter:

setosa <- filter(iris, SPECIES == "setosa")

sepalLength5 <- filter(iris, SPECIES == "setosa", SEPAL.LENGTH > 5)

Loading Data from a local CSV ( CSV uploaded in the Jupyter lab session) :

SFO landings Data Reference:

Loading Data from SAP DI Data Lake

We will make use of R library “reticulate”  (library(reticulate)) to access artifacts stored in DI DATA LAKE using a python script , again this is a workaround which lets us access the shared artifacts.

First install the R reticulate library using the python 3 kernel with conda as below :

conda install r-reticulate

Create a new Text file to create a python script and insert below code cell which imports python packages ( sapdi , pandas) , and further defines a function to read a file from DI data lake :

import pandas as pd
import sapdi

def read_FILE_DL():
	with'Air_Traffic_Landings_Statistics.csv').get_reader() as reader:
		landings = pd.read_csv(reader)
	return landings

Now Open the Notebook with R-kernel ,Restart the R Kernel before running below commands.

use below commands to load the Data :

landings <- read_FILE_DL()

Using the “MARATHON” dataset example

Refer Ingo’s Blog post  and for Dataset use the blog post : SAP Data Intelligence: Create your first ML Scenario

df_train <- read.csv(file="RunningTimes.txt", header=TRUE, sep=";")

1	73	149
2	74	154
3	78	158
4	73	165
5	74	172
6	84	173


'data.frame':	117 obs. of  3 variables:
 $ ID                  : int  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
 $ HALFMARATHON_MINUTES: int  73 74 78 73 74 84 85 86 89 88 ...
 $ MARATHON_MINUTES    : int  149 154 158 165 172 173 176 177 177 177 ...<-lm(MARATHON_MINUTES~HALFMARATHON_MINUTES,data=df_train)
List of 12
 $ coefficients : Named num [1:2] -6.01 2.25
  ..- attr(*, "names")= chr [1:2] "(Intercept)" "HALFMARATHON_MINUTES"
 $ residuals    : Named num [1:117] -9.18 -6.43 -11.43 6.82 11.57 ...
  ..- attr(*, "names")= chr [1:117] "1" "2" "3" "4" ...
 $ effects      : Named num [1:117] -2361.82 294.44 -9.94 8.49 13.21 ...
  ..- attr(*, "names")= chr [1:117] "(Intercept)" "HALFMARATHON_MINUTES" "" "" ...
 $ rank         : int 2
 $ fitted.values: Named num [1:117] 158 160 169 158 160 ...
  ..- attr(*, "names")= chr [1:117] "1" "2" "3" "4" ...
 $ assign       : int [1:2] 0 1
 $ qr           :List of 5
  ..$ qr   : num [1:117, 1:2] -10.8167 0.0925 0.0925 0.0925 0.0925 ...
  .. ..- attr(*, "dimnames")=List of 2
  .. .. ..$ : chr [1:117] "1" "2" "3" "4" ...
  .. .. ..$ : chr [1:2] "(Intercept)" "HALFMARATHON_MINUTES"
  .. ..- attr(*, "assign")= int [1:2] 0 1
  ..$ qraux: num [1:2] 1.09 1.18
  ..$ pivot: int [1:2] 1 2
  ..$ tol  : num 1e-07
  ..$ rank : int 2.




Its often a need in projects to quickly test R Code snippets before we can use them in Data Pipelines, so I hope that above workaround to have a working R kernel in Notebook within SAP Data Intelligence will be helpful.

I would also reiterate that the solution above serves as a workaround to test some of the R code snippets in notebook in SAP DI, and that the R SDK for SAP DI is not yet available ( unlike Python SDK for SAP DI) hence the artifacts stored in SAP DI data lake cannot be directly referenced using R kernel among other limitations( e.g. as is done using “sapdi” python library in SAP Data Intelligence)

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  • Hello Vinay, that's really good to know but after executing the steps i am always getting the following error, even after i have restarted the kernel or created a new notebook from scratch. Any idea?


    The kernel for 057596fe-f23e-44bc-aac1-185a427834bd/notebooks/10_Loading_Datasets.ipynb appears to have died. It will restart automatically.



    • Hi,

      Thanks for your comment, you may try restarting the Jupyter lab application from the "System Management" Application :



      • Hi, Thanks for the answer, but I have tried several times to do it but after restarting the Jupyter Lab the kernel R dissapear and I have to execute again the steps to install the R kernel. the output of the conda info is as follows:

             active environment : None
               user config file : /home/labuser/.condarc
         populated config files : /opt/conda/.condarc
                  conda version : 4.7.10
            conda-build version : not installed
                 python version :
               virtual packages : 
               base environment : /opt/conda  (writable)
                   channel URLs :
                  package cache : /opt/conda/pkgs
               envs directories : /opt/conda/envs
                       platform : linux-64
                     user-agent : conda/4.7.10 requests/2.23.0 CPython/3.7.3 Linux/5.4.0-5-cloud-amd64 sles/15 glibc/2.26
                        UID:GID : 1000:100
                     netrc file : None
                   offline mode : False
        Best Regards,